When it comes to celebrities and body image, we as a culture love to weight watch.
Women in the spotlight who willingly share their experiences with weight loss are often unfairly critiqued for feeding into a narrative that “thin is better,” while others who embrace their curves are labelled “unhealthy.”
Seriously, people. Let’s stop trying to police women’s bodies.
As a plus-size woman, I am sensitive to conversations about body image, fat-shaming and body acceptance. I even wrote about my own issues with weight back in 2014.
But something interesting happens every time a celebrity discusses their personal fitness in interviews or on social media.
READ MORE: Adele’s weight loss: Why are we so obsessed with celebrities losing weight?
Rebel Wilson dubbed 2020 her “Year of Health” back in January, and she’s been proudly posting about her efforts ever since.
I wrote about Wilson celebrating her fit physique this week and drew immediate ire from some who felt the coverage suggested there is something wrong with being bigger.
While I understand the concerns, nuance, apparently, doesn’t come easy to the internet.
Passing judgment on stars who lose weight (or gain weight) is an unfortunate pastime we can’t seem to quit. Here are just a few celebs who have been through it.
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Adele: Her recent physical transformation sparked claps, eye rolls and complaints that she is now “too thin.”
The criticism when she first found fame in 2016 was that she was too big. Either way, she’s beautiful, talented and an artist who is easy to admire.
Melissa McCarthy: The former Gilmore Girls star used her experience being zaftig to launch a plus-size clothing line years ago. I remember when she first started shedding pounds, someone on Twitter questioned if she’d still be as funny as a thinner woman. Ridiculous.
Lizzo: The singer fully embraces her fullness, and that has led many people to sign her up as the poster woman for big-girl acceptance.
But hailing Lizzo just for her body positivity ignores the reality that she would be a success at any size.
RELATED: Lizzo calls out body shaming and double standards in music industry
Zac Efron: Women aren’t the only ones who have to deal with comments about their bodies.
To some, the actor is looking slightly different on his Netflix travel series, Down to Earth with Zac Efron. He was deemed, by some, as now having “a dad bod.”
Ben Affleck: New Yorker magazine published a piece in 2018 titled ‘The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck,’ in which the actor was described as having a gut “pooching outward.” Ouch.
I could keep going, but let’s get back to Wilson. By documenting her weight loss, Wilson was proudly opening up about one of the most difficult challenges a person can take on (I know this for a fact). I see no reason why such positivity shouldn’t be shared, if not amplified.
Lizzo takes no less pride in showing off her full figure — this is a woman who posed nude for her album cover, after all — and that, too, is cause for recognition, positive reinforcement and discussion.
Conversations around celebrity body image on social platforms can range from laudatory to cruel.
There is a difference between the judgement of these bodies and acknowledgment of them. When I cover this topic as a journalist, it is with compassion and the hope we may see our own self-image struggles and successes in the experiences of celebrities who choose to share them.
And whether it’s a public journey like Wilson’s or a quiet transformation like Adele’s, personal fitness is ultimately a personal choice.
So, let’s all stop standing on each other’s scales.
Rebel Wilson’s most memorable Instagram moments