Giles Coren. Again


It is rare these days that I get so incensed that I stop what I am doing and start bashing out a blog post.  Ferociously bashing away at the keys, raging inside so much that the words spill out onto the screen and I hit publish the instant it is finished.  But here we are again Giles Coren.  Here we are again.    I was pissed at you a while ago when you were on your high horse about “tattooed fatties in Plymouth” and now here we are again.

This time you have written in Esquire about, well, here is the headline:  “I don’t care what my son becomes, as long as he is isn’t overweight“. 


This is the opening paragraph under the photograph of you playing with your son, in your kitchen.   And so no, I am not for one second thinking “fat little bastard” when I look at this picture, I am thinking that bloke on the right is a collossal tw*t quite frankly, and that I need to buy some washing up liquid having seen that bottle on your sink.  Not for one second did I think your son looked fat.    And I bet nobody else has either, because no sane person would.

Now.  Can we move on to the next sentence for one minute?  Have you really just said that out loud?  That your son looks:

“… a bit retarded because his mum took him for a haircut…“.

Have you?  What exactly does that mean?  Actually don’t explain it Giles.  There is no explanation.

It is one of the most disgusting things I have read this year, and I follow Donald Trump on Twitter.

Well as you might have gathered by now Giles, I am one of those for whom puppy fat was not a passing phase.   I am large of arse.  “Ample bosomed”.  “Big boned”.   “Bubbly”.   Call it what you like, but I believe in calling a spade a spade and yep, I am fat.  And do you know what, whilst I am sure my parents worry about my overall health and would rather I was thinner it isnt their fault that I am this way.  They didnt take “their eye off the ball”, I left home at 18.   This physique is down to me.  And cakes.  And biscuits.  And the packet of Hula Hoops I just consumed.

But as somebody who has worked abroad, got a great marriage, raised three awesome kids, has a wonderful circle of friends, run a company, realised a dream this week to produce and get on sale my very own gin, raised money and volunteered for several charities, lives in a decent house in the south east, I would class myself as midly successful.   My parents are, I think, pretty proud of me.

I, therefore,  think it is doubtful anybody has ever grabbed a tuba and wanted to play Flight of the Valkries in my direction.

Though I can give you a few ideas for what I would like to do with that tuba if I ever see you on the street, Giles.

This next paragraph is beyond words quite frankly.

Would you, Giles?  I was not badly brought up.  I can assure you.

in that last sentence you would actually suggest rounding up fat people and burning them for candles would you?  Remind you of anybody from history?

I can’t even go there.  I can’t believe you have either

I can safely say in all my times in hospital, having children, visiting A&E with them, seeing sick relatives and friends I have never once broken a piece of furniture.   Nor have I have ever sat on someone and killed them.  Ever.

What “…uses for a fat woman” are there Giles?  Really, I would like to know what that means because I am really struggling to wonder what use for me you might have.

That sentence is all kinds of sinister to be honest, especially in the current climate of sexual abuse allegations coming to light.

No man should ever “have a use for a fat woman”  Or indeed any woman.  The fact you are using this to describe your daughter potentially is all sorts of odd, wrong, strange.  Worrying.

So in this paragraph you call your wife “… a bit of a lazy tart“.

That’s nice.

And yet you then go on to say this:

So who is the lazy one?

Oh that would be you then presumably?  As your wife, with her own career, does the food shop, and by the sounds of it most of the child care, is being judged as lazy, and not you.

Giles your surname used to be associated with extraordinary journalism.  Your dad was a legend.  Your sister is lovely.

You though?  You are vile.  I am sorry but you are.   You are writing articles that are simply clickbait, which is fine if the magazines commissioning you are happy to be involved in that.  Opinions are that, after all.  But this time you have gone too far.  The use of the word retarded, that fat people should be euthanized, and that fat girls have uses, is reprehensible.

And right now I am glad I am fat, and not a Coren.


PS if you want to complain to the Independent Press Standards Organisation, you can do so here (but a link to the archived version of the article here as they have amended their original now to remove the R word:  Original article)  :  Complaint Form

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • I hadn’t read his article until now and I too am absolutely enraged. I know first hand what this message can do to a child (eating disorders if we’re calling a spade a spade) and that’s without a parent ever even suggesting that she’s in any way fat! What does he think that this kind of article will achieve (apart from clicks and enraging people)? I’m absolutely disgusted by every sentence he has written. He should be utterly ashamed of himself and I feel so sorry for his child who will no doubt battle a lot of demons in his later life, with a parent sending out this kind of message. Now THAT could ruin his life.

    • Thanks Suzanne. I have read your very honest accounts of eating disorders and it breaks me that parents, and children go through this. I also watched the Louis Theroux documentary last week and sobbed. Matt Haig has tweeted to say that when last year more men suffered with eating disorders than in any other year, this article is harmful.

      Giles will argue that “well I would never tell my son that, I would never say it to his face” but we all know that isn’t the point is it? When his son googles his name or hears “oh gosh, is Giles Coren your dad, you poor kid” and wonders why. It is just wrong. Very very wrong.

