Friday, September 14, 2007


By now, you must certainly have heard about Britney Spears' recent performance at the MTV VMA's. And, I'm sure you've heard how horrifically overweight she appeared.

If not, see for yourself:

As you can tell, Britney, whose abdomen has raised more concern than the number of our troops remaining in Iraq, is clearly a candidate for gastric bypass surgery.

Call her a has been.

Call her a fashion disaster.

Call her an alcohol or substance abuser.

Call her a potentially (I'm being careful here) unfit mother.

But, please, please, don't call her fat.


PalmTreeChick said...

I'm pissed that people are calling her fat. She is NOT fat. What kind of message does this give our children? GRRRR. No wonder why 6 year olds think they're fat and are on diets. GRRR!!

(sorry, i'm fuming)

Yummy Rum said...

I've seen fat (truly fat) women belly dancing, and thought it was beautiful. I saw Spears' performance and, I'm ashamed to say, went "Eewwwww, she gained weight!"

I'm rationalizing it by telling myself that the performance, as well as the person it was attached to, made the fat look bad. So don't blame the fat.

LG said...

I was in a clothing store changeroom the other day and heard two teenage girls talking about Brittany's performance and how "she looks a bit fat now". It made me sad that her weight was the main topic of their discussion, rathter than Brittany's singing, dancing, etc. (I mean, what if people were to evaluate ME on looks only???)

The Rotund said...

It really troubles me that people are focused on her stomach instead of her substance-abuse issues. Because, you know, the one is a lot more worthy of concern than the other and I'll only give you one guess which thing it is.

I think she could have passed out on stage and people would still be talking about her stomach.

Emily said...

She's not fat. She looks great for having had 2 kids back to back and honestly I'd love to have that body.

That said, her costume choice wasn't the greatest. It didn't flatter her figure. I was cringing for her because she clearly wasn't prepared for the performance and that coupled with an ill-fitting costume made it difficult to watch.

And I agree that she has far bigger problems than having filled out a bit (which isn't a bad thing).

Israel said...

she did not look fat, she was in shape and hot. not like she used to be, or how the MEDIA thinks she should be but she was FINE. she had 2 kids dammit!

this pisses me off.

i do agree that her dancing was a bit a sluggish, especially when she think about how much she normally dances on stage. maybe its due to her 56 inch heels. lol.

grumpy said...

Britney. Is. Not. Fat. She just looks more womanly and grown up, which of course, in our woman- and body-hating culture that insists that we remain eternally 14 years olds, is a horrendous crime.

I'm not a Britney fan, she is a disaster on many fronts, I just loathe the way the mainstream media and gossip writers vent so much hatred at women bigger than a 00. They're the ones who are toxic.

Beth said...

I used to envy her body so much, especially her abs. Now I'm glad I don't have her body, which is NOT fat. The outfit she picked out wouldn't look good on even many healthy people! I am annoyed that everyone is criticizing her body now. If she had gone out there and given a killer performance, I think people's reactions would have been different. I mean, she was just standing there in a too skimpy outfit, so what else was there to do than notice lumps and such? Let's criticize her bad dancing and hair instead!

April said...

Dude, that girl is not fat. Not at all.

Anonymous said...

I'm not afraid to say that she has gained weight. So what? Why should she be expected to look like her 17-year-old self when she's had two kids? That is the expectation, apparently.

Regardless of appearance, her performance sucked. So much for a comeback. Not that I'm really sad about that. :P

MB said...

I couldn't believe it when I read an article that said she had serious muffin top. I did agree the *dancing* (clumsily strutting) and signing was pretty bad. The woman just had two kids and looks great (although the outfit was certainly not flattering). I know that even when I get to my goal weight I will never have that 16 year old body again but that doesn't mean I can't still look good. I would love to have Brit's *fat* body. GRRRRRR...

Kitty said...

