Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Rant

I have been flicking through some gossip magazines today and felt the urge to rant about how they portray celebrities weight. I know that of course this is a much discussed topic, but in particular, I am referring to the way that these magazines think that they know celebrities 'real' weights. Often, particularly at the moment because its summer, they line photos of celebrities up (preferably bikini clad) and state their height and weight. Honestly, where do they get these figures from? They then decide if they are underweight or overweight- what is that about? I truly think that some of the calculations are absurd, but what makes these claims dangerous is that it is far to easy to take their claims at face value and in turn not only make comparisons between the celebrities, but to compare yourself to such images. There is nothing to gain from these speculations, yet it seems to merit front page news and people seem to buy it.

The 'size zero' debate is still constantly discussed, but little has been done to rectify it, instead the media is just making the situation worse. There seems to be no middle ground, celebrities are either seriously and worryingly labelled thin or criticised for being overweight, even if they are not, they are rarely just accepted for them and their successes - even when a celebrity who is relatively free from such criticism is for example caught at a bad angle, or appears to have cellulite and so on it is highlighted all over the press.  I have rarely seen a gossip magazine celebrating someones body or crediting them, and when they do it is short lived, instead they are subject to harsh criticism. It also really frustrates me when, for example, a headline might read 'Beyonce eats pizza' - firstly why does this kind of remark get so much column space, and moreover who cares if a celebrity eats pizza - they are human! Of course health is a whole different ball game, but no wonder these kind of headlines cause great issues.

I think what I am trying to say is that in light of literally every body shape being criticised, no wonder there is a severe problem with self-perception and body image at present. The pressure is inescapable. For me, I avoid these tabloids at all costs, but when I do occasionally flick through them it fills me with such frustration to have to vent like this. It's sad that they can have such an effect over people, and actually it is incredibly boring and soul sucking material, but yet people continue to get reeled in. Because of this, not only does it cause body complexes, it promotes bitchiness and over-analytical tendencies not only of oneself but of others too, it is shamefully unhealthy. Unfortunately, I can't see this ending any time soon, so in the meantime the best thing to do is to ignore it and not to take it seriously.
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41 comments

  1. i completely agree, one week someone is too thin and literally a month later they are plastered all over the pages for being a fatty. Anyway the actual weight someone is on the scales says nothing about how they carry that weight, whter it is muscles and how it sits on them, alas it will never change :(

    www.missmathful.blogspot.com

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  2. totaly agree with you. btw the same situtation is with photoshop and model´s faces in magazines. Girls don´t know what is normaly looking skin, hair etc. it is very dangerous for the psyche of people, the illusion, on the other hand, the fashion and cosmetic industry are mostly illusion:)send Hi! from Slovakia :))

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  3. Very good post, I hope many young girls read it and stop comparing themselves with photoshopped images of non-existing perfection. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  4. I also agree and, as we say in Spain, ole! for your manifesto. We are constantly bombarded with pictures, opinions and judging sights which are of no help at all for us to feel good in our skin.

    In Granada, a Spanish city, there is a graffiti by a local street artist which states 'Beauty is in your head'. That's absolutely true since, beyond weight, height, hair or makeup, self-confidence is the most powerful tool.

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  5. Couldn't agree more! People can't win, they're either too skinny or too fat or heaven forbid if a celebrity is slightly bloated, it's suddently a clear cut sign that she is pregnant! I don't see why we can't just stop all the women bashing and just embrace each other, whatever shape/size we are.

    It's sad and just fosters insecurities which just isn't on.

    Steph x

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  6. Couldn't agree more. Celebs are either too fat or too thin or heaven forbid if they are slightly bloated because then the pregnancy rumour windmill starts turning. Don't see why we can't stop with the women bashing and just embrace each other in all our glorious shapes and sizes. All this speculation just fosters insecurities.

    Steph x

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  7. What a great post! If everyone stopped buying these trashy, bitchy magazines they would go out of print - I live in hope x

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  8. This is why I stick to magazines that don't talk about weight and diets! U magazine (Ireland) and Brigette (germany, doesn't even use models) are good for this. Don't know of any UK magazines that are similar though

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  9. Thank you for posting this. I agree completely. I am 10 months postnatal and despite having lost the baby weight the tabloids make me feel utterly crap about myself. It seems that anything over a size 8-10 is 'fat' these days and we are all under such stupid pressure to be slim. It really gets to me and I have totally given up reading magazines because of it. I can't imagine how many young girls are ill with anorexia/ bulimia these days because of this awful culture we live in.

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  10. Great post :). In addition to wrongly classifying someone as too this or that, there's the ABUNDANCE of airbrushing that many of these magazine readers forget goes on! If a waist can be trimmed here, or a thigh there, then often it will be...models DO NOT look that good in real life!

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  11. Thank you for this great post! I am so tired of hearing about it as well. You cannot tell a person's weight by looking at them! These people need to sell magazines and they use the lowest common denominator to do it. Sad but true.

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  12. i agree with you there... there is no possible way a person can tell someone's weight by just looking at them. for example, i apparently look less than i weigh and people are pretty shocked when i state my weight. similarly, a friend of mine looks quite healthy but she wears size 0 pants.

    how does a magazine publication know how healthy a person is? do they know what they eat? do they follow a celebrity around and mark down every single calorie they ingest? i mean, how hard is it to understand that every single person is different?

    like you said, i don't think things will ever change unless every single woman personally takes it upon themselves to not allow these images to dictate how they feel or how they see themselves. i think it's up to us to make that change because magazines will only feed the masses what they want to consume...

    - dani

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  13. I completely agree with your "rant" and think ignoring it is the best advice. Unfortunately it's hard to do when we live in a world that constantly surrounds those ideas and idolizes those standards. I hope that one day we can appreciate health for what it really means - not for what is written and blown up all over the magazines.

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  14. I completely agree. Tabloids have gotten way out of hand with the scrutiny of body weight. I don't understand how people can feel comfortable with themselves when all they do for a living is tell people that they're too fat, too skinny, too ugly, etc. It makes me sick.

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  15. Totally agree! My niece when she was 6 or 7 asked me if I thought she was thin - I was totally shocked. The only answer is to stop buying this trash, especially if there are kids in the house. They are like little sponges and listen to everything. We as women have a tendency to slag ourselves off, I've got a fat arse, look at my arms etc etc - but little ears are listening and learning the script and the cycle goes on. Eat healthy, exercise and be happy and don't fixate on others... they probably hate their own figure anyway because of the twisted way our minds work. We have to break this cycle!

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  16. It's just sick how much attention celebrities weight get. I couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for writing this post!

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  17. I could not imagine being a celebrity and in the public eye (or even a youtube guru!). I give those people real credit for being comfortable enough to go out in a bikini, knowing they will get photographed and judged by the tabloids. It would make me want to hide from the world! How terrible is that?!

    I could go on and on about this issue. I completely agree with everything you said! It really is appalling.

    xx
    Bethany

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  18. I totaly agree. Why get caught up in a celebrity eating pizza or not. I mean it is completely pointless, and it's sad when the media will run to bother people that it is too thin or thick.

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  19. It really is sad that they focus on these things. It upset me when they trashed Katie Holmes for going out in public 3 weeks after having Suri. They seriously said that she should have stayed home until he weight was off! What is that! Having a baby is a natural process as is losing the weight and women should not be judged for that. The pressures put on women is ridiculous.

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  20. I agree - this is the worst type of human behaviour - mean spirited, nasty and small minded.

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  21. You couldn't have said it any better. I am a 1st grade teacher, and I have some girl students who refuse to eat lunch because they have been told they're "chubby" or "fat". At this age, they already perceive that they are ugly and are being criticized at age 6! It is truly absurd, and you are right, it isn't ending any time soon...but constantly reinforce my girls that being healthy is not the same as being "skinny". They have to feel comfortable and confident with the body they're in.

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  22. I remember getting one magazine once and they had a girl who bless her was clearly obese and they called her curvy........that is not curvy thats unhealthy just as much as being too thin is unhealthy, that said there are some girls out there who are just built naturally skinny or naturally big boned so they might be a size 0 or a size 16 but be completely in proportion. I think celebrities and the news papers need to get real, half of celebs lie about what they way and news papers just spin shit!! As long as you are a healthy weight for your height and more importantly you are happy then every one can just fuck off! We need to remember we are all different, we dnt need to conform to the idea of perfection portrayed by the media xx

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  23. I couldn’t agree more. However, what people need to realise (especially the press itself) is that when they plaster all over their covers about a celebrity being ‘shockingly thin’ (side-note- seriously, it’s their favourite headline, I thought they were supposed to be ‘writers’?), and attempt to sell themselves as, almost concerning and wholesome, regarding weight issues, they are still creating problems.
    I have unfortunately suffered from an Eating Disorder for Five years now, and have been in and out of various attempts at recovering, I am now Seventeen years old and I can honestly say that Supermodels, fashion magazines or gossip magazines influenced my developing an ED, but I will say this: when you do have an Eating Disorder, and in every shop you go into you have a literal wall with magazines screaming at you “Skinny; Fat; Weight”, no matter what the headline, it makes it so hard. You are constantly reminded, even in those rare moments where you can finally have a relief from the constant battle of thought of food and weight, that you have an Eating Disorder, and that triggers the dangerous thought stream again and again.
    I can tell you all right now that Size 0 hasn’t contributed to my eating problems, but the Size 0 debate has made the already incredibly difficult even exhausting.

