Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To Eat or Not to Eat..Is That Really the Question?

Recently, I posted a link on my Facebook page with a picture of the newly slimmed down Jennifer Hudson, indicating my dismay at how gaunt her features seem and how she's fallen prey to that mainstream "Hollywood look".

Here is Jennifer before (around the time Dreamgirls was filmed):

Credit: superiorpics.com

Here she is a few months into her Weight Watchers diet:

Image Credit str8nyc.com
..and here she is now
Image Credit OMG on Yahoo
Now, please let me get this out in the open first.  I am not a skinny-hater.  In fact, my own wee Mum is a size 00.  But it suits her.  She's athletic, she has a tiny bone structure (like a little bird!), she's 5'1", and most importantly, she's healthy.

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,


  1. So true! One thing I liked was that she was a great role model for curvier girls. she showed that you didn't have to be skinny and look like a clone. I loved her individuality. Now she's just like every other Hollywood clone. She's beautiful and talented. I just hope she changed her look so dramatically for the right reasons x

  2. I think you are so right, D. I think it's her overall too polished look that is bothering us. Too slick, too much botox and too thin for her frame. I LOVED her wild hair and curvy figure and she was certainly a role model at any size with surviving the tragedy she has. BUT, I do miss the old more fun and funky Jennifer and I think she could get it back by dressing and looking more like that!

  3. I could not agree more with this post. Personally I thought Jennifer looked better with the weight on. Sort of had that Marilyn, Rita bod that is so desirable.

    Now that she has lost the weight and gotten down from a sz 16 to a sz 6 it scared me. Whenever I hear of that much weight loss it scares me. I signed up for WW's in 2010 because I was heavier than Jennifer and only 5'2. I needed to lose some weight. 35lbs later I feel better and I'm proud of my accomplishment. I'm only a sz 14 {I think, not sure since clothing sizes vary} I'm actually happy. So it is possible to not be a size 0 and happy.

    God created me this way and I just try my best to take care of my body. That's all we can do. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So who are we to judge who should be a size 0 or plus size? Let's just accept we're all individuals and enjoy being unique.


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