For all my cynicism, I can be such a freakin’ Pollyanna sometimes, you have no idea. For instance, when I read this line from Fat Fu
(For the record I find Huckabee’s assumption of moral superiority over his weight loss especially irritating, since I’m about 80% sure he’s had weight loss surgery.)
I was scandalized. For real. You mean… you mean… he might have had the surgery and LIED ABOUT IT? Or just NOT TOLD ANYONE? And then gone out there and started banging the anti-obesity drum and acting like he just lost all this weight by eating vegetables and exercising? SOMEONE WOULD DO THAT?
Totally never occurred to me. Because, of course, politicians are usually so honest and would never encourage people to live up to an impossible standard that they themselves fail to meet.
I know, I know. I comfort myself with the old adage Liss whipped out somewhere in the comments recently, that only a thief is constantly worried that people are trying to steal from him. I figure the reverse must also be true, right? Only an honest person constantly assumes people are basically honest, despite abundant evidence to the contrary?
Or, you know, only a complete idiot constantly assumes people are as clueless as she is. Whatever.
I got to thinking about this again a few days later, when the “news” about Star Jones’s upcoming Glamour article came out. Star Jones will finally address rumors that she had gastric by-pass surgery! (Oh, THANK GOD.)
But see, in that case, my cluelessness worked in the other direction; I had no idea that Star Jones had never publicly admitted to having weight loss surgery. I assumed that was a confirmed fact, and everybody knew it. Not because I’m clever enough to read between the lines, but just because… I totally thought I read that somewhere. Huh.
Then I started thinking about other people I’ve heard WLS rumors about. Sara Rue leaps to mind:
When I first heard that theory floated, I had the same basic reaction as to the Huckabee theory, only moreso. First, SOMEONE WOULD DO THAT? — and then second, Sara Rue wasn’t anywhere near big enough to qualify for surgery! She was, like, a size 8/10, max! If someone had just told her that drop-waist dresses are not her friend, she wouldn’t have even looked a little bit fat before! (Yeah, yeah, Hollywood standards. We’re getting to that in a minute.)
Now, I have absolutely no idea if Sara Rue had surgery or just went apeshit with dieting and exercise, but I do know this: a good friend of mine, who started out thinner than I am and therefore totally didn’t qualify for WLS in the States, ran off to Mexico without telling anyone and got herself a lap-band. They’re handing out bands to anyone with enough money and self-loathing down there, and people in L.A. don’t even need a plane ticket. So it’s utterly ridiculous of me to think that an actress who makes a living with her body, has publicly expressed frustration with losing roles for being “fat,” and has publicly gotten pissed off at people who called her “plus-sized” wouldn’t do the same. Yet my gut reaction to the Sara Rue-mor was still, “No! Couldn’t be!”
You see what I’m saying about the Pollyanna thing?
So when all these thought molecules started banging against each other in my tiny brain, it finally dawned on me: holy shit, this is dangerous.
When even I, a devoted student of fat, keep failing to grok that celebrities might be secretly having their guts renovated, what are the chances that, say, your average adolescent girl is going to catch on?
It’s bad enough that the standard is set by people who can afford personal trainers and chefs, and who get paid millions to be as thin as possible.
And it’s bad enough that magazines turn Faith Hill into Jessica Simpson, and the average reader has no idea a 39-year-old woman doesn’t actually look like that.
And it’s bad enough that some already skinny celebrities take sketchy, illegal pills (not to mention good old fashioned cocaine and meth) to, you know, make their collarbones really pop.
But for celebrities and public figures to have surgery to lose weight, and act like they just laid off the cheeseburgers for a couple months? That is beyond the fucking pale, y’all. That is some horrifying, eating disorder-inspiring shit. And given my high degree of cluelessness, I’m sure it happens much more than I realize.
Where does it fucking end?