Another Day, Another Weight Gain Target

I couldn’t imagine spending my growing up years in front of a camera, or now the unrelenting paparazzi. Every zit, every “bloated” day, every boyfriend, every break up, every ice cream, burrito binge preserved on film, how depressing.

It’s been said that once you opt in to the Hollywood lifestyle, you open yourself up to adulation as well as ridicule. Once a star, you can rise just as quickly as you fall and much of that has to do with paparazzi, no doubt. But I find it interesting that when it comes to a celebrity’s weight or looks, particularly a woman, they are relentless, but so is the rest of the world.
Just a couple of months ago I blogged about Cheryl Burke and a few months before that I was writing about Jennifer Love Hewitt. The paparazzi condemn these women as if they’d committed some heinous crime, and we looked on, and to some degree feel vindicated. “See? Even the rich and famous aren’t perfect.”

But the truth is that no matter how you slice it, the non-stop focus on weight (which for all of these women was actually a healthy weight) we are not only contributing to the mental confusion of grown women about their body but we are contributing to the body obsession of young girls.

We know that girls as young as 9 are dieting and girls as young as 4 are pointing out fat people and saying, “I don’t want to get fat!” Something is terribly wrong here and what’s wrong is that we’ve convoluted health and weight. In doing so, our society has created a very unhealthy expectation for girls and women about their body and overall appearance. It has set women back and set the expectations of performance over “appearance” way back. I think that needs to change – soon.

In reading the numerous pieces on Jessica Simpson’s expanded girth, I was reminded about her unusually thin physique in her “Daisy Duke” shorts and how proud she was of the hours she had to spend in the gym to achieve such perfection. Everyone looked at that body, men with jaws dropping and women with tears falling knowing that they’d never look like that which relegated them to the “frumpy” section of the women’s ensemble.

Every day women are sold millions of products to enhance looks, boobs and body. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love looking great and feeling great, but I certainly don’t want to feel compelled to take my own life because I’m a Size 6, which by today’s standards is “average.” Are you kidding me? It’s been said that designers will make sizes fit more loosely so that women can buy a smaller size. Now I’m all about that for shoes, but for clothes? I think we need to get back in touch with what matters and what doesn’t.

If you think about children growing up, girls are always praised for their beauty, eyes, hair, dresses, etc. Boys are praised for their athletic prowess or brains. We take that in to our adult life although there are those lucky men and women who are raised on a household that actually focuses on performance over appearance, on integrity rather than manipulative ability.

Yeah, Jessica’s put on a few pounds, but so what, hasn’t everyone at some point? Some may say that if she’s basks in the raise of adoration, she needs to take it when she’s hit below the belt. O.K. I’ll buy it if she’s done something really wrong, but gaining weight is part of the cycle of life and for some it’s more challenging than others, Oprah knows only too well.

At 47, my body is changing and thank God, I’m not in the spot light, a little sag here, a little sag there I would rather not have documented. But for the hundreds of women in the spotlight, every wrinkle, cellulite dimple and fat is documented and we all jump on the bandwagon to see what a celebrity looks like in reality. And right there is the piece that we’re all missing when reading about these folks, reality.

I think we all need to take a step back when spending so much time celebrating stars perfections yet, silently doing the same when they fall. I’m sure there’s a much deeper psychological reason for that which I’m not qualified to get in to, but Lord knows I have my theories. Another blog I suppose.

At the end of the day, women need take a step back and stop buying the “stuff” that promises perfection, perfection doesn’t exist, not even in Hollywood.

Sure, go ahead and buy the lotions and creams that keep you healthy, but stay away from the one’s promising to remove 20 years from your face, that would be a face lift and well, no cream in the world can do that. As women, we need to reinforce the value of intelligence, integrity and strategic thinking that all women are capable of rather than chiding them because they’re wearing a V-neck sweater (Hillary Clinton). We need to focus on health and doing all we can to address the many health issues of women. We need to promote exercise not for vanity but for sanity. And most important, we need to preserve the quality of our life by being active and eating well, most of the time and avoiding the black hole so many fall in to in search of perfection.

Movie stars are not reality, they are there to entertain us through film, television and music. Somewhere along the way, the line crossed over in to reality and we’ve come to believe that their lives and their body’s are perfect, they’re not. It’s not cause for celebration it’s simply an opportunity for a reality check.

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