An interesting forward made its way to the top of my virtual slosh pile – i.e. the emails marked non-urgent that tend to accumulate alarmingly fast these days. While I have a secret fascination with some celebrities, I have long ago taken a step back from tabloids and gossip columns, choosing to spend more time doing other things (like, oh, I don’t know, blogging, perhaps?). So when I received this particular email bearing a subject including the words “Jessica Simpson”, I was sorely tempted to delete it – except that my friend, knowing me quite well, had added “Sahar, read this!” to the subject line.
So I did, and boy do I not regret it.
So Jessica Simpson recently performed at a concert in Florida where her performance was overshadowed by her ‘spectacular’ weight gain . I was at first mildly annoyed at my friend for having tricked me into reading what seemed to be a mean-spirited tabloid story when I noticed that this fact was reported by several news agencies, including Fox News. Naively enough, I figured it meant that the weight gain was very real, and felt shocked by the fact that Jessica Simpson was now fat. On a side note, I was expecting her to have put on at least 100 pounds since the last time I saw a picture of her. I clicked on the link, expecting a spectacularly ‘fluffy’ woman… and got linked to pictures that, although not as flattering as her pictures usually tend to be, portrayed a beautiful young lady who is curvy in all the right places. In short, Jessica Simpson looks the way all women should look like, neither skeletal thin, nor overweight, but just right.
That’s when I understood why my friend knew I would love this story.
I don’t think I will ever get over the fact that the current definition of beauty is so unattainable for both men and women (but I’ll stick to women in this post). Even more ironic is that it is almost impossible to ‘naturally’ achieve the current definition of beauty, which is being thin while sporting a bull bosom and full buttocks. It’s almost as if people took Aqua’s ‘Barbie-girl’ song a little too at heart.
An unfortunate consequence of living in Barbie-world is that everyone gets infected. Even the most rational women I know become crazed when it comes to their weight. A close friend of mine, who fits in small tops and size 5 pants, is convinced she’s going to become diabetic because of the ‘extra weight’ she carries; my cousin, who looks absolutely fabulous in her medium tops and size 6 pants, is addicted to working out. Another friend often calls me for what she calls her reality-checks; she reads tabloids and fashion magazines and becomes very uncomfortable with her extra-small size top and size 3 bottom. She knows she’s too thin, but she has to consciously battle with the side of her that, exposed to today’s definition of beauty, wants her to lose even more weight.
God only knows why she keeps reading those things, but that’s a topic for another post.
The fact remains that many women need to consciously remind themselves that today’s definition of beauty is unrealistic and that they are the beautiful ones, not the women who are starving themselves into oblivion. Imagine if all this energy, wasted on something so ridiculous, could be channeled into other things, such as community service… Perhaps Barack Obama should invest in changing ‘beauty policies in the United States; then he’d get a lot more energy to support his ‘Be the Change’ campaign. And Tyra Banks could be the Secretary of Beauty.
Perhaps I should email Barack Obama…
The cutest thing about the Jessica Simpson being ‘fat’ fiasco is her sister’s reaction – hence the title of this post. On her official website, Ashlee blasts the reports:
Since when did a woman’s weight become newsworthy…
By Ashlee Simpson
I am completely disgusted by the headlines concerning my sister’s weight. A week after the inauguration and with such a feeling of hope in the air for our country, I find it completely embarrassing and belittling to all women to read about a woman’s weight or figure as a headline on Fox News.
All women come in different shapes, sizes, and forms and just because you’re a celebrity, there shouldn’t be a different standard.
Is this something you would say to your wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, or even a friend?
I seriously doubt it.
How can we expect teenage girls to love and respect themselves in an environment where we criticize a size 2 figure?
Now can we focus on the things that really matter.
You go girl. Hopefully more people will ‘Be the Change’ and take a stance on fake beauty to bring the focus back to a more realistic and diversified definition of beauty (do I sound like Tyra or what). Until then, I would like to see Jessica Simpson, current figure and all, in a better outfit. I’m willing to bet that, were she wearing something flattering, she would look as fabulous as she always has – if she chucks that outfit straight out of the window.
And now to get that dratted Aqua song out of my head…