When celebrities… or even regular, every day people… lose weight, it becomes a news-worthy event. Media outlets rush to get the “secrets” and “tips” and gush over how so-and-so looks “amazing” and is “an inspiration” after dropping X amount of pounds.
What’s ironic is how those same media outlets will post body positive stories about people loving and defending their bodies exactly as they are. Also, they don’t mention that 95% of those who lose weight fail to maintain it. It’s not news when the weight invariably comes back (unless you count the tabloids).
2 years ago, I wrote about Adam Richman’s horrible, fat-phobic comments and suggestions that certain people commit suicide. This came on the heels of his losing approximately 70 pounds and getting lots of attention because of it.
This morning, while working from home, I turned the TV to “Live with Kelly”. There was Adam, in a repeat episode from last month, cooking up beer-braised bratwurst with coleslaw. I wasn’t surprised to see that he gained a bit of the weight back.
I did become curious and searched online to see if there were any mentions about it especially after all the brouhaha over his weight loss, including a nude UK Cosmo cover. There were several articles about the upcoming season of Adam’s show, formerly named “Man Finds Food”, which was postponed 2 years ago due to his vulgar comments and is now called “Secret Eats”. However, not one word about the weight gain.
I’ve been vocal about intentional weight loss being something I won’t choose for myself. However, it’s also not something I begrudge anyone else unless they become an ass about it like Adam. Or say it’s “for my health” because weight loss doesn’t guarantee better health (not to mention that I’ve yet to see such stories boast about improved blood pressure, cholesterol or glucose readings). Or belittle the people who looked like they did. Or shill diets/weight loss products.
Then there are those who encourage others to do the same because “if I can do it, so can you.” The only thing that’s proven by someone losing weight is that THEY can do it. If someone follows their lead and doesn’t have the same result, who do you think they’re going to blame… the celebrity or person they admire, the diet, the weight loss products? No, they’re going to deem themselves failures which is how the weight loss industry becomes a 6 billion dollar business.
Do a search for “diet and weight loss news” and there are sections on major network news sites devoted to it. WHY?!! Why is weight loss news at all? Why is it inspirational to eat less than one’s body requires… via diet, surgery, meal replacement shakes, etc… so it consumes itself in order to become smaller?
Wouldn’t it be great if we can accept and respect that bodies come in all shapes and sizes instead of idolizing smaller bodies as the ideal? Wouldn’t it be great if one’s appearance (or changes to them) weren’t as news worthy as other accomplishments? That’s what I continue to hope and fight for.