I always look forward to the new issue of US Weekly. Who doesn’t love unnamed sources and somewhat shady reporting sometimes? It’s the perfect balance to my other reputable magazines, such as Vanity Fair.
Anyhow, the latest US Weekly definitely caught my attention and not for the right reason. Jennifer Love Hewitt, who I loved on Party of Five, is on the cover standing like a Stepford Wife declaring that she lost 18 pounds magically in 10 weeks. Now everyone can see how thin and statuesque she is compared to her old body. The cover and story photos gloss over how amazing she looks now, perfectly styled and put together, compared to how she used to dress, which sadly is how I dress on the weekends sometimes. I guess in real life, I’m the fugly version of her too.
She says in the magazine that she did it to feel better about herself and that I believe, somewhat. Who doesn’t want to feel good about how they look? After waking up on the bathroom floor one morning after a long night out, I swore that I would change my lifestyle and since then, I have. I work out, I eat better (or honestly try to) and take care of myself. And weight loss came along with that. But I did it because when I looked in the mirror every morning, I wanted to think I was a hottie rather than be embarrassed at how I look. And if Jennifer honestly did that for the same reason, then good for her.
But there are coincidences in timing here that I can’t help but trip on. The unflattering Hawaii photos in December, her declaration to People magazine to “stop calling me fat!” and her scrutiny back of the media for their focus on self-image, yet now, a few months later she’s back in the news for this brand-new body that seems to exemplify everything she told them media to f*ck off on before.
The magazine doesn’t say what size she’s at now, but I can’t help but feel that it perpetuates the stereotype that women who wear a larger size, such as a size 12 or above are always the “before” picture in these magazines. Kirsten Johnston from Music and Lyrics and 3rd Rock from the Sun was a size 12 at her “heaviest” and because of a medical condition lost 60 pounds. To be fair, this is a different situation but the way she talked about being a size 12/14 is what upsets me. Saying that was her size at her “lowest point” where she ate whatever she wanted and drank beer all the time doesn’t show that a size 12 can still be a healthy size, even if some people have gotten there using unhealthy methods.
I proudly declare that I wear a size 12 and I’m not unhealthy or at my “lowest” point in health. The only way I can get any lower than a size 10 would be if you cracked off part of my hip bones because I got the “hips” in the family. I am petite, curvy and “full-figured” but I am not ashamed of the size I wear, nor do I feel the need to torture and deny myself everything so I can crash diet another 18 pounds off my frame. If I feel like my overall package is healthy and fit, who the hell cares if I wear a size 12 or 6? I could actually be healthier than some of the size 6 women running around.
So when I see women who declare they wore a size 12/14 “before” they lost all this weight, it says to me that because I’m stranded on “size 12 island” that I will never achieve the Hollywood glamour that they have with the help of starving themselves and exercising 14 hours a day. Who has time for that? I want to eat!
Now this is only my opinion and I could be very wrong in my assumptions, but it’s always disappointing to me to see a woman as self-confident and secure as Jennifer cave to what the media says is healthy and beautiful. I’m not embarrassed by how I look so now it’s time to grab a drink and settle back on “size 12 island,” and watch the sun set, and clap.