Last Sunday I went for a hike on the trail in my neighborhood and had two celebrity sightings. One was Ed Begley Jr. (I actually heard his voice and knew it was him before I saw him, proof that I really do watch too much TV). The other was Natasha Henstridge. It was a strange coincidence that I saw her, since just days before I had read this article:
In person, I was struck by how unbelievably gorgeous she is, completely dressed down in workout clothes and without a scrap of make up. When I first read the article, I actually felt sympathy for her. She looks so big in the pictures, especially when compared to images of her from the 90s or even a few years ago when she was so much thinner. In person, she looks to be maybe a size 8 (ever since I worked at the Gap, I have the gift of guessing someone’s size just by looking at them; it is a ridiculous skill to have). Why am I feeling sympathy for someone who is 5′ 10″ and a size 8? Isn’t that healthy?
Alternatively, I saw this story yesterday about Tori Spelling:
Even though the headline hints at anorexia, my first thought was that she looks great and I felt jealous because I’m not as thin. Is that wrong? I am also an arguably healthy size for my height. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink water all day, stick to low fat foods and work out 3-4 times a week. I know that I will not be any thinner unless I do something drastic to my routine, like stop eating entirely. The thought has crossed my mind.
I’m always somewhat torn on the whole “Thinning of Hollywood” argument. On the one hand, I get it. I had the opportunity to be at an industry party a few years ago; it was as though I’d walked into my TV set. Almost any actor you can think of from film and television was in the room…and I’ve never felt so terrible about myself in my life. People who seem reasonably “curvy” on TV are stick figures in reality. The camera may add more than 10 pounds. Are these women really just perpetuating unhealthy body image amongst the youth (and in my case, not so youth) of society? But when I hear people go on about ridiculous weight and beauty standards for women, I usually end up thinking “Are these just the rantings of the overweight and unattractive?” Is that sentiment in itself proof that these unreasonable standards have permeated the subconscious of men and women alike?
In general, I think it all comes down to perception and influence. My own insecurities could stem from living in Los Angeles, where the ratio of beautiful people to normal people is much higher than other places in the country (except maybe New York). But I really don’t feel like moving.
PS: The Daily Mail is not my only source of news, and I actually don’t read tabloids besides this one. But I think that, if you must read tabloids, the British rags are the way to go. They’re wonderfully judgemental and entertaining.