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Bad For Women? Celebrity Weight Loss as Entertainment

In the latest issue of People, Kirstie Alley discusses her 83-pound weight gain in the aftermath of being a Jenny Craig spokesperson. Maybe she felt upstaged by Valerie Bertinelli, or maybe the only way she can lose weight is to do it in the public eye. (FitSugar has the details on her diet.)

Who knows, but I had to stop and ask myself, when is this going to end? I'm totally bored of hearing about these former actresses' diets! If you're interested in a brief history of this trend, then


In an informal office poll, I asked my co-workers if they could pinpoint the moment this trend started. A few mentioned Oprah and her constant discussion of weight, but for me, the moment that stood out was when daughter of Brian Wilson and former Wilson Phillips singer Carnie Wilson televised her gastric bypass surgery live in 1999. (All I can remember, since it was endlessly repeated and discussed, is that her stomach had been reduced to the size of a can).

Carnie taught us that you could milk this subject for publicity endlessly. After all, as quickly as you lose the weight, you can gain it back. This means more interviews, another round of diets; you could stay in the public eye forever in a binge-purge cycle of attention-getting.

So what do you all think? Do their stories of weight loss inspire other women, or encourage them to yo-yo diet and obsess over dieting rather than simply eating well and exercising? Is celebrity weight loss as entertainment bad for women?

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