It’s no surprise in this country that we have young girls and boys starving themselves or sticking their fingers or other objects down their throats to make themselves throw up their dinner to maintain some unrealistic body image or keep from being called “fat”.
I’ve been very open in the past about my nine-year battle with bulimia from 1986-1995. Honestly, I’ll always have an eating disorder and although I’m not a practicing bulimic, it’s something that I think about every day. I blogged about this back in February when fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld made a comment that singer Adele was “too fat”. You can find that link at the bottom of this blog.
Yes, Adele is definitely a full-figured woman, but the name calling has to stop.
Guess who the latest “fat” celebrity is? Guess who’s getting plenty of press now and it’s not for her new music or her recently announced North American tour dates?
It’s Lady Gaga and all of the publicity is because of her weight gain. Those are pictures from her past tours. Here is a picture of Lady Gaga last week.
And, Mother Monster posted this one on her Facebook page this week.
How many women and men across this increasingly obese country of ours would love to be this “fat”?
In the past, Gaga admitted that she’s battled anorexia and bulimia since she was 15 years old. And, she’s not denying that she’s gained weight.
While dispelling rumors that she’s pregnant, she said, “I love eating pasta and pizza. I’m a New York Italian girl. That’s why I have been staying out of New York. My father opened a restaurant. It’s so amazing. It’s so freaking delicious, but I’m telling you I gain five pounds every time I go in. So my dad wants me to eat there and I’m, like, I’ve got to go where I can drink green juice.”
And, on her Facebook page, Gaga posted this perfect quote by another legendary performer who also faced criticism because of her voluptuous figure.
Lady Gaga may have indirectly addressed body image and how people talk in “Dance in the Dark” from her “The Fame Monster” album. Here are some of the lyrics: “Silicon, saline, poison inject me/Baby, I’m a free bitch” and “Some girls won’t dance to the beat of the tribe/She won’t walk away/But she won’t look back/She looks good/But her boyfriend says she’s a mess”.
As a father of an 11-year-old daughter that loves pasta and desserts, I’m going to do everything that I can to let her enjoy the foods that she loves. At the same time, I’ll be monitoring her weight without bringing it front and center with her. I don’t want her to deal with what Lady Gaga and many others have to deal with. People can be cruel.
I remember coming back home from college, in the mid-1980s, and having a friend of my mother’s make a comment about the amount of weight that I had gained after my first two years at college. Yes, the “freshman 15” and “sophomore 15” caught up with me and I did have a little bit of stomach from the daily endless cafeteria buffet at Murray State.
Those words, regardless of whether it was meant as a light-hearted comment or not, weighed heavily on my mind and, in part, led to my eating disorder.
Back in 1983, the death of legendary singer Karen Carpenter from a heart attack brought on by anorexia nervosa, raised awareness for eating disorders and propelled it into the nation’s spotlight. She began dieting in the 1960s when she weighed about 145 pounds. By the fall of 1975, she was down to 91 pounds!
Prior to her death, after a two-week stay in New York, the singer had gained 30 pounds and was eating healthy. However, the disease had already taken its toll on her body and she died on February 3, 1983.
We should be remembering Karen Carpenter only by her beautiful voice and not the ugly desire to be thin that killed her. I want us all to be healthier. Being a little thin or a little thick is fine. However, being pencil thin or obese is not good.
The bottom line is that when we speak of someone’s weight, we should be tactful about it. There’s a person with feelings behind that body, regardless of what size it is.
Here is the link to my February 12, 2012 blog about Adele being “too fat”: https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/do-we-really-need-to-tell-adele-shes-too-fat/
And, since we’re talking about our eating habits, you might find my March 3, 2012 blog informative: https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/our-eating-habits-are-killing-us/
P.S. While I was writing this, I considered adding a very inspirational song for me from the early-1990s. It’s from a stunningly gorgeous and very slim woman that I had the pleasure of meeting in 1996. I’m adding Faith Hill’s “Take Me As I Am” because this song gave me hope almost 20 years ago that, one day, I would find an amazing man that would “Take Me As I Am”. And, I did. Faith, thank you for this song.