I am a fan of the website Hello Giggles, which was cofounded by Zooey Deschanel. However, I was disappointed when I read a recent post, titled “10 Female Celebrities Who Have Amazing Views on Body Image.” Why was I disappointed, you ask? It has nothing to do with the people they featured in the story. Y’all know I have a lot of love for Jennifer Lawrence, and Kristen Bell, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and all the others are high on my list of Celebrities I’d Like to Be Best Friends With.[i] That’s not the issue that I found with the piece.
Here’s what bothered me: Why should we care what female celebrities have to say about body image?
I’ve mentioned this before, in my post about changing how we see the word diet,[ii] but celebrities should not be your authority on how you see yourself and your body. They are paid to look good, and they have all the time in the world to whip themselves into shape. So, all these wonderful women in the article are saying is that they are normal people. Which is… awesome, I suppose?
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate hearing Jennifer Lawrence say that she doesn’t want to be a stick when she is playing Katniss because she doesn’t want little girls to skip meals to look like her. And I love that Kristen Bell said that getting back to her pre-baby weight wasn’t her top priority. But… I can’t help but think that girls and women are putting too much stock into what these women are saying. Yes, they’re famous. Yes, they’re role models, and more power to them. But… There’s always a but.
I think my argument here is two-fold.
First, I don’t think that you should want to be anyone other than yourself. I’m just as guilty of saying it as anyone else – I want to be this person or that person. But really, what I mean by that is that I want to know this person and that person. I want to be her friend. I wish I could have conversations with her. That kind of thing. I want to be me. I want to feel good, and I want to be healthy, but I don’t take body image advice from celebrities, especially when they are ridiculed constantly and are forced to make statements like the ones quoted in this Hello Giggles post. It would be like taking marriage advice from Kim Kardashian – at this point, she’s just trying to prove that she doesn’t suck at it.
Second, back to what I just said – why are these women forced to talk about their bodies anyway? Are male celebrities asked how they keep their figure? Are they asked what workouts they do to ensure their six-packs? Are they ever forced to starve themselves to fit into skin-tight ensembles for red carpet appearances? I’m going with no, no, and no. Which really begs this question: Is the world ever going to be equal between the genders?
Listen, I’m glad that these celebrity women said these things, and that girls and other women look up to them for it. I’m just saying the whole thing is twisted. They should be asked the questions that require those responses. And we shouldn’t care regardless.
[i] I’m thinking I should create an actual list. That could be fun.
[ii] Speaking of which! I am in the running to present at the BlogFest Lightning Round in California in August! You can vote for me (I’m #5 – Let’s Change How We See the Word “Diet”) here: http://www.fitapproach.com/blogfest-lightning-round-voting/ Please vote! I’d love to use blogging as a platform to make the rest of my goals become reality!