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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?

Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I think it's sad that we look towards celebrities losing/gaining weight as entertainment. For crying out loud, it's a SERIOUS problem for these women...I know I'd be really pissed if some photographer wanted to take pictures of me telling the world I gained weight. I think the whole obsession with it started with magazines like Enquirer making fun of Oprah and Roseanne for being fat. Then when Oprah lost all that weight, they started following all kinds of other female celebs that lost/gained weight. On one hand, sometimes it can inspire people to lose weight on their own: "Oh, if Oprah can do it, so can I!", but when the celebs gain the weight back, it's probably extremely discouraging.
Edie-J-Blige Edie-J-Blige 8 years
i agree with everyone who said she is just trying to get attention. It's just really sad that she is pretty much inviting ridicule just to be noticed. I mean, who puts 6 tablespoons of butter on anything?! She might get attention in the short run, but eventually she will just feel terrible when people react negatively towards her. I personally think 128 lbs is a really bad goal to set for herself. I am almost 10 pounds heavier than that and I must be about 6 inches shorter, but I'm in good shape and mostly muscle. Everyone's body is so different, and it looks like she is a tall woman with a large stature. I don't see why she can't just shoot for 180 and lose the weight slowing and making small changes like walking more and putting on 3 tablespoons of butter instead of 6.
cloroxcowgirl cloroxcowgirl 8 years
I see this as somewhat of a publicity stunt for Kirstie because her career has gone down hill over the last few years (did you see her show "Fat Actress"? It was all about exploit her weight, it was just sad.) Not that Kirstie doesn't have a serious problem, but I think she is using it to her advantage at every angle by putting herself out there for people to ridicule her. She is well off enough that she should be able to hire a personal trainer and chef or dietician to get her back in shape. The fact that she keeps going back to this weight with all of the advantages she has over normal people makes me feel a lot less sorry for her. As a side note, I think she still looks beautiful and should not be ashamed of her appearence.
Bksuga Bksuga 8 years
Yeah, i am sick of reading about it also. its not like she inspires me to lose weight, none of thoses jenny craig commericals do. now big fat loser thats inspiring!!
Silje Silje 8 years
Totally agree with oohsexypenguin.
danni2009 danni2009 8 years
How on earth did she gain 89lbs and not think somewhere along the way 'Hmm I'm gaining weight, I better be careful...'
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
I can't stand this trend. When will Hollywood get over this weight crap? Did people see Jean Harlow and Myra Loy on the cover of magazines saying "she's lost 14 lbs in 6 weeks!" etc? It's sad how low Hollywood has stooped. I think Oprah is a big reason for all this focus on women's weight. Thanks alot, Oprah.
GeriAnne1932 GeriAnne1932 8 years
The saddest thing is listening to Kristie talk, she is totally messed up in the head about her body, her weight, and her life. She needs to leave Hollywood, work on relationships, and her health will hopefully improve. She has unrealistic expectations of herself and publicizing them is some weird form of attention seeking self sabotage. She's just like Winona Ryder in that respect....
jdmxrain jdmxrain 8 years
Valerie looks awesome. She's around 49 and she looks amazing. I don't care about Oprah and Kirstie.
janneth janneth 8 years
Oprah does a real disservice to women. It's just constant with her. I must say that Bertinelli looks absolutely fabulous, like she is 20 years old. And that commercial is on tv nonstop. But then look at Alley putting it all back on. Weight issues=it's a national tragedy for women's self esteem.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 8 years
How do you eat yourself to 83 pounds? That's a lot of time on your hands, in my opinion.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I'm mostly just bored with them. I don't care enough to, well, care anymore. And I swear, hearing about Oprah's latest weight gain/loss makes me stabby.
greenapples1987 greenapples1987 8 years
personally, i'm sick of hearing about diets and famous ppl and thier weight loss. i don't have a weight problem but i know ppl who do and i'm srue it's the last thing they want to see and hear all over the place..about how fat they are and that they need to lose weight and how all these famouse ppl are doing it. for christ sake, i have not saw kirsty do anything in forever besides this weight loss gig..she has nothing else to do but diet for jenny craig!! and when she gets bored with that she just eats (83 lbs..she was really bored). people in the rea world, WITH JOBS don't have time to do this!! i think weight loss should be between ppl and thier docotrs..these are the two ppl that know most about that individual.
a-million-suns a-million-suns 8 years
Diets are just bad news. I think something like weight watchers is really the only way to go.
oohsexypenguin oohsexypenguin 8 years
I hate the media focus on women's weight in general. Why is it always women who are the spokespeople for diets? Why is it women who are always encouraged to lose the extra pounds? How is this supposed to be inspiring? I would bet that most women feel worse about their bodies instead. It's time for the media to stop focusing on women and start promoting a healthier lifestyle for BOTH genders.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 8 years
I am so tired of hearing about this. I am tired of seeing all the commercials for jenny craig, nutri system, and all those other ones. It does not motivate me.
hermajesty05 hermajesty05 8 years
Did you know that the cycle of gaining and losing weight over and over is extremely bad for the heart? So bad that it can cause heart disease? And then the doctors who put these people on the diet and start the cycle, blame the heart disease on their weight?
kty kty 8 years
i'm as tired as you are tres about this...i'm even shocked that they always get interviewed about it.they don't inspired me to work out at all,other working actresses do.
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