It’s spring! The trees are blossoming! All six of them! Or maybe that’s just on my block. The several tufts of grass are violently green. I suddenly want to buy at least two pairs of gladiator sandals. Because suddenly one doesn’t feel like enough. And also, because it’s spring, weight-loss advice is blooming. It’s everywhere. Shed those extra pounds before summer! Be able to fit into those shorts! Get your bikini bod on! Or, you know, catchier slogans.
I am going to the Caribbean in a couple months. My dad won a trip at an auction, and he’s taking the family, significant others included. When I found out, my first thought was “Yay!” and my second thought was, “Shit.” The “shit” related to the fact that I have not put on a bikini in well over a year, and since then, I’ve gained about 15 pounds. Keep reading »
By now, many of you may have read Vogue’s annual “Shape” issue and had some reaction to the story of Bea, a seven-year-old girl whose mother was intent on curing her “obesity,” which was, in reality, 16 extra pounds of baby fat.
“One day Bea came home from school in tears, confessing that a boy at school had called her fat. The incident crushed me, but it was a wake-up call. Being overweight is not a private struggle. Everyone can see it,” said Bea’s mother, Dara-Lynn Weiss.
Weiss immediately put Bea on a Weight Watchers-type diet designed for children. Reading this, I felt a familiar pang in my gut. I was also an overweight child who came home from school and complaining about being teased. It was fifth grade, and I was the new kid in school. I didn’t know I was overweight until one of the popular boys spit on my new pair of Vans and called me “fat ass.” The girls were even worse. They attacked me in the bathroom with a barrage of spitballs. I spent most of the school year alone, writing in my journal. There’s one heartbreaking entry I’ll never forget: Dear Diary, Please let me be popular. Please let me not be fat anymore.
Although I’ve moved on and healed from these experiences, which happened more than 20 years ago, it still hurts to write about them. They’re a reminder of how cruel people can be, perhaps without even meaning to. What’s more painful for me, though, is remembering how my mother reacted to these incidents. Keep reading »
“I have been every single size in women’s fashion. I really don’t think anyone can say that. I’ve been a double-zero, children’s clothes, at 95 pounds, and I’ve been all the way up to a size 16 and everything in between. So to come to this place of being a 6, 8, sometimes a 10 depending on what designer I’m wearing. And that’s an interesting place to be in fashion, where extremes are the norm.”
– Crystal Renn talks to “Entertainment Tonight” about her weight. It seems like nobody can believe that a woman who works in fashion — and struggled with anorexia in the past — could be completely comfortable in her body and be okay with being somewhere in the middle. Pretty crazy, right? It’s like the media wants her to be as fixated on how much she weighs as they are. Gross. [ET Online]
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 »
The other day, I found myself engaging in conversation with a stranger at the grocery store about weight.
“God,” the woman said, pausing near me in the aisle as I considered a package of cookies. “I wish.”
I laughed. “Yeah, I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it.”
“Go for it,” she said, grinning. “You can always hit the gym after.”
She went on her way. I put the cookies back. I thought about it. I picked them up again and put them in my basket. What the hell? I never go to the gym. I’m terrible at treadmills and I’m lazy. Or maybe I’m terrible at treadmills because I’m lazy. It’s a chicken/egg kinda thing. Keep reading »
Believe it or not, the push to be hyper-thin hasn’t always been present. In the ’50s and ’60s, women were sold the idea that a curvy, bodacious bod was best, and companies like Wate-On advertised that they could turn a skinny girl into a voluptuous vixen through their weight-gaining products. Whether Wate-On worked, it’s refreshing to see a different kind of body type being coveted — one that doesn’t promote a protruding hip or clavicle. Check out these great vintage “anti-skinny” ads. [Daily Mail UK]