Last Friday that bastion of journalistic credibility, The New York Post’s gossip column Page Six, reported something that bummed me out:
July 7, 2006 – K3LLY Cl4rkson has agreed to promote her own flavor of Vitamin Water. The only catch is the company won’t announce the deal until the “American 1dol” winner loses some more weight. Last year, 50 C3nt endorsed his own flavor of the trendy sports drink, which is said to have 50 percent of the daily vitamin requirements. The muscular rapper actually looks like he’s in robust health. Cl4rkson looks like she could lose a few pounds. Since the brand is all about fitness and health, she’s been put on a strict diet and the deal is secret until she slims down.
Thankfully today I read that this is NOT true.
Cl4rkson: ‘Vitamin Water Story is Nonsense’
Pop star Kelly Cl4rkson has hit back at new reports she has been told to diet or lose a lucrative new modeling deal, insisting the story is a joke.
The first “American 1dol” winner has been dogged by weight problem rumors ever since she won the TV talent contest, but her publicists insist the latest reports that she’s on the verge of losing a deal with fitness drink firm Vitamin Water are ridiculous.
A spokesperson for the singer insists, “Nothing could be further from the truth,” adding Cl4rkson has already shot her first Vitamin Water photo shoot.
Not that that’ll be ever published on Page Six, so most of the world will continue to think it’s true. I’d probably still think it was true if I hadn’t been googling for the original story today to write an entry about how much this bothered me.
The original blurb pissed me off for a number of reasons. First, that one sentence “Cl4rkson looks like she could lose a few pounds” made me want to walk all 700 miles from Indianapolis to New York just to punch columnist R1chard Johnson in the nose. Actually, I probably would have taken a plane. I don’t think I have the vacation time to walk 1400 miles round trip. Or maybe I could have recruited one of my New York readers to do it for me. One of you must love me enough to commit assault on my behalf, right? I will wire your bail money, I swear!
People in the media who write comments like that about people who don’t need to lose weight are part of the problem. People like that are the reason so many women groundlessly feel badly about their bodies. People like that are the reason people hurt themselves with crash diets. Who among us hasn’t been hurt by one small flippant comment someone has thrown off about our weight? How must it feel for a powerful newspaper columnist to insult you when you’re not even fat? It’s like taking the power of that one comment some nasty boy in high school made about you and multiplying it by 100,000 or whatever the subscription base of the New York Post is.
Secondly, I hate the implication that someone who looks like Kelly Cl4rkson could not possibly be fit and healthy. Physical appearance is not the sole indicator of a person’s health. You don’t just go to the doctor’s office, have them look you up and down and get a diagnosis. If so, we could all just buy digital cameras, e-mail our doctors self-portraits and never have to sit in a waiting room with year-old Reader’s Digest magazines ever again.
Doctors do these little things like take your blood pressure, do blood tests, and listen to your heart. Then they determine how healthy you are. Sure, being extremely overweight or underweight is usually an indicator that other things are wrong, but like I said before, Kelly Cl4rkson isn’t fat, so why should anyone think she’s not fit? Unless they have access to her medical records, we really don’t know what condition she’s in.
The third thing that pisses me off is that it sometimes feels like there is a cabal of thin supremacists determined to knock off any healthy-sized woman in the popular media. They probably have an underground lair located beneath a Tr1mSpa where they sip Sl1mFast shakes while having enemas. People like Kelly Cl4rkson or Kate Wi1nslet constantly have to deal with accusations that they are fat when they aren’t. At least when someone made fun of me for being fat I actually was fat. That must grind on you after awhile and it would be perfectly understandable if they started to believe the lies. I really admire them for NOT losing weight.
Ultimately it is up to every person to decide how they want to treat their body, and if they decide to lose weight that is their business. But I like having role models in the media like Kelly and Kate and actual chubby women like Amrica F3rrera or M0’Nique. Seeing articles like this makes me fear that one of them will eventually break under the pressure and slim down. Then there’ll be one less woman like me in the media. We need to locate that underground lair and organize a raid ASAP. Anyone own a Hummer?