Now see, THIS is bad curvy. And also, who knows what asparagus is but not bananas?!
Celebrities may have million dollar mansions and designer clothes and an assistant specifically for carrying their miniature labradoodles but they pay for it in public scrutiny. Gone are the days when a star could quietly retreat to an island and emerge 6 weeks later looking so “refreshed” that their nose looked smaller. Today anyone and everyone is a target – whether it’s contempt for their cellulite, outrage over their weight gain or faux concern over their weight loss, so much is being said about celebrities (especially women) and their bodies that when I started researching this slideshow for Shape.com I ended up with a list of 57 different articles to read. Just to get caught up to a starting point!
Writing this slideshow was an interesting experience for me. Depending on the celeb, I either ended up liking them a lot less or becoming a gushing fan because of what they had to say about their bodies when answering one frequent criticism: CURVY. Just like 10 minutes ago curvy used to be a compliment. Marilyn Monroe was so curvy that she could play slip-n-slide in all the drool of the men that followed her like puppies. (Wow, that was a gross analogy! It’s late, I’m sorry.) But now curvy is an epithet. In most cases people use it as a euphemism for “fat.” I would argue that it really means “not adhering to our very narrow standard of beauty, why can’t you just skinny down like everyone else by golly!”
Despite all being criticized for being curvy, the celebs I profiled had wildly different body shapes. Jessica Biel, for example, was called curvy for being muscular. (And you really need to read her response to that – it was awesome!) While Christina Hendricks was called curvy for having the boobs and hips that have made Joan the standout star on Mad Men. (Her response made me smile and also want to hug her.) Weirdly, even Renee Zellweger made the “too curvy” list and she’s like a size triple zero! (Her response kinda made me want to slap her.) We live in a messed up world.
As I was telling my sister about it (I tell her everything – she not only knows when Jelly Bean last pooped she also usually knows when I last pooped too. Um, yeah.) and gushing about how many body-positive things these famous ladies had to say, she stopped me cold with, “And you actually believe them? Of course they pay lip service but what to they actually do? Most of them go lose a crap ton of weight anyhow.” I hadn’t thought of it that way before (I am also the girl who believed my ex-boyfriend when he swore he wasn’t dating anyone else…even after he showed up to homecoming with another girl.) but now I can’t help but wonder.
Now I have to ask you guys – do you believe what celebrities say about their bodies or do you think all that body-acceptance talk is just a PR stunt? P.S>Just to be perfectly clear, the point of this post and the slideshow is NOT to critique certain celebrity’s bodies or, heaven help me, to compare, but rather to look at the way we talk about body image and to show examples of strong women who have stood up for their healthy bodies.
Check out my full slideshow – 20 Celebrities Criticized for Their Curves – on Shape.com
Not feeling Hollywood today? Check out my post for Redbook on Things to Never Say to a Mom With a Big Family & Our Best Comebacks (people get really riled up trying to define what number = “a lot” of kids.)
Do you let your kids attend sleepovers? Check out my post for Shine!Yahoo and see what other parents decided. (My husband and I have talked about this a lot and recently decide that our house is the only one they will be destroying with toilet paper in sugar-fueled fests.)
And just in case you needed another reason to avoid fast food, check out my report on Fast Food PlayLands: Now With Less Fun and More Feces!