Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Celebrity weight watchers

I won't be the first person to rant about the intense media attention we pay to celebrities' weights, and I won't be the last. But this little video really bugged me almost as much as the scene in the Sex and the City movie where Samantha (Kim Cattrall) has gained 10 pounds, and the rest of the characters act like she should put on a burqa and have her jaws wired shut.

In this case, the video suggests that actress Demi Moore has gained 15 pounds. "Is there more of Demi to love?" croons the voiceover. The tone of voice makes it clear that this would not be a good thing.

I pity any woman (or man, for that matter) who is subjected to this kind of scrutiny. It feels to me like a form of externalized self-loathing--things we wouldn't dream of saying to or about an ordinary person may be said about a celeb because, hey, she's fair game.

We learn, from the culture that produces such relentless trash, to say these things to ourselves, about ourselves. Videos like this feed the nasty little voice that lives in our heads, telling us you're fat, you're ugly, you're old, you're worthless. For some of us, this voice can become deafening. For some, it stays relatively quiet.

But you know what? Even a whisper of this is too much.