A couple of weeks ago, or was it just last week, online media (followed by gossip rags and entertainment shows) had a conniption over Jessica Simpson’s alleged weight gain.
The girl probably put on a few pounds over the holidays, and now she just has to get back to her gym routine. So what? She’s still thin, just not wearing the right outfit for a curvy girl. Is that any reason to turn this into headline news? Or rather, is this really news? I actually felt sorry for the poor girl. I usually don’t feel any sympathy for celebrities, but here I did. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have my weight scrutinized to that level, and to have it splashed all over the Internet and magazine pages. Worse still: over 10 pounds. Actually, I do understand what it feels like, but at least my humiliation was private.
And here’s the thing about our celebrity-related obsession with weight: the reporters feeding it are completely inconsistent. Remember when Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton had a reality show, The Single Life? The media ruthlessly picked on Nicole for being a little chubby, especially next to stick-thin Paris. Then when she lost weight, it was apparently too much. Take out Nicole Richie and insert another celebrity’s name in her place. Let’s try Lindsay Lohan or Ellen DeGeneres. Same deal.
I don’t know to what extent media coverage of celebrities’ weight gain (or loss) affects us mere mortals, but you have to wonder how we subconsciously react to constant dissatisfaction. As for celebrities, it seems to affect them the most. After hounding them for being too fat (at a frumpy 140 pounds), the same reporters wonder why they become anorexic. It’s unfortunate, really. Celebrities (with the exception of Gene Simmons) are human too. It must be difficult to have to atone for your eating sins all the time.