Weight Loss! Weight Loss! WEIGHT LOSS! It’s the top traffic driving headline in the media (believe me, I feel the pressure to post a few everyday). Celebrities, with their bright lights burning throughout pop-culture, bare the brunt of the coverage. Everyone wants to believe in Jennifer Hudson’s weight-loss journey, losing over one hundred pounds, singing her own praises, soliciting you on behalf of Weight Watcher all while taking you back to church with her frequently-ran commercials. I have to admit, it’s a great story.
Even older black men are getting into the weight-loss money grab. Hopefully, if watch ESPN or Fox Sports, who may have seen legends like Terry Bradshaw, Dan Marino, and the latest Weight Watchers spokesman, Charles Barkley, who tell men to “lose [weight] like a man,” whatever that means. I’m tempted to ask why younger men don’t receive the same weight loss spotlight, but that’s like asking for more men to experience being sexually assaulted so they might feel more compassion for women who have been. That’s backwards logic.
But nothing compares to Beyoncé’s postpartum weight loss story. It dominates the headlines for one reason: we read and respond to the stories. I’m doing it now hoping for your feedback.
Wendy Williams and Sandra Rose speculated so deep into whether or not Beyoncé carried Blue Ivy, one would have thought they were part of the Virginia legislature.
Now the conversation has shifted to her weight-loss. How is she losing it? Where did her stomach go, is it spanks or surgery? Is breastfeeding baby-Blue aiding her dramatic weight loss?
The latest speculation surrounds her personal training schedule. Is four hours per day day to much for a new mother? Does her trainer and nutrition live with her?
The distribution of concern over Beyoncé’s, or any other celebrity for that matter, weight-loss reflects a crisis, a kind of cultural crisis, that is the tendency to focus the external instead of the internal.
True, Nutri-System and Weight Watchers commercials seek to implant a seed of powerlessness inside your consciousness, making you feel miserable and in need of help from an “expert,” but when do we fight back against these psychic assaults?
Conversely, Beyoncé hasn’t appeared on any weight loss commercials nor has she told or schooled any news outlets on the benefits of breastfeeding, eating healthy, or working out. But we read into all her actions as if they will tell us something more about ourselves. Individually, it doesn’t say much, but I’m sorry, collectively it illuminates our lack of love for ourselves.
Why do you think people obsess over Beyoncé’s weight loss?