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Cameron Diaz recently announced that she is going to write a book about the importance of proper nutrition and start touring high schools to talk to girls about how being healthy is more important than being thin.
Bravo! It’s really exciting that a celebrity is finally willing to help spread the evidence-backed truth that people (fat or thin) who practice healthy habits have much lower health hazard ratios than thin people who don’t.
It’s just a shame that Cameron’s curvier colleagues haven’t felt comfortable taking this stand.
In 2007, Tyra Banks stood on the stage of her talk show in a bikini and said, "To all of you who have something nasty to say to me or to women built like me I have one thing to say to you: Kiss my fat ass!” It was awesome! And she went on to start a “So What!” body-acceptance campaign and encouraged ladies (who dubbed themselves The Belly Brigade) to march around LA and celebrate their bodies. Two years later, she was in People celebrating her 30-pound weight loss -- the same magazine she proudly flaunted her “plus-size” bod on the cover of when she was a member of the brigade.
I imagine that it’s hard to love your body and focus on your talent and health when you’re under immense pressure to look like the photoshopped image of you that’s all over the place. So bigger celebs like Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson and Jessica Simpson often start out preaching body love but end up taking jobs losing weight (for over $30,000 a pound!) and, even if they lost the weight without monetary incentive, seeking approval from the press for their new svelte figures. They go through the whole dog and pony show only to get skewered if, like 95% of people, they gain the weight back in 5 years.
Missy Elliot used to talk to the press about how her curves made her an icon. Now she talks about how she lost weight by “pouring my drink and salt and pepper and hot sauces on my food and smashing it all together so I won’t want to eat anymore.” I guess whatever works. But that doesn’t necessarily sound like a healthy relationship with food.
Carnie Wilson, who was once fired from a gig with Fresh Diets for not losing enough weight, is now having surgery to gastrically band her stomach, which has already undergone a gastric bypass. She claims that it’s medically necessary because she is prediabetic (which the original gastric bypass was purported to prevent and cure).
These women have every right to make whatever choices they want to make for their bodies. And I understand publicity is part of the game. It’s just that, in a world where girls are starting to diet at 7 years old, studies show that twice as many kids have eating disorders as type 2 diabetes, hospitalizations are up 119% for eating disorders in kids under 12 and third grade girls say they would rather lose a parent, get cancer or suffer a nuclear war than be fat, I wish more stars would use their platforms to promote health rather than the impossible standard of beauty. I applaud you, Cameron. Hopefully, more of your friends will follow your lead.