Mariah Carey is showing off her slim and trim figure on the latest cover of Shape magazine. The mother of two looks great, but is her emphasis on the correlation between being slim and having confidence a way to justify women’s obsession with being thin?
Carey is the spokesperson for Jenny Craig, and she credits the program for her 30-pound weight loss. In the newest issue of Shape, she says that she gained her confidence back after losing the weight she gained while carrying her twins.
Social media communities such as Thinspo thrive off of the validation of having to be skinny in order to be happy. The discussion boards encourage get slim quick solutions in order to achieve this level of happiness. Many of the ways suggested are not healthy and can actually do more harm than good.
I am sure that Carey in no way meant to encourage women to find the quickest way to lose weight in order to be happy, but her words could be misconstrued to mean as much. We all know that she didn’t just use Jenny Craig to reach her weight loss goal, but being the spokesperson for the program means that she will always focus on how Jenny Craig helped her get back to her pre-pregnancy weight. If she focused more on talking about life changes she made in the way she ate and working out as opposed to simply using a weight loss program, then women would understand that it takes a mix of hard work, determination and healthy habits in order to be in the best physical shape that you can.
One of the reasons communities such as Thinspo prosper is because celebrities hardly tell the whole story behind their weight loss. They don’t talk about all of the workout sessions, positive thinking and better food choices they had to make in order to look the way that they do. The emphasis on weight loss being the path to get to happiness is also not helpful. People need to understand that you must love yourself no matter how big or small you are first before you start to make adjustments.
It is wonderful that Carey is happy about her triumph of losing 30 pounds, but the focus should be more on her journey than on Jenny Craig. Get slim quick is not the message to send to impressionable women and girls.