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Hope in the check-out lane

I lost a round of grocery store Russian roulette this Saturday and ended up in the slowest of four open lines. The women two spots in front of me was having some sort of problem which required the general manager to descend from her high counter of postage stamps and money orders to swipe her magic pass card over the bar code scanner. I imagine her magic card allows her to do all sorts of forbidden things, like run the conveyor belt backwards and play solitaire on the register’s computer screen, or maybe it just lets her issue refunds.

You call this fat? While I was trying not to watch the man who had been behind me check out in the next lane over, I picked up the latest issue of People magazine featuring Tyra Banks, who weighs 161 pounds. How do I know Tyra Banks weighs 161 pounds? Because it’s right there on the cover in all caps, 72pt bold font, you fool! An excerpt of the article is here.

Previously I didn’t have much of an opinion about Tyra. I don’t watch her reality show America’s Next Top Model or her daytime talk show. I know she did an episode for the latter where she wore a fat suit, but I never saw the episode so I can’t comment on it. However, after this story the woman has scored major Brownie points with me, enough for a new patch on her sash. She’s going to have to strangle some puppies or drown a kitten with three legs before I think ill of her.

It’s nice to see someone fighting back against the prevailing idea that you have to be super skinny to be pretty, or that having some meat on your bones automatically qualifies you as “fat.” As you can see in my sidebar, I’m an inch shorter than Tyra and 160 is my goal weight. Basically, I’ve been working for the past two years to be about the same size as she is. I understand that if you are a model, this size would be too large to get you booked in any shows. But as she points out in the article, she’s not a model anymore. She doesn’t have to maintain a smaller size. Just like a retired athlete doesn’t have to bench press 200 pounds three times a week, a former model doesn’t have to fit into a size 0 unless she wants to.

I also liked that she admitted that the tabloid stories do bother her. I’ve seen celebrities go on talk shows and say they just ignore that stuff, but it must hurt a little when someone says something nasty about you. In the article, she endorses a healthy relationship with food and seems to have good self-esteem. I also admire that she has taken charge of her career and developed it into something more, like Heidi Klum did with Project Runway. To post her weight on newsstands and grocery store aisles across America is gutsy. Even though I agree that she’s not fat, you know there are going to be assholes out there declaring she’s Porky Pig’s lost cousin. Tyra Banks is fearless.

Eventually the check-out line issues were resolved and I started loading my groceries onto the conveyor belt. I tossed a copy of People magazine on there too. If sales for this issue are good, maybe it will encourage magazines to feature more body positive stories. That’s four bucks I’m willing to spend.

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amyt • January 29, 2007 at 10:33 am

have you noticed the wall street journal thing? there seem to be a gaggle of hits for my site from there and funnily enough it mentions jennette the web designer in the first paragraph? do you know the score?


PastaQueen • January 29, 2007 at 10:38 am

amyt – I have no idea what’s going on there. Diet Girl e-mailed me about that, so she must be mentioned too. If anyone has a Wall Street Journal online subscription, please log in and tell us. The link is here.


Les • January 29, 2007 at 11:20 am

good blog.


Janice Bridge • January 29, 2007 at 12:39 pm

PQ – YES!!! It is you. . . .a very nice article. . . .expect HUGE increase in your web traffic.

email me at janice.bridge@gmail.com and I will send you the gif of your paragraph and an html of the full article

BY THE WAY – Congratulations – yours is the first blog mentioned! – in newspaper headlines your placement is equivalent to 108 point type above the fold.


PastaQueen • January 29, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Janice – Thanks! I actually ran to the Borders downtown right after I posted that comment and bought myself a copy. Thanks for the info though!


karaokekitty • January 29, 2007 at 12:58 pm

Yeah I saw the article in the Wall Street Journal. It had a little blurb about a bunch of weight loss blogs like: this one Half of Me, Does this font make me look fat?, The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl, and Diary of a fat angry woman. It seems like the author just snagged a few bytes from the about me sections of each site and added a few quotes from each blog. The second half of the article talks about blogs dealing with depression.

Didn’t you guys know about this? Shouldn’t the author have asked your permission? Hmm, I wonder.

About the Tyra article, kudos to Tyra! I’m glad she reveals her actual weight. She’s got guts.


metamorphose • January 29, 2007 at 2:11 pm

Wow -congrats on the Wall Street Journal article! That’s fantastic!

I give props to Tyra as well.


Debbi • January 29, 2007 at 2:34 pm

How cool about the WSJ article! Now we can all say, ‘Ah, yes, I knew PQ back when.’


Jill • January 29, 2007 at 2:36 pm

Hey Queen of Pasta. The only reason I am on this site right now is because I read about you in the Wall Street Journal. I will definitely be back to your blog for inspiration. Thank you.


kimberly • January 29, 2007 at 2:42 pm

Hey I bought that People just for that Tyra article just yesterday. Love her! :)


Jen • January 29, 2007 at 5:22 pm

Kudos on the WSJ mention, that should bring a lot of traffic your way. :)

I would love to be as “Fat” as Tyra Banks — I weigh more than her AND I’m a lot shorter. It’s kind of sickening that people would jump all over her like that for daring to gain a few pounds.


crankybee • January 29, 2007 at 5:43 pm

I first decided I liked Tyra because her boobs are real! I saw some show where some plastic surgeon had a grope and said “these pups are real!”

I am glad she took a stand against the tabloids too, and she’s smart for doing it – she knows that there are a lot of women out there who respect her for it, and her ratings will probably go sky high…


christie • January 29, 2007 at 6:24 pm

I saw that episode where she wore the fat suit. It was actually really interesting. And her motives behind it were well-intended.

Also a friend of mine met her on a plane, said she was extremely friendly, and down-to-earth. My friend is a heavy girl too, and Tyra was very nice to her.

So I already had a great opinion of her – but thank you for sharing this… it’s the cherry on top!


Debbie • January 29, 2007 at 9:00 pm

I’ve got a Wall Street Journal subscription, but haven’t had time to read the latest issues. What issue are you mentioned in?


Debbie • January 29, 2007 at 10:14 pm

I found it. Today’s issue-page R9. Congratulations!


Samiam • January 29, 2007 at 10:15 pm



Ralph • January 30, 2007 at 10:59 am

Congrats on the WSJ article.

As for Banks and the idea of beauty and weight, I’ve always thought true beauty was not a factor in, more or less, weight.

But weight is a factor in health. I believe it’s great you have a goal weight, but I think everyone should have goal “food portions”…for LIFE.

Hopefully, once you have reached your goal (and you will and congrats on the weight you’ve lost so far), you’ll continue to have the right sized portions, and the right priorities.

Good luck.


mickey • January 30, 2007 at 11:41 am

congrats on the WSJ article! i will have to find it today.

i also liked the tyra article. believe me, there are plenty of ANTM fans who say all sorts of bull about her weight all the time. 160 pounds! quel shock!

in closing, i’d like to note that given the choice, i always stand on the second-shortest checkout line. inevitably, the shortest line is the shortest for a reason.


Dori • January 30, 2007 at 2:55 pm

“If sales for this issue are good, maybe it will encourage magazines to feature more body positive stories.”

I like your additude and I agree 100%!


Mark • January 30, 2007 at 7:32 pm

“she endorses a healthy relationship with food”

I dunno: “Banks has resigned herself to putting on ‘about 5 lbs. a year’ … a pace that would have her nearing the 200-lb. mark by age 40.”


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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