Jelly Bean (r) and friends know they are working it.
90210 wasn’t really my jam. (Sure Luke Perry was cute and all but Jordan Catalano stole my flannel-shirt-wrapped heart on My So-Called Life. I’m a monogamous TV dater.) So Tori Spelling has never been one of those actresses I’ve had strong feelings about one way or the other. There was a brief moment when she had four kids close together while I had four kids close together that I got a little squishy feeling for her but that evaporated in a sea of tabloid covers. Yet she confessed something recently that’s been on my mind ever since:
In her latest book, Spelling It Like It Is, Tori actually admitted to lying to Us for a post-baby bikini body story to make her version of events more palatable. To lose weight after her fourth kid she said she went on the “Just Keep Your F*cking Mouth Shut and Eat Air diet.” But she knew that starvation wouldn’t make her relatable to new mothers struggling with their weight.
Dear Kirstie Alley,
I got your press release about how you’re going back to your first diet love, Jenny Craig. (I really appreciated the personal touch of including the pictures of all your diet products. Apparently JC will now be carrying your line of diet drinks in their stores so, um, way to play it from both sides?) I wish I could say that I’m happy for you but watching you publicly yo-yo your weight up and down for years is starting to make me deeply uncomfortable. Not because your weight is fluctuating – that’s a totally normal part of the human experience – but because of how uncomfortable it seems to make you.
Take this statement you made in a recent interview in People where you explained the reason for your returning to Jenny Craig, after a 7-year hiatus: “I was good for awhile and then I wasn’t good, and the weight crept up. Like I say in the ad, I’m not circus fat. I didn’t hugely screw up. I didn’t gain 75. I gained 30.”
People find inspiration in the darndest places. Like these ads to inspire more women to breastfeed… by showing men doing it. Now, I’m not knocking these brave dudes but I’m just saying that as a lady with mammaries all these ads make think are “Yeah but you can’t… so why are you confusing that baby with a hairy nipple?”
We’ve all done it. Whether it’s sneaking a peek at the treadmill readout from the person next to us and upping our speed a bit to match theirs or seeing someone deadlift three times their body weight and deciding to give the DL another try or even seeing someone proudly wearing a bright, weird outfit and using that to craft our own bright, weird outfit, taking inspiration from what other people say and do is as normal as looking in the bowl after you go to the bathroom. Sometimes we don’t want to admit we do it but nevertheless we all do.
And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking inspiration from what’s around us. But the advent of social media has changed the rules a bit – upped the stakes – when it comes to talking about what inspires us. Three recent examples have really shown how publicly thanking people for being inspiring can go horribly awry.
The Andersen Family Halloween 2013: Son #3 (L) is Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians, Son #1 (C) is an M&M (yes that’s a plastic snow sled hanging around his neck!), Son #2 (R) made his own “Stevie” costume from Minecraft (yep, he’s got a paper bag over his face but he came up with it all on his own so I give him props for creativity!) and Jelly Bean is a “pink princess fairy with pink wings pink pink piiiiiiink!” My husband is, um, a college student and I went as a girl who’s been in a deep funk and therefore hasn’t showered in three days and requires a hat to cover her greasy hair but just be glad she crawled out of bed ok?
This Halloween there’s a new monster scaring all the kids on the block: the ConcernTroll, i.e. a person who says really crappy things under the guise of “concern” for you. And this year’s concerntrolling is brought to you by a woman whom I can only hope is secretly a paid actress/instigator from Fargo, North Dakota, who has decided that instead of handing out treats to children she deems to be “moderately obese”, she’ll be sending a note home in their sad little treat-less bag. To their parents: