Traversing the Midlife Minefield

Midlife mind on the page…

Queen-size no more? February 7, 2008

Filed under: essay,health,Uncategorized — amazonratz @ 3:36 pm
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I saw a commercial last night for Jenny Craig with Queen Latifah as their newest spokesmodel. I felt sad because she has always been completely HOT, unapologetic about her size, and a great role model for women.

Whether she has health issues, or just wants to be a different size, it is her absolute right to lose weight. I am bothered by the mixed-message aspect, though (multiple size-positive “I’m happy with my weight” articles coupled with the sudden announcement, “I’m a diet spokeperson”). I know this is probably not fair to her, but I felt she was one of the most visible holders of the “famous, full-figured, and f**k you!” banner. I would just really, really like to see a couple famous people stay happy and above a size 12–you know, to represent “the rest of us.” Selfish, maybe, but let’s face it: I get more of a kick out of adoring someone who looks like me. Adoring someone that I could never in a million years resemble smacks slightly of self-loathing.

I also wonder if Jenny Craig put the full-court press on her, or if she was even considering weight loss ’til they came knocking…after all, it behooves the diet industry to eradicate any and all women who are considered beautiful and who are comfortable with themselves and are above a size 14-16. The dearth of real-sized women keeps the rest of us anxious and eager to spend money to achieve thinness. As a health care provider, I am aware of the problems obesity can cause, but I am also acutely aware of the body image issues that plague most women in our society, both women who are large and women who are not obese by any measure. These very issues are exploited by advertisers to drive a multi- billion-dollar diet and fashion industry. So while I love Queen Latifah and feel she has a perfect right to her actions, I’m sad to know we’ll be seeing “less of her.”