This ad for Weight Watchers “Smart Ones” frozen meals popped up before a YouTube video I was watching, and I actually had to watch it twice all the way through to realize it wasn’t some kind of satire or parody. Unfortunately, it’s real. And it’s terrible.
“We brought women like you together in Times Square,” reads the opening title, over a whimsical soundtrack. “It was time to ‘fess up.” This is followed by women (only women, no men) sheepishly admitting to the camera that they like buttered popcorn, or that they once ate cake frosting for breakfast, or that they have a weakness for mini cupcakes. Their confessions are shown on a huge screen in Times Square for all to see (while the women cover their faces in shame), before being digitally erased and replaced with a message: “Congratulations, you now have a clean slate!” Women are then shown cheering and triumphantly holding up empty plates, which they are presumably only to fill with microwavable, highly processed meals from now until eternity. Or maybe, in an ideal world, they just wouldn’t eat at all?
Weight Watchers, I have three words for you: Fuck. This. Noise. Here’s why: Keep reading »
Fat people can’t win in popular culture. Either they are the subject of reality TV shows about often-extreme weight loss (“The Biggest Loser,” “Heavy, “I Used To Be Fat”), they’re headless bodies in news segments about obesity (or chunky cheerleaders), or they’re the butt of some hack’s lame joke. Fortunately, one new documentary currently raising funds on Kickstarter is looking to add something more thoughtful into the cultural discussion about size. “Fattitude,” an independent documentary by Lindsey Averill and Viridiana Lieberman, will explore the warped sizeism within our culture, from TV shows and movies to Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. It will also address misunderstandings around health and BMI (body-mass index) and misinformation surrounding the “obesity epidemic.” Watching the trailer for “Fattitude,” it occurred to me that even being someone who is generally aware at how society privileges thinner bodies, there is still so much prejudice against larger people that I don’t even notice. If this project sounds as important to you as it does to me, consider giving it your support. [Kickstarter]
“I’ve gone up about 20 pounds. I think I’m at my perfect weight!…I work out an hour, six days a week. I love classes like SoulCycle, I also loosely count calories, but sometimes I might eat an Oreo. It’s not the end of the world.”
“Biggest Loser” winner Rachel Frederickson talks about her 20-pound weight gain in the latest issue of US Weekly. This still seems to be a bit of a non-acknowledgement about finishing the season of the reality show at an alarmingly low weight (either on her part or the part of “The Biggest Loser’”s publicity team), but Frederickson does mention that the backlash over her weight loss was a “gift” because “it started a discussion about body image.” I can’t argue with that. And I have to support anyone who feels good about their body … and eats Oreos. [US Weekly]
OK, so it’s a little difficult to feel tons of sympathy for the genetically blessed amongst us. But everyone has their struggles in life and when you’re a person who is only known for their looks, sometimes people treat you like you don’t have any brains. Case in point: Cindy Crawford learned an awful lesson about judgment on her first day of college calculus. The supermodel received a scholarship to study chemical engineering at Northwestern University, but all her professor seemed to see when he looked at her was a pretty face. Watch this clip from “Oprah’s Master Class” as Cindy tells her sobering (and infuriating) story — and think twice before you assume someone is dumb just because she or he is attractive. [Huffington Post]
“There’s a whole list of things I would probably change about myself. For example, I’m always trying to lose fifteen pounds. But I never need to be skinny. I don’t want to be skinny. I’m constantly in a state of self-improvement, but I don’t beat myself up over it. … It’s really tempting not to take chances [with fashion]. But I don’t want to be fearful. I don’t want my tombstone to say, she hid her imperfections well on the red carpet.”
Mindy Kaling dared to tell Vogue that she has no interest in being skinny and, amazingly, the world did not explode. I love how honest Kaling is about, yes, trying to lose weight, but also acknowledging that the pursuit of skinniness — being and looking skinny – is not the most important thing in the world. Love her. [Vogue]
It’s easy to say that pornography is empowering for women, or that it degrades them. Oversimplifying, certainly, but easy.
The truth is it’s much more complicated than that.
I was 19 when I realized I could go to college without the debt that my friends were already beginning to complain about. I could take care of myself. It was when I held in my hand $100 for one hour of nude modeling, something I never even realized a chubby girl could make money doing. I was juggling three jobs that paid me only twice that amount per 40-hour week doing physically stressful work for minimum wage.
At the time, it was simple mathematics. Keep reading »