I've have had two children, one of them is only 6 months old and I look nearly as good as I did before I had them. Having two children does not permanently prevent a women from being slim and toned. Britney's lifestyle has changed. She clearly eats more, works out less and perhaps has some drug or alcohol issues she is battling, given that her behaviour is so strange. I feel for the girl and wonder if she has been hit with post natal depression. Two kids in two years is tough. I have sledged her a bit and I regret it. She is a little girl with sad eyes.

chrissie said...

This brings to mind, to me at least, the Tyra Porkchops debacle from last year. OH NO CELEBRITY HAS GAINED 10 POUNDS FAT FAT FAT FAT. Now we just need Britney to go on a talk show (Oprah or Tyra) to announce that she's not fat and that she's proud of her body. Then the media will call her a hero for women.

And the cycle continues.

alex said...

I am honestly shocked that people are calling her fat. It's insane, at least to my mind. This poor kid has just given birth and is clearly under enormous stress. Not only does she get demonized for being a bad mother she also gets demonized for her body... both, of course, aimed at her 'femininity' and gender identity. It's, frankly, sad. Who cares if she no longer has a 6-pack and who cares if you can no longer see her ribs - and, really, who cares if she gave a bad performance. This young woman is a complex and sad human being who deserves some empathy and compassion. From the looks of things she has plenty of self-hate and I hope that people can refrain from adding to her shame.

On another note, and related to a previous post on Serena Williams, I recall watching the US Open and noticing very clearly how the commentators were valorizing and promoting Justine Henine's 'small and slight body... Reducing all women to their bodies is, for sure, an overwhelming issue.


April said...

This is odd. My cat loves this video.

CGgirl said...

Wow. I can't believe it's come to this. She's "fat"? omg.

I'm not getting into all the other issues that have been discussed, nor am I trying to judge whether she is healthy or not because u can't know that just based on someone's appearance or even based on their behaviors as observed through the media, so I won't speculate.

I'm really just responding to the ridiculous claim that her body is fat.

Actually I don't even agree with the commenters that think her outfit is unflattering. Personally, I think she looks great in this bikini.
I thought maybe I just didn't see her "fat" because of the quality of the video but I looked online and found some images and she looks very slim and also very sexy.

I dunno, I didn't see her in a host of other outfits to compare which is most flattering but I'd say she can walk on the beach in this style of bikini all she wants and look fabulous (and, though i don't think u have to look slim to look fabulous, SHE does look very slim to me).

It's a world gone mad...

CGgirl said...

(btw april ur comment was hysterical!!!)

CGgirl said...

hm one of my image links got cut off, maybe now it will work.

Anonymous said...

and women and girls everywhere are saying to themselves "if she's fat, what does that make me...."

dierdre joy whisky or sumthen said...


fat chicks? wher? who'?

Anonymous said...

poor fool, the lame brat just went and found herself trashing the hope for an ideal fair.

then there was the cleanup, the sisterhood transport and a few years of reflection into what might become not a sight but a reflex.

it is very good to see britney back on her feet.


Anonymous said...

While it's not directly related to THIS topic, I saw this and thought of this blog. I hope Dr. Stacy will see this and comment:


Jeanne said...

Fashion faux pas? Definitely.
Lackluster performance? Absolutely.
Fat? Not on my watch. She looks fabulous for a mom of two.

And when I saw the video, my first thought was, "Good for her for being comfortable enough with her body to wear something like that!"

drstaceyny said...

Excellent points, ladies. . . and men. *Yay, there are men on my blog!*

Don't have time to respond to you all individually, but wanted to reply to anon (Maria's) link. The Monitor is a mag. for psychologist (I have a subscription), but it's not really a reserach mag. The article was written in 2002. Let's consider those two factors. But, I will say that much of this is supported by the psychological community (still) and by mainstream society (of course). There's plenty of contradictory research. I really like Paul Campos' work. For a summary, see this post:

Also, to cggirl, thanks for the additional links. Britney, of course, looks huge. I'm particularly concerned about her health. ;)

Anonymous said...