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

  • I actually have no words having read his article and yours are very eloquently put. How the hell can he be allowed to write such venom? If I was married to him (and thank god I’m not) I would be taking my perfectly wonderful children and running quickly in the opposite direction. Appalling doesn’t even cover it!!

  • I will be honest, I have never read your blog previously, not so I know who this person is etc, but what I have now read of him I think I am grateful I never had.
    As for ‘not worrying about his skinny daughter’ ha! My brother was underweight his entire life until he was 20!! As in like no matter what he ate, he looked like he was anorexic. He was put on to a medication at 20 and since then he has literally tripled his weight, he’s only 23.
    He is now the largest in our family while I have always been on the ‘larger’ side, even when I’m a size 10 my thighs touch and I have shapely bosom and butt. Unfortunately due to his Autism it is impossible for us to help him with his weight as he has hoarding tendancies and sneaks energy drinks and chips but sits playing video games most of the day (they live in a country town with nowhere that willingly employ my brother).
    I will be happy with whatever my sons grow up to me, fat, skinny, hairy, bald, a doctor, a janitor (it takes all to make the world run) but what I won’t tolerate is violence, bigotry or bullies! They can have their own opinions, heck I even encourage them to now and listen to their wants, but if they try to use or hold their opinions against others, are nasty or violent because of their opinions, those are the only kinds of things I could possibly think of for disliking my children (along with murder, but that’s covered under violence, yeah?). Even then I don’t think anything could ever be a dealbreaker for me in regards to disowning them, I birthed them and have loved them since before they were born, I can’t switch that off.
    Plus, ‘fat guys’ have it far easier than women if anything! Men aren’t held up to an impossible standard of beauty that even those that ‘hold the standard’ don’t actually even fit in to! Men aren’t seen as ‘defective’ if they aren’t a Hollywood 10/10.
    And last but very not least, one single person has accidentally killed and convicted of killing someone solely because of how fat they were and it was an aunt that accidentally rolled/fell on to her niece while babysitting. She has never forgiven herself and has last I heard, lost at least 1/2 her body size and was previously know as ‘half-ton killer’ (she was in either in USA or South America’s somewhere) as her body size was close to half a tonne at the time.

  • Dear Tanya – thank you so much for writing this. When I read Coren’s piece it just upset me on so many levels – as you know my little girl had a learning disability, she had intestinal failure, she had so many things wrong but in my eyes she was a perfect little human, I didn’t judge her I loved her unconditionally for who she was and I’d give anything for one last cuddle with her – Coren needs to come and spend an hour with me and I’ll help him get his warped parenting/relationship priorities straight. There as so many levels of wrong in what he wrote I just believe it was truly clickbait but even worse shame on Esquire for commissioning him to write it and to pay him for his views. Will be complaining via the link but sadly like Katie Hopkins no doubt he will bounce back. Sending love and thanks to you xx

  • I’m in total shock. His words are utterly hateful, sexist and offensive. I feel terribly sorry for his son, the way he writes about him in this article would have made me cry as a child if it were about me. Well done for writing such a strong response. Xx

  • Holy f***ing shit. Someone actually wrote like that about Their family? I would use it in the divorce proceedings and kick his sorry arse out of town. Truly vile. What a disgrace to his family.

  • My first reaction – “He speaks highly of you, too!” – but read on.
    You use the word “vile” and I applaud your choice. Like you I was hypnotised by everything his late father said – such a brilliant and intelligent mind. What went wrong?
    One of the offspring is articulate, bright and very brainy.
    The other isn’t.
    No prizes!

  • Omg I cannot believe anyone would even think those things – never mind say them out loud and certainly not put them to print!

    A fantastic response as ever T – but you know it is because you were brought up so well, and such a strong and courageous person that you are able to – it saddens me deeply what effect such an article (his obvs) could have on others.

  • You really aren’t supposed to take Giles Coren this seriously. Everything he writes is for effect and should be taken with a LARGE pinch of salt. Read it, laugh at it, shake your head at some of the ridiculous stuff he says.

    To single out a few further things:

    – Calling his wife a lazy tart. Do you really suppose he didn’t run that past her? Perhaps they have the kind of relationship where that kind of comment wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow, or would obviously be taken in jest? Either way not our call to make. Ditto the stuff about the crisps – it’s not right to cast aspersions on their relationship based on a few throwaway lines.

    – ‘Uses for a fat woman’. I admit this is poorly worded given the climate, but I think the point he’s making is that overweight women are still generally considered more attractive than similarly fat men. No obligation for you to agree/ disagree with this.

    As for the rest of it, it’s overblown and a bit silly, but this is Esquire, not Reader’s Digest. These columns have to be a bit shouty. It doesn’t make him a bad journalist; he is frequently every bit as funny and clever as his father. But of course most of the currently outraged won’t know that, since they only read his ‘controversial’ articles, and not the vast volume of other stuff he produces.

    I have no horse in this race – I’m just hoping to offer a little balance.

  • Hello, Tanya, OMG. His article got worse and worse. I have never heard of him before, but he seems to be like the male version of that horrible ex-Apprentice lady. Shame that some people nowadays feels the only way to make a name for themselves is to write twaddle like that. Gross. Thanks for writing this! Jx