iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Tamika Sayles

GET UPDATES FROM Tamika Sayles
 

Much Ado About Weight Loss Among Black Hollywood

Posted: 04/13/2012 1:54 pm

More than ever, celebrities are cashing in on weight loss endorsements. And at some point, I'm sure you've all witnessed the countless weight loss advertisements featuring African-American celebrities, with Jennifer Hudson (Weight Watchers), Janet Jackson (NutriSystem), and Mariah Carey (Jenny Craig) being the most recent additions. While, I'm happy at the increase of African-American endorsements and health awareness I'm skeptical as to whether or not these advertisements are giving off the right impression. Are weight loss programs (such as Weight Watcher's, Nutrisystem, and Jenny Craig) enough to obtain a Hollywood figure?

Last year, Jennifer Hudson's trainer, Harley Pasternak, revealed her exercise routine to PeopleStyleWatch.com:

Hudson started off with a 25-minute circuit-training routine of cardio, lunges, shoulder presses, and ab exercises five days a week. Eight months later, she's worked her way up to 50-minute routines, now including 25 additional minutes of cardio.

Much is the same for Janet Jackson. Jackson's personal trainer, Tim Martinez, told Ebony magazine that: "Jackson lost 60 lbs. by following an exercise routine that included a 90-minute workout five to six days a week".

And according to People.com, Mariah Carey's exercise routine consisted mainly of water aerobics.

Although, weight loss advertisements may add some insight into how celebrities lose weight, in reality, it's only half the story. BET.com Health Reporter, Kellee Terral, said it best:

These people get paid for their looks, can afford private chefs and personal trainers, have time to work out 2-4 hours per day, and have assistants and life coaches to make sure they adhere to their strict diets in order to achieve these amazing results.

Unfortunately, these are luxuries that most of us do not have. But, that doesn't mean it's the end of the road. Although these weight loss advertisements may not paint an accurate overall picture of celebrity weight loss, they can at least, provide Black women with a sense of personal empowerment, relatability, and health awareness.

In reality, there aren't any "quick fixes" when it comes to weight loss. The key to sustaining weight loss lies in permanent lifestyle changes, which involve replacing bad habits with good ones.

One can only hope that in the future, weight loss programs will place less emphasis on image, and more on sustaining healthier lifestyles.