The June issue of Allure has the usual headlines about what beauty products to buy and how to get good hair and better skin. Also thrown into the sexy, sun-kissed mix is this tidbit of information about their cover girl: “Zoe Saldana: 115 Pounds Of Grit And Heartache.” Hey, she’s slight but this gal’s got might!
Do the editors of a beauty magazine think of a celebrity’s weight as just some random fun fact to share with their readers? No, of course they don’t. It’s aspirational. Even if the number itself is completely out of the realm of healthy possibility for most women, it reinforces a longing — that dream of ultimate thinness. It’s defining. An entire interview with Saldana and how do they describe the stand out qualities they learned about her for their cover? In pounds. But what is most insidious about that headline is that it immediately forces comparison. For many women, that comparison is likely to stoke insecurity. Even if it doesn’t, it’s still a giant waste of time and energy: Do you weigh less or more? But wait, are you big-boned or small-boned? You might weigh this much, but actually you wear this size in pants or that size in tops. You felt best about yourself when you were this weight. You’re proud of your weight and fuck anyone who says you shouldn’t be! Keep reading »
Allure has always been the fluffiest of beauty magazines, as if tailor-made for reading during a pedicure. The June 2013 cover with Zoe Saldana made an extremely odd editorial choice: it listed the actress’ weight on the cover. “Zoe Saldana, 115 Pounds of Grit And Heartache,” the cover line reads. What the fuck, Allure? I suppose they’re insinuating that Saldana is a wispy little thing but she’s also gritty and tough, because apparently you can’t be skinny and tough, or something?
But, really, who cares? It’s not necessary to know how much an actress weighs, especially since the numbers on a scale reveal very little of the person’s actual health. (Take, for instance, Anne Hathaway’s dramatic weight loss for “Les Miserables,” which by all accounts, made her truly miserable and unhealthy.) There’s so much pressure for women, other actresses and models in particular, to look attain a mainstream definition of attractiveness, and how much other women with other bodies weigh is not helpful.
This is a total fail, Allure.
Kelly McGrevey of Akron, Ohio was told that she was too fat to tan. McGrevey claims that Aloha Tanning Salon’s management told her she was too big to fit in their beds, but only after they sold her a membership and collected her money. After outing Aloha for being sizeist money grubbers on the local media and Facebook, they’ve agreed to give McGrevey a full refund for her membership. Graciously, another local tanning salon, Tanner’s, is giving McGrevey use of their beds for one month for free. I guess she’ll fit in a tanning bed after all.
It’s amazing to me that this woman would be turned away from a tanning salon but that Tanning Mom and her 5-year-old daughter can breeze in no problem. As a person who’s had skin cancer, I can’t say I fully support exposure to UV rays, but I hope Kelly McGrevey gets golden freaking brown just to stick it to the assholes at Aloha. [KHOU]
Well, of course, someone had to take some photos of me at a party, wearing my favorite dress (should I just stop wearing the clothes I love to events where there might photos taken?), bulky, lopsided, unfortunately proportioned, and my pregnant beauty bubble, so to awkwardly speak, was popped.
No matter how many times I tell myself patiently, firmly, “NO. Don’t pay attention, the photo is lying!” there’s that part of my mind that goes “But this is the truth! THE TERRIBLE TRUTH IN A RANDOM, IMPERSONAL UNIVERSE WITHOUT A GOD.” My new tactic is better, I think. I tell myself, “So what? So what if I’m ugly?” And that is always more helpful. But at that particular moment there had been much talk of beautiful women, much instant evaluation around me of women as either pretty or dismissible, and it seemed as though it did matter, at least enough. Because even if it’s out of sheer laziness or habit or nothing important or just in passing, people seem to talk about the way women look first, and constantly, and always. Keep reading »
“When I hit my forties I thought, ‘I can’t play a sexy siren any more.’ Almost 20 years later, it’s still going on … I like to step outside of what people’s idea of me might be. I suppose that makes me a bit of a rule breaker … I think [it's] because I take care of myself, which includes dieting, exercising and minimizing stress. I joke that I’ve been on a diet since 1974, which is basically true.”
– Kim Cattrall shares the secret of her youthfulness in the May issue of Woman & Home Magazine. I’m glad she’s still feeling so hot and spry. But a 40-year diet? That sounds like the plot for a really depressing movie that I don’t want to see. [ONTD]
“I got down to 116 or something … I just basically didn’t eat. I ate very little. I had done similar things with weight, but this was different. I think the role demanded that commitment … it was about how does that effect how I walk, how I talked, who I am, how I feel. You know, you feel very fragile and delicate and unsafe.”
– Jared Leto on losing 30 pounds for his role in “The Dallas Buyers Club.” I appreciate an actor immersing themselves in a role, but in my opinion, that’s taking it too far. That’s an eating disorder. Also, let’s talk about how a female celebrity would never make such a statement to the press for fear of being accused of having an eating disorder. She’d talk about her regimented diet and workout sessions under doctor supervision. [Just Jared]
An all-too-common complaint about fashion designers today is that they don’t produce clothes in nearly enough sizes. Size and weight are similarly loaded subjects within the industry, and fashion’s apparent favoritism towards the thin and thinner is hardly unchartered topical territory. The house of Balenciaga, newly helmed by Alexander Wang following beloved creative director Nicolas Ghesquière’s sudden departure after 15 years at the brand, currently dresses typically-sized starlets like Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, et al. Keep reading »
When I was in college studying in Italy, I got insanely, disgustingly skinny. My host mother fed us very little. I think she requested vegetarian students because she thought vegetarians ate less. Each night, she would stir a tablespoon of canned spaghetti sauce over a 1/2 portion of pasta, cigarette in hand, and when we were done eating (she never ate — she was the size of a mouse) she’d look at us with threatening eyes, shrug and say, “What else you want?”
I was just so happy to be there, so willing to assimilate into my new lifestyle, and always a little nervous about doing new things, that I was too timid to ask for more. After a while, I didn’t even realize I was hungry. And my stomach got smaller and smaller. I weighed about 120 pounds when I got there, a healthy amount for my 5’2″ frame. After a few months in Italy, since I didn’t have a scale, I can only guess I was down to about 90 pounds. It scares me to type that number out. So much. Keep reading »
This piece was cross-posted with permission from FatNutritionist.com. It was originally published before Thanksgiving but we are crossposting it here with the rest of the holiday season in mind.
It’s true, Thanksgiving is a weirdly imperialist semi-genocidal sort of holiday, but hey, at least we can enjoy the tradition of getting together with family and eating a bunch of mashed potatoes!
Or can we?
If some people’s relatives had their way, the answer would be a resounding HAHA, SUCKER! Because certain people exist only to make your food-eating life as a fat person (or a whatever-sized person) miserable.
So, here’s the thing: whether or not you are fat, you are the only person who gets to decide what food goes in your mouth, what tastes good, and how much of it makes you feel full and satisfied. No matter how many busybodies and dietary conspiracy theorists get in your face, you are still the only one who can decide. Keep reading »
Last thing about Paris and then I’ll shut up. I promise. Topic du jour: dessert. My trip made me realize that, for me, it is essential to have dessert with every meal.
This is not based on anything scientific whatsoever, just one sugar lover’s humble opinion after indulging in dessert with every meal for an entire week. I’m not exaggerating for the sake of comedic effect. I really ate 21 desserts while I was on vacay. There were a few factors which contributed to my sugar spree: I was traveling with a food critic who took me to all the finest easting establishments, it’s the French way, and of course, because I was on vacation so I was cutting lose. Keep reading »