Weight Loss: The Media’s Excrutiating Scrutiny of Carnie Wilson

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Front CoverTabloids and TV entertainment ‘news’ shows delight in following female celebrity weight gains.  They find the most unflattering photos of the poor woman and ‘expose’ her ‘shocking’ poundage. Victims of this tactic have been Tyra Banks, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and most recently, Carnie Wilson.

"It is very hard being in the public eye, being scrutinized for every pound," Carnie tells Us Magazine, slamming the National Enquirer for reporting that she needs another weight loss surgery. "They’re saying I’m going to have liposuction, another gastric bypass to have a baby," she went on. "It’s laughable."

In the past, Carnie Wilson has publicly shared her personal story about her weight loss struggles in her book Gut Feelings: From Fear and Despair to Health and Hope. She writes about her lifelong struggle with weight and her eventual decision to undergo a gastric bypass.

Nine years ago, after the surgery, Carnie lost roughly 150 pounds in 16 months. With the weight loss, Carnie was the toast of the town, and the press loved interviewing her about her weight loss success.

Now that she’s gained weight after a PREGNANCY – for goodness sake – she is now a target for tabloid derision. 

Who’s to Blame?

Tabloids, magazines, and newspaper say that the public is to blame for these stories, because we buy the trash they print.  To some extent that is true, but the media doesn’t simply reflect society’s unrealistic and unhealthy attitude towards weight loss and weight gain – it perpetuates it. 

This kind of media attention – flattering or unflattering – is exploitive of the celebrity and only serves to reinforce the public’s obsession about weight.  The underlying message in all this?  Your self-worth is dependent on how much weight you can lose and keep off. And guess what, ladies, you’ll be unforgiven for gaining all that pregnancy weight, so you’d better lose it quick!

Gastric Bypass Pitfalls

Overlooked in all this weight loss/weight gain hype is a common misconception about gastric bypass surgery.  It’s not a guarantee for permanent weight loss.

"A gastric bypass patient needs follow rules," Wilson said. "I fell off the bandwagon when I was pregnant… my eating habits changed. For me, it was about snacking," she added. "Somebody can consume a certain amount of calories, and if they don’t burn the calories, that equals weight gain."

In 2005, Carnie gave birth to a baby girl named Lola, and the singer/author hopes to have another child in the near future.  She is now in the process of losing the baby weight with healthy eating and exercise.

"I am committed to this, to my health, whether I am 300 or 200 or 150 [pounds]…I am committed to my daughter. I want to be a light of hope for her," she added. "[I'm not saying] you need to be a size 6 … you need to be healthy. That is the message I want to give to her."

Unfortunately, that’s not the kind of message that sells tabloids.

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