When an overweight person rises to notoriety, a flood of offers from weight loss companies to help them shed the pounds often follows.
Afterall, celebrities are goldmines for weight loss companies, and what better time to capitalize on the sudden fame of Precious star Gabourey Sidibe.
The first (or at least the most publicized) of the circling vultures is acaisupply.com, who claimed in a letter that they were worried about her health, and that she ought to consider weight loss for that reason alone, not her image.
Nothing wrong with that, except they go on to say:
The only way you can reach your goal of someday winning that Oscar is by being active, fit and most of all, healthy! (popeater.com )
So many directions to go with this one, so little time. I will attempt point-form, and let the readership discuss these issues. Here are my opinions on Acaisupply.com's letter, Gabourey Sidibe's weight, and the blurry line between health and body image issues.
On Acaisupply.com's Proposal
- The Acaisupply.com people should have quit while they were ahead. Their public relations person should be fired.
- Getting Sidibe to pop pills for a year won't do jack squat in helping her shed pounds.
- Acai-related products are of the most overhyped on the planet.
On Gabourey Sidibe's Weight
- She probably should have won the Oscar for best actress. She didn't NOT win because of her weight, however.
- The sad reality is that she probably will have a difficult time getting follow-up work because of her weight. At least in a leading role.
On the Line Between Health and Body Image
We should be celebrating Sidibe's talent, not her size. Her weight does not take away from her acting ability. That said, Sidibe reportedly weighs in excess of 350lbs, and at that weight, she is not likely to be very healthy. While she may be a role-model for body image and size acceptance, this isn't something anyone should be happy with or proud of.
Let me explain: you CAN, and SHOULD be happy and accepting of who you are as a person - at any size - but you don't have to, nor should you accept being obese to the point of being unhealthy.
While I am tired of waif-thin being the Hollywood standard, I am also frustrated by the other end of the spectrum. I'm almost as uncomfortable with pressure to stay obese in the name of size acceptance as I am with pressure to be thin.
As for Gabourey Sidibe, I believe her best opportunity as a role model lies in making a choice to live a healthier lifestyle. The weight loss chips will fall were they may, but 1-2 years from now, what an amazing testament she could be to young women.
Imagine a message that says, No, I'm not a size 2, and I'm more than okay with that... the way I used to be wasn't very healthy either though, and I decided to do something about it. I believe you can too.