Allure's highlighting of Saldana's weight reduces this talented performer to a one-dimensional image, reinforcing the strange and fraught relationship women (and men) have with one of the most reviled twentieth-century innovations: the bathroom scale.
I'm not one to let the Republicans get away with much, as anyone knows who's read any part of this blog, but there's only one word to describe NPR's coverage of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's recent lap-band surgery -- unfair.
I cannot imagine a circumstance in which he would get my vote. (Well, maybe I can -- if for instance he were running against Ted Cruz.) But there are things about the man himself that I greatly admire.
America hates fat people. There, I said it. I'll say it again: America hates fat people. We make America feel uncomfortable. We require attention. You cannot ignore us as we walk down a street, or sit in our car, or dare to enter a mall.
I was frightened of passing down my body obsession and eating disordered history to daughters. With boys, I thought I'd be safe. Boys eat and run and eat some more. Boys don't ask if they look fat in their jeans, right?
The majority of us would be outraged by, and would not stand for, the same slandering of Asian, black, female, gay, elderly, or disabled Americans. Why, then, do we tolerate those who focus the same vitriol on people who are overweight?
We have a natural environment. And a world of fast-food drive-through restaurants, fax machines, escalators and email is not it. The nutritional environment we live in is toxic to us. The effects of that toxicity are rampant chronic disease and epidemic obesity.
Chris Christie's weight doesn't have to be a discussion about presidential fitness, fame-seeking physicians, or snarky late night TV hosts. But it should initiate a dialogue about the literal, physical health of the nation, and Governor Christie would do well by starting it.
This particular morning in mid-April was quite chilly, although clear. In fact, the early suffusion of sunlight was promising a day of great beauty. Not that Michelle was listening to such promises. Far too busy. And besides, the climate inside was always perfect.
I do this all the time, explain away a person's appearance and actions. I try really hard to give people the benefit of the doubt when they snap at their kids in public, cut me off in traffic, refuse to give up their seat to an old person on the train.
The issue of personal responsibility for health and weight control comes up frequently in my professional circles, generating strong and opposing views. I have addressed this theme recently -- and many times in the past -- and expressed my own opinions.
I've wanted to lose weight since my son was born in 1992 -- and before that, too. I haven't had much success, probably because I haven't worked that hard at it. Weight loss takes a lot of attention and dedication, and I've never been able to commit to it that way.
We have such unlovely terms to describe our bodies. How good can you feel about yourself if you use those expressions to define parts of your own body? Not very. I think we're going too far with personal insults we aim at ourselves.
I want to offer something like an elegy. For the girls I know and the girl I was, who engineer their lives for emptiness. For those who have died, or died a little. For a generation of brilliant, driven women who get up, look in the mirror, and demand less of themselves.
Over the last eight years, I have traversed the clothes racks from the size 14 section to the size 6. And I bet you just had an emotional response to those numbers, thinking it was really big or really small or too much of a range or something else altogether.