Yes, yes, I'm as tired as the next US Magazine reader of hearing about Jessica Simpson's hygiene habits. But there is a kind of celebrity body confession that I think our society needs more of.
It's natural for human beings to compare ourselves to other people in order to determine whether we're "normal" or not. We're social creatures, and, apparently, comparing ourselves to our peers gives us an idea of where we fall in society. (Just ask this Psych 101 textbook writer.)
Where things get weird is when we start comparing ourselves to models or movie stars. These gals, especially lead-actress types, are part of a group of people whose job it is to look a certain way, usually quite slim. When it comes to their shape, and the things they must do to achieve it, they are not "just like us."
I'm dead tired of hearing bone-thin women say they just "hike Runyon Canyon with their dogs"--and it's kind of heartening when brave young stars are willing to admit what the Hollywood pressure to be thin is really like, and what it takes to live up to it.
Take Amanda Seyfried, for example, who's becoming known for her down-to-earth ways and honesty in interviews. The web was all atwitter a while back when she was quoted as saying: "I have to stay in shape because I'm an actress. It's f--ked up and it's twisted, but I wouldn't get the roles otherwise. If I'd been bigger, I don't think they would have cast me for Mamma Mia!"
How refreshing that she doesn't try to cover up the fact that it's not necessarily "natural" and it's certainly not that fun to be Hollywood slim. Fergie is another semi-honest type: "I'm not going to lie: There are times I play mind tricks on myself, like that the french fries are poison. With desserts, I'll let myself have just one bite..."
As a woman who is recovered from an eating disorder and who is an advocate for healthy and pleasurable eating, I hate that any person feels she can never eat a French fry. But perhaps if more of us--especially girls and young women--knew what abnormal behavior it actually requires to look as "perfectly thin" as some celebs do, and how rigorous and unpleasant the path to that look is, perhaps fewer of us would aspire to it. Perhaps fewer of us would feel that we need to live up to it.
There are some celeb body secrets I can do without (anyone remember the rash of flashings in the mid-'00s?) But no amount of information that could help boost body love in the rest of us is TMI. Who's with me?