BREAKING NEWS: [Insert starlet’s name here] has gained some weight!

February 6, 2009 § 6 Comments

If you haven’t been living in a cave for the last few weeks, I’m sure you’ve heard the news: Jessica Simpson has GAINED WEIGHT.

Am I the only one sick of seeing photos of her everywhere I go? Whether it’s an image splashed across the cover of People Magazine or linked to from one of the blogs I read or even on some pop-culture television show, I always end up getting frustrated by the obsession with women’s weight gain patterns that the media (hell, society!) tends to have. 

And it’s not just this one isolated case. From Kirstie Alley to Janet Jackson to Oprah, people just can’t seem to stop analyzing their weights. It’s also not just in cases of extreme weight gain either. How many false pregnancy accusations have there been? Often headlines have read, “JENNIFER ANNISTON PREGNANT?” or “KATIE HOLMES LOOKS PREGNANT.” A woman in our pop culture isn’t allowed to put on any weight without suddenly being knocked up. What’s even worse is the photos that have been put out in the past of celebrities”pigging out.” Oh ha ha! A famous woman indulging in a cheeseburger! What a fatty! Look how gross she looks!

These types of images (with big arrows pointing to “baby bumps,” ones showing how an actress has clearly “let herself go,”  and depicting women “stuffing their faces”) express to the public how far from the norm an overweight woman is supposed to be. You better keep that tummy tucked, or you’ll be the laughingstock of everyone you know! 

While this phenomenon isn’t only directed at women, it seems much more traditional to critique a woman’s weight than a man’s. How often have you seen images of male celebrities with captions about how clearly they need to get back on their exercise regime? 

Just think about the incredibly unrealistic standards women are held up to when Angelina Jolie isn’t allowed to eat a fucking sandwich.

§ 6 Responses to BREAKING NEWS: [Insert starlet’s name here] has gained some weight!

  • Katie says:

    This is so true. I think one of the saddest things is that this has a ripple effect – it has started to affect non-celeb women as well. When girls my age gain weight over the summer, or over holiday break, everyone gossips about how terrible she looks. This is something that young women have to think about daily, and they are not even involved in these careers. There is a fear of gaining weight that quickly translates into serious eating problems that affect young women in and out of the watchful eye of the paparazzi, or the popular girls in your high school bathroom.

  • betsy says:

    Just think about the incredibly unrealistic standards women are held up to when Angelina Jolie isn’t allowed to eat a fucking sandwich.

    thank you.

  • gidgetcommando says:

    Jessica, honey,

    You tell those paparazzi vultures to kiss your southern-fried ass no matter what sized jeans it’s wrapped in. It’s about time someone did. I never was a fan of your particular style of music, but after seeing the drubbing you’ve taken for–gasp–having the nerve to be a NORMAL FRICKIN’ WOMAN, I’m gonna go out and buy me your CDs. You. Go. Girl.

  • Samuel says:

    Aren’t celebrities famous because they are representing something unrealistic? Like models, representing such a narrow, pun intended, view of beauty.

    Although it does create negative-body image, I think that people who market themselves based on their appearance are open to criticism; which is blatant objectification. It is one of those dilemma’s for me. As their product is their image, and how can we as consumers of this multi-billion dollar industry, not be allowed to be critical?

    Artha Franklin didn’t need to be a pin-up to be an idol in the music industry. Neither did Mandy Moore.

  • Phoebe says:

    Okay, first… Mandy Moore? This Mandy Moore?

    And second, my main issue here is the extreme level of scorn and derision directed at any female celebrity who’s gained a bit of weight, even if they look like a normal person. We’re supposed to immediately think they’re disgusting or they’re just plain lazy.

    And as Katie said, celebrities aren’t the only ones negatively affected. If we judge famous people so harshly based on their weight, what’s to stop us from judging each other as well?

  • atalised says:

    Everyone is held to these impossible body standards. I saw a picture of Steve Martin body surfing in People and the comments were pretty awful. Seriously, does one really need to have a fantastic body going into their 60’s or 70’s?

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