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S. J. Parris and Stephanie Merritt

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Colleen McCullough’s obituary shows looks aren’t everything. Unless you’re a woman

Sunday 1st February 2015

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f you’re a woman who has been made to feel a little slovenly and neglectful this week by the realisation that you haven’t had your uterus steam-cleaned, you might have been prompted to wonder whether you will ever reach a stage of life when you can stop being told your body is disgusting and finally find yourself acknowledged for other qualities, such as your character and achievements. When you’re dead, maybe?

I’m afraid not. Last week, we learned that, even when you’re no longer here to care, you will still be judged for what you looked like and whether anyone fancied you; at least, according to the obituary published in the Australian for the bestselling author and neuroscientist Colleen McCullough, who died aged 77.

“Colleen McCullough, Australia’s bestselling author, was a charmer,” it begins. “Plain of feature and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth.” ...

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