She had tow kids of course she gained weight it's what happends to every women who has a baby. However, what women in her right mind would after having two kids get up in front of the world in a bra and undie type outfit and dance? I think she was trying to hard to make a come back and I wish she had had a lil more support. It made me want to cry I felt bad she didn't seem to want to be there.

Anonymous said...

"candidate for gastric bypass surgery"?? Please please tell me you don't actually believe that. She was exploited to get ratings, very unprepared for her performance. I feel terrible for her. She is not fat; a little more diet/exercise would probably get her back in top form. But gastric bypass? Another irresponsible comment coming from you I think. I'm disappointed.

drstaceyny said...

beautiful--it was kinda sad.

anon--disappointed by my sense of humor? I said she's not fat!

Anonymous said...

dr., disappointed that you would say "starve yourself" no matter how much in jest, regardless of her weight. i'm taking it a bit too personally perhaps, but even being underweight myself, someone like me could very well take a comment like that as truth, no matter its light-hearted intent.

Anonymous said...

apologies, i meant that you would suggest gastric bypass. the 'starve yourself' was the other disappointing post

Anonymous said...

Okay so I'm late on this one. But I think a lot of people missed the point of this article/blog. It was the point that ALL women are fixated on food and their bodies in a way men are not.

Why... Who the heck knows exactly. Except one thing... It's driven by social triggers. For some reason women are taught that they must get a man from an early age. And that if she's not attractive to guys at the age of 10 there's something wrong with her. So we shave our legs, pluck the hairs from our face and starve ourselves to be sexually desirable to the other sex (who is more interested at that time in our lives in playing video games and getting their bat swing down)

Ironically enough... I was practically anorexic (though I never went to a doctor eating only grapefruit for lunch and apples for dinner and crackers for bfast for almost a year would probably have gotten me classified)All through High School. And Horribly careful with my diet in College.
It was my last year in college that I worked 40hrs a week, searched for a job that I found two things. My wonderfully charming personality and my fiancé.

I was the heaviest I had ever been. 5'3" and 150lbs. In my eyes obese. i didn’t care though, I had too many other IMPORTANT things to worry about. I think gaining that 45lbs was God stepping in and showing me how worthwhile I was even though I wasn’t "Pretty". I found a guy who loved me for me and treated me with the respect that was lacking in all of my other relationships. Relationships where I was just a sex object and not a valuable human with a mind of her own. A mind that I have found out since is pretty adept.

I don’t like being over weight. and I have since lost a large chunk of the weight. Granted I want to look good and feel sexy to myself. I have come to accept that much of my self esteem is centered on my looks. Too much social programming to change that. However, as a former semi-athlete (I played sports and enjoyed them, just was never really good... probably a self esteem issue I'm realizing now.) I have started running with my fiancĂ© and lifting weights. Something I really enjoy and makes me feel good about myself. The after effects... a socially pleasing and healthier body that will last me much longer in the years to come.

So i agree ALL women have some sort of unhealthy obsession with food. Part of me feels that it is due to 100s of years of social programming. and the other part leans to lack of education. I think if we started educating people on how to feed their children healthfully and teach little girls that the way to get the body the want is not from starvation but through physical exertion we may not be able to completely over come the social and mental illness that exist with the western woman's body image, but it would be a darn good start b/c then fewer women would be damaging their bodies.

Additionally, the fashion industry needs to promote a healthier more fit body style. Props to Spain a few years ago for kicking out models without a decent BMI. What a great start and what a great way to make a stand.

Also the trend for women to look like people Like Beyonce (size 12 at one point), JLo, and Jessica Simpson is wonderful. This is much healthier body image than the images in the past. However young girls and young women need to understand to get these bodies one must work out and not diet to get them.

Ultimately the only way you are going to be able to stop anorexia and bulimia is change the way society views beauty. There was a time when the heavier woman (Reuben, Vargas) were considered beautiful. When society starts to find women with six pack abs and muscle definition beautiful then you will end your bulimia and anorexia.

Beware… the next problem will be women with too little body fat… We’re just all crazy.