02 February 2009


So, there seems to be a kerfuffle about Jessica Simpson's weight. She's not the first to get the ribbing. Don't forget, Christina and Britney got skewered, too.

It happens to the best of us. Ugh. I hate to admit it here, but I put on thirteen pounds over my two-year writing spree (though, some of that was still leftover weight from the bad Pill I took...yeah, you Seasonale!). I still have five pounds to go before I can fit into all of my jeans. It's a drag. But I'm not going to sugarcoat weight gain and do the sisterhood bonding thing here. No. I'm going to argue another side of this. So, bear with me.

Jessica is getting the flack she's getting because she was happy to dance around in her short-shorts, showing off her perfect body (for a fast food company, no less). And, who wouldn't? Hey, when I was at my fittest, it was all tank tops and skinny jeans for me. I wanted you to see my shoulders and the definition in my arms. I've never had the perfectly flat belly one would desire; still, I've been known to expose mine. And I would so choose jeans that would bring out the best of my butt, then don the right heels to do even more for it. "Exposing" yourself is a natural reaction to all that hard work and discipline. Your body feels so good when you are feeding it well with lots of veggies and lean protein, and exercising it hard each day. It's almost vibrating from all that energy. And that bod does not want to be cooped up in clothing. No. So, I'm not at all against showing what you got while you've got it. (But, do keep it tasteful, okay?)

When Jessica was super fit, she was also on the covers of magazines, the topic of talk shows. We commented on her weigh then, too. But, because those comments were mostly positive, everyone was happy. Even when people would say, "Isn't she too thin?" others would bark, "Leave her alone. That's her natural body." It's an endless back and forth put together by the media that readers and watchers participate in...even the ones doing the defending. And I am over it.

Here's my thing: If you want to put your body on display and make yourself an icon of beauty, sex and/or fitness, go for it. But do it with the understanding that you have put yourself out there for scrutiny. That way, you won't be surprised if people start talking when things aren't as "perfect" as they once were. It's the double-edged sword of being in the public eye. It's also the double-edged sword of saying, "Look at me!"

It seems we only want to hear the good stuff and don't know how to take the bad. I think we all need to grow up. There are always going to be people -- whether they are in the press or on the PTA -- who are going to gossip about the slightest thing. There are always going to be people who will say mean things to make themselves feel better. These are people I don't really want to be around. But, the fact is, Jessica -- just like Christina and Britney before her -- gained some weight in the public eye. We notice because they tended to wear clothing that left little to the imagination. We noticed because they went from one extreme to something other. My question is: Who cares?

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