about the way our society obsesses about weight, and about women who maintain their unnatural thinness via Red Bull and cigarettes.
Hollywood has always gone to extremes when it comes to appearances. This is nothing new. Judy Garland was labeled fat as a teen star and provided with amphetamines so she could lose weight – according to her biographer.
When Jennifer Aniston showed up at some function last year with a little pooch, the ubiquitous rumors flew about a pregnancy. Nope. She’d been trying to quit smoking and put on a few pounds – according to her publicist. And here all this time, I thought she kept her weight down with rigorous workouts. No, apparently like almost everyone else in Hollywood, she keeps her appetite in check with nicotine in addition to her workouts.
You see, I get my fill of celebrity gossip whenever I get my hair cut. I can read a People Magazine in five minutes flat, cover to cover. Us in maybe three or four. What is it Jeff Goldblum said in The Big Chill? I don’t write anything longer than the average person can read during the average dump.
All right, so I’m reading about Demi Moore, who made the mistake of marrying a young man with the approximate emotional maturity of the average fifteen year old boy instead of just having a fling with him, and I read how she’s been living on cigarettes and Red Bull for months – oh yeah, and some prescription medication for ADD (for kids) which is now the appetite suppressant of choice for those in the know. For fuck’s sake, the woman looks like a corpse. According to the paramedics, when they arrived at her compound after a 911 call, they thought they were dealing with a terminal cancer patient.
Eating disorders aren’t news – they’ve been accurately identified by the medical establishment for at least two generations. Don’t tell me Moore’s friends and family members failed to notice that she’s trying to starve herself to death. This photo makes me sick to my stomach, and not just because I’m a fan of the woman Moore used to be, but because I know women who do the same thing.
Honey, I have been down this road myself. I was a suffer-er-er. I know how it is. I know how it feels to weigh 86 pounds yet walk past a mirror and see a hippo looking back at you. That’s how distorted your body image becomes when you suffer from an eating disorder.
But I worry about the influence the cult of celebrity has on our daughters. These unrealistic expectations shape our collective gender self-image. Yes, I’m quite aware of the obesity crisis – I’m a nurse – I deal with the consequences of obesity on a daily basis. I can’t even begin to tell you how dangerous both of these extremes are.
Nothing personal, no insult intended, but sorry, I ain’t buyin’ it.
Believe me, this is not schadenfreude. This is fear about how insecure we have become about our bodies. Either we’re slurping up those Big Gulps and giving ourselves diabetes or we’re starving ourselves into oblivion. Get a grip, ladies. Real women eat real food.