Celebrities Gaining Weight – It’s Not Our Business Or Breaking News
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Lauren Sanchez. Find her on Instagram at @lauren.sanchezz. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at email@example.com.
As I was scrolling through my Instagram feed full of mirror selfies, vacation destinations and photo dumps, a Buzzfeed News post caught my eye. The Buzzfeed News reel with the headline, “Kourtney Kardashian is Embracing Her Weight Gain” went on to tell the viewers watching about Kourtney Kardashian’s recent weight gain and the body liberation Kardashian feels in not caring about weight.
Of course, celebrity gossip and the “tea-spilling” of drama have always captured my attention in the news. Not only does it provide me a sort of escape from reality and allow me to focus on a life other than my own, but it’s always been so entertaining to follow tabloids and drama accounts. But when it comes to this type of news, I don’t know how to feel.
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This video was over a minute long and the news was so big that it had to be divided into three separate reels talking all about Kourtney’s weight gain and why the audience should pay attention. The concept of celebrities gaining weight being considered “newsworthy” has never sat right with me. When I was in my pre-teen years, I remember walking into the grocery stores to look at the magazines that are right by the check-out counter and reading headlines of “WOW SHE GAINED 30 POUNDS! LOOK AT THE BEFORE AND AFTER!” and “SHE LOST 20 POUNDS IN A WEEK. READ TO SEE HOW SHE DID IT”– and each left me feeling horrible about my body image.
And even off print, news social media platforms consciously decide to report on celebrities and their bodies. Bille Eilish, Adele, Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey and Selena Gomez are just SOME of the celebrities off the top of my head that have been criticized and shamed for their bodies. Labeling this as “news” rather than gossip is not only incredibly problematic but contributes to the discourse surrounding body shaming, eating disorders and unhealthy diet habits. So what’s with the media’s obsession with celebrities and their weight?
When you become a celebrity or anyone who has a massive public following, you are constantly subjected to the spotlight no matter what you do. Whether that’d be doing a red carpet premiere event or even the normal daily activities of going to the grocery store, getting gas or leaving a workout class, celebrities hardly ever have a moment to themselves. Being in the spotlight, every move they make is scrutinized, and their bodies aren’t exempt from ridicule either.
For example, indie-rock artist Lana Del Rey was recently photographed in Malibu wearing baggy jeans and a cropped polo tee. And oh boy, were social media and news outlets not kind to her at all. The singer was immediately subjected to nasty fat-shaming comments and videos comparing a before and after look of her body between the ages of 26 and 37.
Another popular celebrity that the media outlets LOVE to target is the Grammy Award-winning artist, Lizzo. Throughout her entire career, Lizzo prides herself on her body and continues to positively change the narrative for plus-size women by preaching the beauty of all bodies. An icon for body positivity, self-confidence and being “100% THAT BITCH!” Lizzo has consistently been one to show women how to love and accept their bodies through her music. Even going as far as to win a Primetime Emmy Award for her reality show, “Lizzo’s Watch Out For the Big Grrrls”– a competition between plus-size dancers to win a chance to dance with Lizzo.
However, Lizzo’s body and diet lifestyle seem to get more media attention than her ground-breaking accomplishments in music. Comments and news reports were made about how the vegan diet she has been on since 2020 “isn’t working” and the constant body-shaming behaviors being written in media are unnecessarily rude and disrespectful. Even as Lizzo has addressed many times that she lives an extremely healthy lifestyle, mentally and physically, it is still not enough for media outlets to stop reporting on her body.
This media discourse on painting celebrities as “disgusting” and “gross” for their weight gain contributes to the conversation surrounding eating disorders and ideal body types. This constant body shaming in public media leads young people everywhere growing up to hate their bodies and how being thin is the only way to be considered beautiful.
Especially on TikTok, trends going around like #Thinspo and “Is this a fit or she just fat?”, are also contributing to the problem of the media and its obsession with the weight of others. #Thinspo is shortened for “thin inspiration” and users are spreading this hashtag as a way to inspire others to be thin– but in reality, it’s teaching others to actively engage in distorted and unhealthy eating habits. “Is this a fit or is she just fat?” is another trend circulating that contributes to the problems of body dysmorphia.
The talks of celebrities gaining weight influence the way we view our bodies daily. Being taught that our bodies define the entirety of ourselves is incredibly problematic and needs to end. No one, regardless of status, deserves to be hated on or criticized for their body and it’s about time that news outlets and media companies take note of that and report ACTUAL news.
How do you feel about the media reporting on celebrities gaining weight? Is this ethical or should they stop entirely? Let us know in the comments below!