Here is Jennifer before (around the time Dreamgirls was filmed):
|Image Credit str8nyc.com|
..and here she is now
|Image Credit OMG on Yahoo|
I also don't want it to seem like I'm picking on Jennifer. I see this happen time and time again with people in the public eye (in fact, Gertie of Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing covered this topic a few weeks ago in this post) Jennifer is just the most recent and seems to be a good illustration of what does bother me.
What I find distressing is the media's one-size-fits-all approach and how it eventually seems to obliterate individuality.
When Jennifer first appeared on the scene (as a contestant on American Idol) I admired her beautiful voice, her presence on stage and her chutzpah. She wasn't afraid to be who she was. She knew she had talent and that was what mattered. I liked her for her personality and her beautiful voice. When she first signed on to Weight Watchers, I admired her initiative and her desire to be healthy, but the further her weight loss progresses, the less healthy she appears. Her beautiful curls have been straightened, she wears the typical, mass appeal "starlet" clothing and her expressiveness seems to have suffered.
You may ask, why do I care? I don't know Jennifer. She's not a friend, a sister, a daughter...but she could be. The message sent is that our worth as women should be measured not in talent, individuality and creativity, but in pounds. That it's better to work hard to look like everyone else than to take a stand and be yourself. That we should all assimilate and aspire to a size 0, indifferent to our personal comfort and healthy weight.
So, after this rant, what would I like to see happen? I'd like to see all (healthy!) shapes and sizes in the media. I'd like to look at an ad and see my friend, watch a movie and see my neighbor, see a commercial and recognize my mother. I'd like people to be represented as they are, not in whatever fantasy version Hollywood has drummed up this week as "acceptable". I'd like to see people recognized for who they are, not how much they weigh.
Hugs and Smooches,