Fellow celebs, it's time to change the body-image discourse
CAVEAT: This post is going to be mostly about skinny celeb bodies because, the world doesn’t need another thin white girl talking about fatness.
I have been thinking, it's sort of ridiculous that the internet is filled with stuff like the headline below:
Maybe I’m in the minority here, but it’s awkward when Kendall slamming the body-shamers gets more press than an article about how fat people are continually discriminated against by doctors, employers, family, and friends. Don’t get me wrong: Kendall is a dear friend, and I love her. But seriously?!
My non-famous readers are probably thinking, "celeb x is greaaaat because they once wrote a post on Insta denouncing body-shamers." Sure, that's fine, and the media is just the woooorst. And it a important that celebs call this out, really. But we celebs are equally responsible for perpetuating impossible standards of beauty, and not just because we continually strive to be toned and fat-free, and airbrush on top of that.
The real problem is when celebs don't disclose how much time, money, and energy goes into looking like this. Commoners, if you had an additional 30 hours a week and lots of spare cash, you could look like that, easy. You'd hire a personal trainer, a chef, and on top of that an assistant to yell at you when you miss your calorie goals. You'd exercise 3 hours a day, spend another hour on makeup, and then get a facial whenever a pimple appeared. On top of that, you'd get your right-of-passage nose job, pay off someone for Accutane, get fillers, and whatever your heart desires. Then, you'd file all of it as business expenses!
NOTE: this doesn't apply to non-famous models, they are on their own and it's so hard!
Normals, this is not a joke: this is exactly what celebs do. Think it's hard to be so disciplined? It sounds hard, but when you have a team of people helping you and a threat of losing your job, it's less hard. Add to that the consistent threat of candid photos (paps are the worst!) and a bunch of body-shamers...aaand that's all the motivation you need to look VS-fashion-show-ready 24/7.
I'm honestly not sure why we celebs are so embarrassed to explain to the greater public how much time we spend on looking good. But I have a guess: it's really embarrassing. No celeb wants the public to think they're so self-absorbed as to spend as much time as others spend earning a living just perfecting on their appearance; they want to appear as a wholesome moral leader who blasts body-shamers.
Fellow celebs, when it comes to unrealistic body images, we are just responsible as the paparazzis, creepy directors, and modeling agency higher-ups. Our flawless bodies are "unrealistic" exactly the extent that people who have non-modeling work to do can't spend several hours a day working to look like this. It's time to start telling our fans how hard this shit is, so they don't feel fucking bad about the visual appearance that comes with prioritizing things other than looking amazing.
The “unrealistic” celeb body changes in every period. It was at its skinniest in the 90s, and now it’s sort of leveled out to something that is unattainable for people with regular jobs but still not teetering on the verge of death.
By the way, every celeb worth their shit uses every opportunity they have to blast the body-shamers. This is because writing an Instagram post declaring your outrage is the easiest publicity you'll ever get. As a celeb, it doesn't matter who you are, or whether you actually care that @ilovebigguns12345 thinks you're "not that thin." Even if it comes from a good place, we all know we are using the opportunity to demonstrate our moral superiority to the masses. And every popular media outlet there is--Us Weekly, Refinery 29, and maybe even vogue--will give you a write up saying how great you are.
This is not to say that body-shamers and body shaming isn't a real problem. It's true, there are countless body-shamers out there. Internet body-shamers are everywhere: they could be skinny forum lurkers, or mediocre white men from Reddit. And then there are the shamers you actually know: the guy that sits across from you at work, or your grandma. But if you have over a million followers on Instagram and have a BMI in the underweight range, no one actually cares about your struggles with being called "fat": there are actual fat people who are at higher risk of illness because medical professionals deprioritize their care.
This past year, I've been too busy to put in my mandatory "celeb 30" hours of appearance maintenance. And it shows. Even though I'm still technically really skinny, I have imperfections. A tiny bit of cellulite, visible veins and--my least favorite--a chubby face that makes me look sleep deprived. I don't love it, but it has reminded me, "wow, this is what a regular skinny person looks like." And I think there's something to that.