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Why We Obsess Over Celebrity Weight

celebritiesRecently names like  Oprah, Kathy Ireland, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Love Hewitt and even Seth Rogen have made headlines for their struggles with weight, and in some cases, the “struggle” seems a little far-fetched. Why are we so obsessed with celebrity weight changes, even minor shifts? Why do we judge them so harshly for even a five pound weight gain or loss? Do we believe it is a job requirement of fame to maintain a personal peak condition? On one hand, we want to believe that it is so “easy” for celebrities to lose weight and stay in shape because they don’t have “real jobs” and can afford to hire professionals to help them out all day every day. On the other hand, do we feel better about ourselves when celebrities are not perfect?

So much has been written about the dangers of exposure to extreme images, accepting those as the norm, as well as of being focused on your own weight, excluding BMI and health as measures. Yet we continue to analyze paparazzi photos for even the hint of a change. A shift in fabric, poor posture, normal bloating, or ill-fitting clothing could all explain a less than flattering photo more than a body change. Focusing on someone else’s weight and making comparisons is just as damaging as criticizing yourself.
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Kathy Ireland: From Super Model to Muffin Top

Kathy Ireland's before and after photos. (via People.com)

Kathy Ireland's before and after photos. (via People.com)

There’s been a lot of discussion this week about Kathy Ireland’s “muffin top,” after a photo of her, taken by her son, was released to the media. By Ireland! You could say it was a promotional stunt to garner attention for her new book “Real Solutions for Busy Moms.” Is all the scrutiny really fair? I mean, super model or not, compare any of us to our selves 20 years ago and we’re bound to have a little more padding.

We like to believe that when a woman has been in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 13 times that she’s got all the ins and outs of maintaining that bikini body down to an art form. Then we’re awe-struck when we find out that super models aren’t super human. She aged (now 46), had three kids, became a busy mom and launched a successful career outside of modeling.
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