It’s a new dawn, a new day, and everyone knows J Hud is feeling (and looking) good in her new size 6 figure. And while there’s a segment of onlookers who are congratulatory of her weight loss success with the Weight Watchers Points Plus Program, there’s a slew of critics who (a) suggest she is a fake and lost the weight through gastric bypass, (b) are anticipating and secretly hoping that she’ll go the Kirstie Alley route and be back in a size 16 by Memorial Day, or (c) think she’s sending the message that you have to be thin to be successful.
What is it about our society and weight? If you carry extra poundage, you’re ostracized and told to nix the Mickey D’s and get in the gym and work it off (as if it’s that easy); and then when we have an example of someone who has lost weight through hard work, negativity and skepticism still follow.
I suppose the assumption behind the gastric bypass rumors is that Jennifer had to be lazy to become overweight in the first place, so there’s no way such a person could actually do the work that is required to shed pounds. These individuals are one in the same with other critics who call her Weight Watcher’s campaign fraudulent because she obviously used a personal trainer along with the Points Plus program. Sorry, I don’t follow. “Everyone” knows weight loss requires a sensible diet AND exercise, and I wouldn’t dare consider a personal trainer taking the easy or elitist way out, as some have suggested. Personal trainers put you to (serious) work and plenty of everyday women hire them on a regular basis.
For the people who’ve set up figurative lawn chairs outside of Jennifer Hudson’s home waiting for the slightest evidence of weight gain, I ask, who are you to judge? For every one person who is happy for her, there’s another making the statement, “well let’s just see if she actually keeps the weight off.” If she does end up regaining some weight, what does that take away from what she’s already accomplished? Slimming down is an enormous feat to begin with, especially when we’re talking about 80 pounds, and many fitness experts will tell you that maintaining weight loss is just as hard as losing it in the first place. Are these people really setting themselves on a pedestal as though life and temptation doesn’t ever get in the way of attaining or maintaining goals? I’d even be willing to bet that these naysayers are the very ones who harped on her seemingly unhealthy pre-Weight Watchers image and insisted she needed to lose weight. You can’t have it both ways. Give credit where credit is due.
And for the plus-size community who often feels like they’ve just lost one whenever a full-figured symbol of beauty drops a few sizes, I don’t think it’s that personal. Everyone has to do what they feel is best for their lifestyle. While some people can feel fabulous with a little more to love, others prefer less cushion. To the best of my knowledge, no one from Monique (who was also accused of having gastric bypass surgery) to Jill Scott, to Queen Latifah, to Marsha Ambrosius, to Jennifer Hudson has made blanketed statements about obesity or self-hatred or even career advancement as their motivation for losing weight. They decided weight loss was what was best for them at a particular stage in their life.
Yet in still, people don’t even buy that. Case in point, Raven Symone’s comment to People Magazine that she thought she looked fabulous before she lost weight. The response? If she thought she looked fabulous before then she wouldn’t have lost 35 pounds (because obviously if you’re overweight you must hate yourself. How could you not?).
Weight is something I’ve always seen as a personal issue because of its sheer sensitivity for so many women from anorexic to average, to morbidly obese. I know, for celebs few details of their lives are private issues, but what’s with slapping people on the wrists for carrying a little more weight and then slapping them again when they lose it, or because they didn’t do it the way society says they should (Star Jones), or because they don’t hate their pre-obese bodies?
Is it jealousy, is it the misery loves company mindset, or are we just sticking our noses in somewhere that it doesn’t belong anyway? I hate assumptions about one’s level of health from the outside looking in in the first place. Just because someone has a slim and trim figure doesn’t mean they aren’t putting other pollutants in their body like liquor or drugs, or that they are emotionally healthy. But even more so, I hate the disgust of full figured individuals masked as a health concern. If this was really all about weight and health, there wouldn’t be such a long trail of criticism following people who’ve done the very thing that society says they ought to do.
I think the real issue is that people look at Jennifer Hudson and these other women and wonder what does their weight loss say about them? Does it mean that they too have to lose weight, does it mean that they no longer have an excuse for why they can’t lose weight, does it even mean that the J Huds of the world are now better than they are? To answer those questions, people needn’t look to Hollywood for direction, but rather they ought to look inward and decide what’s best for them based on their own lifestyles.