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  24. I'm obsessed with my weight. I recently went on holiday and compared myself to every single woman I saw. I'm just as bad with magazines. I know it's unhealthy and it drives my boyfriend crazy. I wish I could be happy with who I am but I just can't and the society we live in makes it easier for me to justify my obsessive behaviour.

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  25. So true! Thanks so much for writing this!

    Not so long ago we were talking with 2 colleagues and we realized that, although we have very different bodies, the 3 of us are the same (healthy) weight. And interestingly, the shortest of all 3 looks the slimmest. There's no way these magazines could guesstimate celebrities weigh correctly.
    Comparing clothing sizes and even weight is pointless, and doesn't mean anything in terms of health and of feeling good in your body, I hate how those magazines use our insecurities to sell (like some cosmetics companies do, by the way), I don't read them either.

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  26. so true! weight is the number one thing on magazines, if it's not that it's the celeb's heart ache!

    They love point out the flaws!
    (when everyone has them)

    It's kinda like school, a childish way of being mean.

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  27. Just to perk you up, check out June 2011 Italian Vogue. Here is a link to an image form bing: http://jessicamichault.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/VOGUE-ITALIA-Giugno-2011-cover-791x1024.jpg

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  28. I agree. Its awful what the tabloids do. I feel sorry for Kate Middleton at the moment. All the NZ women's mags are saying shes too thin. Everyweek there's some mag commenting on her and yet when you look at the pictures they've been Photoshopped to the max and it's so obviously done too. It makes me not want to buy them because it proves how fabricated everything is in there-pictures and stories.

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  29. I just have to say thank you so much! This post came at the most perfect time. I have been so stressed out with my weight lately and I have even been successful at losing almost 30 pounds. I think this is perfect. I also want to add that sometimes we don't know why people have gained weight, it could be depression, diabetes, or what I was diagnosed with, PCOS. I think everyone is a little too judgmental without knowing the whole story. I really appreciate your post has helped me SO MUCH!

    Elena

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  30. Ladies, I think there is a slight chance for normality: I was reading in the Guardian that some ads for cosmetics were banned precisely for showing "overly perfected and unrealistic images". Yey!

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  31. I 100% agree with you.
    Kiss.

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  32. Uh! AMEN SISTER!!!!!!! I work as a makeup artist in chicago and all brides are so hard on themselves! I could be Kevyn Aucoin risen from the grave and do their makeup, they still don't think they look beautiful. It's frustrating.

    I have worked with celebrities and models for 20 years and we are living in a time that it's worse than ever. It makes me very sad! Thanks for Ranting. I hope more folks read this. xoxox from Chicago.

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  33. Amen! My friend and I were talking about this about a month ago and we were just saying how crazy the media is if a celebrity gains a little weight and then they get on their backs as soon as they lose the weight! Absolutely crazy!!!


    artofbeingcool.blogspot.com
    would love if you visited ;)

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  34. I agree too... I also feel like the female celebs get the brunt of it, I am sure a male celeb wouldnt get a thing said about him for eating pizza hes a guy its ok !!!

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  35. great rant!

    thought you might like this if you haven't seen it already:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/29/loreal-adverts-pulled-by-asa-beauty-tanya-gold

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  36. Our society seems to be obsessed with how we look. What about how we feel being inside our bodies? In the past I have been underweight (stressed) and I have been overweight (stressed). These days I feel comfortable in my body. I feel flexible, strong, healthy and happy. It isn't about a dress size or a number. Thank you beloved Pixiwoos for speaking up about this from within the beauty industry.

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  37. Lol someone wrote that if no-one read the magazines then they would go out of print. I work in the printing industry and this would be me out of a job as well as millions of others! Fortunately though, I have no say on what is printed just how.

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  38. To Anonymous Girl:
    Try a size 6 and up being overweight...I was reading on magazine and they claimed Kate Middleton was a size 2, a healthy weight for her height, which is far taller than I am. I'm 5'4" and a size 5-6 (depending on brand) and yet I still feel like I could be skinnier, that being a size 6 for my height is fat.

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