I recently signed up for six sessions with a personal trainer, LaMarcus, and told him my goals: get more toned and lose a few pounds.
Then he weighed me. I clocked in at 125, and he asked me if that’s what I expected. “Yeah, but I’d prefer to be closer to 122,” I told him. WHAT? As the words came out of my mouth I realized how ridiculous that probably sounded. Why do I even need a trainer for that? I’m not overweight. I know this (if not by looking at myself, then by furiously Googling “healthy body weights”). But that doesn’t stop me from telling myself that I am. Sometimes. I’m a pretty confident person. But, on some days, I can’t help but hate my body.
My self-diagnoses? I’m a Body Image Waffler. Keep reading »
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 »
I used to feel like I was lucky for having zero body image issues. Those insecurities completely surpassed me well into adulthood, because up until about around age 25, I had a very conventionally attractive body: a slender frame with an hourglass figure. I could wear anything I wanted. No one — not my mother, not men, not random strangers — criticized my body. Body issues (too big! too small! too squishy!) were simply not something that crossed my mind.
But I was aware body insecurities concerned — even consumed — a lot of people, in particular women. A close friend struggled with anorexia. Family members were bullied for their size. I read fat acceptance blogs online and books like Lessons From The Fat-O-Sphere by Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby. As a feminist writer, I was keyed into the way our society privileges the skinny. Still, for a long time, it was not something I directly understood.
But body issues didn’t skip me entirely: they just came later in life. Keep reading »
Meet Megan and Matt. They’re the stars of the newest Weight Watchers commercial featuring Jennifer Hudson. And they are a terrible couple. Megan plays the role of the nagging wife to a T — to the point where every time I watch this commercial (which is a lot lately because we are working from home this week), I just think, Oh man, those two are heading for divorce. The clip involves Megan basically emasculating Matt and telling the world how she does everything. He passively aggressively says, “She usually gets her way, and I just go along with it,” while she snipes, “I think [Weight Watchers] worked for Matt because I did it for him.” And then she ends the commercial with “Happy wife, happy life, right?” Oh, that old trope. Take note, Weight Watchers: women don’t like to be sold things by terrible, naggy ladies. It’s an old, stupid stereotype, so stop it, guys.
Leave it to Jessica Simpson to get pregnant at what seems to be the most calculated moment possible. Her announcement that she is expecting baby number two came just in the nick of time for her to snake her way out of that Weight Watchers endorsement deal. But, if she wasn’t getting preggo to avoid public dieting, she must have been doing it to take the heat off of papa Joe Simpson and his divorce/ he-may-be gay scandal. Or maybe both? Either way, good timing, Jess and Eric! And, of course, congrats on your forthcoming bundle of joy.
Click through for more of our conspiracy theories about the ulterior motives for celebrity pregnancies.
“I’ve just had a lot of pressure on me to lose my baby weight,” said Jessica Simpson, the very first guest on Katie Couric’s new daytime talk show “Katie.”
The episode about Jessica’s post-baby weight loss was actually more tasteful than I expected — she didn’t do a huge “body reveal moment” or pull out an old pair of huge-ass pants. But at the same time, Jessica shilled, shilled, shilled and it kinda felt like an hour-long commercial for Weight Watchers. Keep reading »
“Nobody wants to talk about their weight. For me, I have had to come to a place where I am comfortable with myself. I’m a mom now, and get to be a role model for this beautiful little girl … I feel like everybody can do what I am doing. I’m not a supermodel. My body is not bouncing back like a supermodel. I’m just your everyday woman who is trying to feel good and be healthy for her daughter, her fiancé and herself.”
–Jessica Simpson, pop star, entrepreneur, and new mom to baby Maxwell, responds to USA Today‘s questions about losing her very famous baby weight. Now, don’t get me wrong, the article also contains the usual stats about her Weight Watchers points allotments, and I know she’s being paid ungodly sums of money to lose the weight, but still, I thought this quote was actually really thoughtful and inspiring, even. As someone whose never-had-a-baby body looks a lot like Jessica’s post-baby body, I’ve been very interested to see how the media–and more importantly, Jessica herself–handles her weight loss process. I’d love to hear more about her journey to find a healthy weight under massive pressure, but with her “new body” being unveiled on Katie “Eat A Sandwich” Couric‘s show next week, I’m afraid my hopes aren’t terribly high for a positive and honest conversation about body image and self-esteem. [USA Today]
This week on “Mad Men“‘s “Dark Shadows” episode, Weight Watchers serves as a type of therapy for Betty Francis, who can definitely use it. Boredom, jealousy, and insecurity dominate Betty’s life as a 1960s housewife on her second marriage, and she’s turned to bags of Bugles to pass the time. Now determined to lose the weight, the former model turns to a new diet plan gaining popularity with women like her, Weight Watchers. Considering Betty’s mother-in-law already tried to push diet pills on her, which contained amphetamines at the time, the group meetings are the responsible approach to weight loss for Betty Francis. Read more …
First of all, we need to discuss: the French have Weight Watchers? Whatever happened to French Women Don’t Get Fat? Zut alors! Excuse me while I call Le Boyfriend toute suite to inform him of this stunning factoid, as his most beloved leisure time activity is to sneer at Americans licking Cheeto dust from between their fingers.
But of course, since France does have Weight Watchers, they will find a way to make it sexy. Super-sexy. Phallic-foods-enticingly-fed-into-glossed-and-lipsticked-mouths-super-sexy.
See images from the French Weight Watchers campaign after the jump:
Keep reading »
Jennifer Hudson duets on “I Believe In You & Me” with her larger self — the self that competed on “American Idol,” the self that starred in “Dreamgirls” — in a Weight Watchers commercial that I have to admit is kinda touching. (And that’s not usually something I would say about a Weight Watchers commercial.) The “new” Jennifer is much more polished; yes, she is slimmer but her movements less theatrical, her outfit is more chic and her hair is straightened. In short, she’s conforming to a more mainstream version of beauty — some might even say a white standard of beauty. I’m happy if she’s happy (and, perhaps, healthier, although we know people are created in all shapes and sizes and can be healthier at a larger body weight). I just thought the “old” Jennifer — who made it in Hollywood on her considerable talent despite being larger than the average starlet — was cute, too. [Essence] Keep reading »