Cynic that I am, I'm not surprised that Jessica Simpson's 'recent weight gain' made the following headline at Fox News: "Jessica Simpson Shocks Fans With Noticeably Fuller Figure." So-called 'news' reporters ran similar hit pieces in newspapers across the country, but they aren't the only culprits in what I call the 'weight-hate' game.
Doing a search for "jessica simpson fat" yields over 4.5 million hits, which means there are plenty of bloggers and commentators chomping at the bit to get their 2 cents in as well. Sigh…Reluctantly, I join the fray if only to be a voice to counter the unnecessary vile being spewed out over cyberspace.
I first found out about the latest Jessica Simpson weight attacks when a friend emailed me a New York Post cartoon he had come across, depicting a morbidly obese Simpson (with Ronald McDonald in background) telling Tony Romo she'd 'found someone else.' Aren't you just a little bit curious to see what cartoonist Sean Delonas looks like? Too bad…a search for a photo of the artist on his website and Google is apparently fruitless. How nice to be able to take pot shots at celebrities' weight while remaining in relative anonymity!
Reaction to the cartoon, news stories, and other posts in the blogosphere range from outright hostility and ridicule "It's Thighs the Limits for Jessica" to sympathy and outrage. A second wave of animosity is directed at these supporters, it seems: "All the people that are commenting she looks great, must also be fat and out of shape."
Jessica's sister, singer Ashlee Simpson, wrote an excellent response to the hate-hype on her My Space page:
Since when did a woman's weight become newsworthy…
I am completely disgusted by the headlines concerning my sister's
weight. A week after the inauguration and with such a feeling of hope
in the air for our country, I find it completely embarrassing and
belittling to all women to read about a woman's weight or figure as a
headline on Fox News.
women come in different shapes, sizes, and forms and just because
you're a celebrity, there shouldn't be a different standard.
Is this something you would say to your wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, or even a friend?
I seriously doubt it.
How can we expect teenage girls to love and respect themselves in an environment where we criticize a size 2 figure?
Now can we focus on the things that really matter.
In the new age of web interactivity, the internet is rife with surveys, polls and active debates on Jessica's weight. "Did Tony Romo cheat on her because she gained weight?" and "How much did she gain?" – these are just the tip of the gossip iceberg. Although there are fewer headlines and blog post titles that question the validity of weight being an issue in the first place, it is encouraging to see the number of supportive comments by people 'who get it.' Even respondents to the repulsive question "Is fat Jessica still hot?" on AskMen.com are overwhelmingly favorable to the beleaguered celebrity.
My favorite comment, however – and a perfect one to end this post on – is from 'HatestheJudgemental': 'My name says it all, grow up'.