Singer and actress Jessica Simpson’s weight has been the subject of discussion for some time now, with her size increasing and decreasing dramatically over the years. But Jessica’s recent pregnancy weight gain has even those who weren’t talking about adding their views. From medical professionals to politicians, many are offering their view on her size and the topic of unhealthy weight gain.
Called an “absolute porker” by Dr. Tara Solomon, Jessica has never publicly responded to her critics. Instead she shrugged off the weight gain, saying she is pregnant and needs to eat, giving into her cravings for foods like buttered Pop Tarts and fried Oreos. Jessica says she will worry about her weight after she gives birth. But onlookers insist she deal with it now, cautioning that her nonchalant attitude towards weight and unhealthy eating choices will affect her and her baby.
But not everyone has an issue with Jessica’s reportedly 50+ pound (22.7 kg) weight gain. Actress Tori Spelling defended Jessica, saying “When women are pregnant, people need to lay off…As far [as] weight, you never know what is going to happen.” Sarah Palin remarked that if she were Jessica she “would have wanted to punch [her critics] in the neck.”
Others, like myself, believe that while some may be genuinely concerned about the health of Jessica and her baby, others’ real concern lies in her looks. People are simply horrified that the once slim, 5’2″ Jessica is now clearly obese — the world is anti-fat. Upon seeing how much weight she’d gained, people could not hold in their disgust and disappointment that she allowed herself to become so, well, fat. Few things could be worse, especially for a woman.
But although the anti-fat prejudice and fat phobia is clear to anyone who is paying attention, voicing such prejudice outright isn’t considered polite. So critics couch what is truly disgust in worry about the health of her unborn child. Health is a legitimate concern — few can disagree that being obese and gorging on sugary foods can be bad for a person, not to mention a growing baby. Unlike critique about not being thin, which would only make commentators seem shallow and mean.
In other words, the conversation on Jessica’s weight is a classic example of anti-fat prejudice in practice. If you still think that anti-fat prejudice does not exist or isn’t “that bad”, you need only do a search and read the comments from the public at large on Jessica’s weight. One woman’s comment sums up the feelings of fat-phobic critics everywhere: “Seriously, this b*tch pisses me off, she is so disgusting.”
…Yes, being fat might just be that bad in an anti-fat world.
Agree or disagree?