Kirstie Alley can’t win. First she was fat, but working on it. Then she lost weight, but must have been lying. Then she was fat again. Then she lost more weight and then even more. Now, all that rapid weight loss has made her face start to fall off.
Why do we care how fat Kirstie Alley is? Why is she on the cover of People coquettishly playing with her hair while demurring that she has in fact gained weight? Why, for the love of Pete, does Scientology have its own weight-loss meal order company?
America The world is obsessed with female celebrity BMI and aging. Britney Spears can’t seem to get back down to the weight she was when she was 19, childless and dancing like her gyrations could cure tropical diseases. Does it ever occur to anyone that she is probably now on medication that’s prohibitive to staying stick thin? When you Google Christina Aguilera, the first Google prompt is “Christina Aguilera weight.” (Though it wouldn’t kill Christina not to wear overly tight leggings that accentuate her recently acquired curves.) Jessica Simpson’s additional poundage is repeatedly mentioned, while her billion dollar clothing and shoe empire is constantly glossed over.
We have to forgive these people for getting too heavy for their Star Trek unitards and bedazzled nude body suits. I’d much rather see a curvier, healthier Britney in years to come than watch the reality show version of Death Becomes Her that Demi Moore and Madonna seem to be pitching. The underlying messages we send to ourselves is that it’s unforgiveable for any of us to age; that being an old woman is disgusting.
I could go on and on about how no one mentions that Brad Pitt’s face looks like it’s slowly melting into silly putty or how no one criticizes Jason Segel or Alec Baldwin for weighing a few more pounds than they did during their heart-throbbiest days, but I don’t want to sound bitter. The truth is that men have an easier time aging than women do. The other truth is that I think both Jason Segel and Alec Baldwin are super sexy just the way they are (Brad’s melty face slightly disturbs me). It’s fine to celebrate the way that men age and that they do often improve. What’s frustrating is that we can’t appreciate women in the same way. Anyone who has lived long enough and had the grace to age naturally should be glorified, not ridiculed.