We see it everyday on TV, in magazines, or on the Internet. Stories of extreme weight loss among celebrities are given major attention in the media. These people are praised and celebrated for their new “healthy” lifestyles and their decreasing dress size, and are presented as role models for our youth. But I can’t help but wonder if these stories are only adding to the unrealistic ideals we hold about weight and body type.
Take Jennifer Hudson. She is the spotlight of diet and health in Hollywood right now, and because of her weigh loss, her career has shot through the roof. Her efforts to shed pounds has been described as “inspiring” when she lost 10 dress sizes and 80 pounds in about a year. She claims she just wanted her body back, but it is hard to believe that a once naturally curvy girl is healthy at such a small size. But that is what celebrities do. They take things to the extreme. Once unhealthy and overweight, celebrities diet to gain fame, forgetting their initial motivation of a healthy life.
The media has taken a new spin on “skinny”. First attacking those for being too thin, then praising those for reaching their limits beyond their body type. The magazines have chosen just one body type that they deem as healthy, ignoring the truth that people can be equally healthy at so many different weights. These so-called success stories are just another loophole for celebrities and Hollywood to continue their unhealthy weight loss, all while claiming it is healthy. And the chase to be stick thin will continue to drive the ideal body unless we accept that healthy does not equal extreme dieting or the retouched images we see on the pages of fashion magazines. A healthy weight is different for everyone, something the media seems to be ignoring.