Name one Caucasian overweight/obese pop or country singer who has been this way for all of her career. Having a hard time? That's because there are NONE! The mammoth pressure to be slim and rock it caves the finest obesers to diet and lose weight, this side of Christendom and that side of pagendom. (See Wynonna Judd). This is especially true when one is a celebrity earning millions. Even opera stars are shedding fat skins and keeping svelt. ( Debra Voigt and Natalie Dessay) And the big hollering belters like Sophie Tucker have waifed into Sutton Foster and Christen Chenoweth.
For black women (you are my goddesses) the scene is more forgiving. However, if their career is going to take off and they are going to consistently pull down the seven figures, they, too, must bow to the gods of stickdom. Jennifer Hudson is a prime example of moving from one level in her career to the next. If you view this video (click link) of Jennifer Hudson earlier in her career and skip down to some of the comments about her weight (even the ones decrying the criticism of her being fat) you note the ostracism of FAT THINK. Appearance is our American Idol, and a FAT appearance does not preclude Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility; Celebrity Fatness will be commented upon critically or in defense.
Hudon's weight loss is apparent in these next two videos. In the first, (click link) she hasn't arrived at her targeted weight loss. But she is wearing black, a weight mitigater, for sure! And the photo angles, lighting, cut-aways and story-boarded shots enhance a thinner appearance. In this last video (click link) she is her most svelte. And the content involves a scene evoking prior intimacy; has she appeared in videos like this before, revealing more of her body when she was obese? You answer the question.
No one who has been thin for life can completely understand what an obese/overweight woman goes through in this culture; only another overweight/obese woman can understand the phenomenal oppression about fitting in, especially when one is young. It is as if the world is passing you by and you must be like your peers or you will be "obliviated." (Yes, I know this is not a word, but you do know what it means!) They will shine far ahead of you and you will never be able to compete. Hudson was/is beautiful. She was talented before her weight loss and is talented now. But her weight loss signifies and, for me, SCREAMS out that she has wanted to be thin, felt the pain of not being like those of her generation and celebrity class, and HAD to do something about it. She caved into the complexity of the emotional and psychological issues of fat self-loathing. And no matter how much the obese battler tries to eradicate this from the soul, mind, intellect, IT'S THERE, like fear, waiting to envelope and pounce like a "Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright, In the Forests of the Night!" (Blake's poem about Satan/God)
Joy Nash, I do appreciate your FAT RANTS; you have no idea how much. Where were you when I needed you 40 years ago? BUT...here comes the caveat: will you always feel this way? Or is this convenient for now? What happens if you become MEGA and I mean MEGA famous. Will you, too, be phenomenally pressured (at this point you have no idea what that is) like Jennifer Hudson to get the weight off? Right now, you are a comedian and your diatribes are refreshing in their cultural cross nailing. God knows, we all need to hear the message and I intend to do my part in being a social critic, as well. But even Roseann Barr (comedian queen of the obese and slovenly) lost weight, had Lipo and cosmetic surgery and I remember a photo shoot that revamped her into sexiness. Her weighty self was burdensome and she cried out for FAT RELEASE and lost weight. Is anyone who makes it into celebrity heaven immune from this oppressive thin appearance cult worship? And for those who do lose weight, like Jennifer Hudson, will they be able to maintain it? I do pray so!!!
I love your passion. I just read an article in the blogosphere about a Fits.me robot. Have you heard of it? My sister had me trying on bathing suits a couple days ago. I was hyper aware of how I used to feel, how I might feel and how wonderfully I didn't feel! The whole line of thought fits so well with your blog, I had to share. You can get to it from my blog as well. http://www.benjity.wordpress.com
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