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Body Talk 

The skinny on weight and the media

Well, the media is at it again, calling yet another woman "fat" because of a little cellulite.

Jennifer Love Hewitt was at the eye of the media storm, being dubbed Jennifer Love "Chew-It" by a tabloid rag because of what was called "excess" poundage displayed while wearing a bikini in Hawaii. The weight whores surrounded her like the vultures they are, tearing her down and enlisting the help of "experts" who "have not treated her" to weigh in on her "overgrown" figure.

Oh the horror! America's favorite angst-ridden teenager has morphed into a young woman and blown up in the process, letting herself go and becoming a huge size 2. For the first time, someone decided to run pictures of her, sans airbrush, and pretend that she is fat because they wanted to run the headline, "We know what she ate last summer." The retort heard 'round the world from Jennifer: "A size 2 is not fat!"

Jennifer Love Hewitt is right and unfortunately joined the ranks of former super models Tyra Banks and Cindy Crawford, both of whom received "fat" headlines. Tyra Banks was assailed for looking pleasantly plump, probably celebrating the fact that she can actually eat since retiring from the runway, and Cindy Crawford for having excess skin on her stomach, which apparently is not permissible for a mother of two.

Hollywood builds these women up and tears them down, highlighting others who have "lost the baby weight" in record time like Brooke Burke, Keri Russell, Isla Fisher, and most famously Denise Richards and Heidi Klum -- who lost weight in record time to star in a Playboy spread and Victoria's Secret Runway Show, respectively. Entertainment news outlets report on the stars' weight on a daily basis, following them around, giving minute details of what they have eaten and how much they weigh, while readers eat up the details.

The message that we deliver through this constant bombardment of images is be skinny, not healthy, which are two completely different things; like someone who is naturally thin as opposed to someone that is thin because of extreme dieting and exercise.

Who is making up these rules? Men, in general, who occupy many power positions in the media and fashion industries. Only a man or a self-loathing woman would think that a woman should have babies and not have excess skin on her stomach.

What sense does it make to diet to such extremes that you have no breasts or hips and then get breast and butt implants? Breasts and butts are muscle and fat tissue, so if you eat food, then you will have breasts and a booty. I know "junk in your trunk" is only acceptable on stars like J.Lo, who by the way is also a size 2, Jessica Biel, size 2, and Eva Longoria, who is a subzero. Hollywood's body image is so distorted that we hold up these women as "curvy" and "voluptuous," when they really aren't.

Don't get me wrong. You can be a size 2 and stacked; it just does not happen very often in the real world. Back in the real world, if a size 2 is fat then what does that make a woman who's a size 12 (the average size of an adult woman in the United States)? Morbidly obese? What are we telling our young girls about ourselves and about who they will be as women?

We need to ask ourselves, as women, why so many of us are marching along to the beat of this jacked-up drum. Do we really want bodies like 10-year-old boys or pre-pubescent teen girls as grown, adult, procreating women?

Each time I see a photo of a gaunt Teri Hatcher, Angelina Jolie, or Victoria Beckham, I throw up in my mouth a little bit. These women look sick and tired and are still being shoved down our throats as women to emulate or celebrate. Yikes!

One of my favorite moments in film history can be found in the film Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. In it, Roberts plays a superstar actress who falls in love with a regular guy. When they meet, she tells him about her life and how everyone thinks it is so great, but that she hasn't eaten in 10 years. It is then that Grant's character realizes there is a human being underneath her star persona. This scene speaks to how perverted Hollywood can be and the extremes that are required to become a "star," among people they do not even know.

One of the reasons that I never ventured into the visual broadcast industry is because I do not want to be judged by my looks ... and I am pretty damned good looking. But seriously, many of these actresses and entertainers are hungry by choice but starving, literally and figuratively, for attention, affection and success.

Jennifer Love Hewitt is right -- a size 2 is not fat, and pretending that it is for financial gain is not right either.

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