Does Amanda Palmer look fat to you? No, of course she doesn’t. You’d have to be a total body fascist to think so. But according to Amanda, that’s exactly what her label Roadrunner Records told her after watching the first cut of the video for her latest single, ‘Leeds United’. They wanted to re-edit the video to cut out some of the so-called offending shots but she rightly refused. ”I thought they were on crack,” she writes in her blog. “I’m a vain motherfucker. I know when I look fat…I hate shots of myself where I look heavy with child. But THIS?? This was just nonsense. I thought I looked HOT.”
Her notoriously devoted fans were quick to respond, posting images of their own slogan-bearing bellies on the Amanda Palmer/Dresden Dolls fan forum and whizzing off reproachful emails to the label. With over 100 images collected in less than 48 hours, the plan is to print them all out and post them, along with personal stories of belly solidarity, to the label’s HQ in protest. As one fan writes, “This is not just about Amanda Palmer’s belly. This is about all the bellies of the world: Big, small, hairy, stretch-marked, scarred, pregnant, every single belly. The aim is to reclaim the belly; to promote a healthy body image for everyone (not just females) and to protest against the “barbie dolling” of artists by record companies and the media.”
A few Wears The Trousers writers were involved in the filming of the ‘Leeds United’ video in south London this summer, and the big ol’ smooch at 3:37 is none other than our musical pal Esther of Quiet Choir, and the label’s gripe holds no water with them either. Here’s how you can join the ‘rebellyon’: send a photo of your belly to doritojoe89 [at] gmail [dot] com, along with any message you have for Roadrunner bosses.
If, as Amanda writes, the label really do think her solo album has no commercial potential and is impossible to promote, well, maybe they’ve found a solution…at the risk of completely alienating the artist and their entire fanbase, as well as anyone with half a brain who doesn’t subscribe to absurd commercial representations of the female body. In doing so, however, they’ve demonstrated directly that the alleged promotional difficulties are problems that lie with their own failure to remotely understand their own signing, even after four albums.