Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Line 'Em Up!

In an US Magazine April piece, entitled, "Hollywood Hunger-O-Meter," "stars weight in on how much, and often they indulge their appetites." The celebrities are arranged on a "hunger meter," with markings from "Feed Me!" to "I Watch What I Eat" to "Not Counting Calories." "Feed me" celebs include Molly Sims ("I just fasted for four days. . . . I'm back on food. Today I had kale, squash, quinoa, and lemon water," while the other end of the spectrum sports Sarah Jessica Parker ("I eat everything") and Michelle Trachtenberg ("I'm in New York for a month, so all I'm going to do is eat pizza!")

Other notables? Julianne Moore ("I still battle with my deeply boring diet of. . . yogurt and cereal and granola bars. . . I'm hungry all the time") to Kate Walsh ("I was afraid of becoming huge. . . I remember [just] eating a mixing bowl. . . of whipped cream with Equal in it") to Ali Larter ("I'm such a hedonist with food. . . . I'm not one of those girls who likes moderation").

Did you see this article? What types of thoughts/feelings emerge when hearing about it? Do non-celebrities model their diets after these women? What does it say about our world that this is the dimension on which we're rating our stars?

20 comments:

WeightingGame said...

yup, I saw this. It was ridiculous - all about extremes. Either "I eat everything" or "I don't eat" or "I eat the weirdest crap you could imagine." Re Kate Walsh eating mixing bowls of whipped cream with sweetener - I had friends who did this in college - they would sprinkle equal and hot cocoa mix over fat-free Cool Whip and go to town. They all had eating disorders. I do think there are some (real) women who see that, say, Fergie does shots of vinegar to stay toned and think, "Hmmm...maybe I should do that."

Fauve said...

I haven't seen it yet. I'll will definitely check it out (I have a "weakness" for People, US and so forth, anyway, sad to say).;) I've come across Julianne Moore's remarks before, however. IMO, she is one of the honest ones (Marcia Cross, too. She's admitted to being hungry alot, how she's paid to be hungry - i.e., thin - and how annoying it all is). I really respect actresses who admit how strictly they must diet and how hungry they really are. I think Sarah Jessica Parker is not being totally honest. Sure - her metabolism could be fast. It's certainly possible. But, I bet she starves herself, just like they all do, to be so thin and fit. They also exercise many hours each day with personal trainers and so forth. I think many of them might be anorexic, or borderline anorexic. Probably many of them purge, too. Plus, so many of them smoke, as well, to keep their weight down, and do drugs. It's really not a healthy lifestyle for many actresses, who we all admire as so seemingly "fit".

Anonymous said...

My first thought: why do we, or should we, care what celebrities eat?

Sarah said...

I saw it, and immediately tried to place myself on the spectrum

Tiffabee said...

I haven't been able to find it but it sounds just awful. It certainly supports the title of this blog which I strongly agree with--every woman DOES have an eating disorder in some shape or fashion. Even if it doesn't manifest itself in behavior, we certainly have messed up attitudes about food. Check out my blog for more on this EAT A CHEESEBURGER! at tiffabee.wordpress.com

azusmom said...

Anonymous, you're right; we shouldn't care, but we do.

And Fauve, you're right, too. Most of these women go to extremes in order to look the way they do, then say they just have "good genes." Well, we'd all have those good genes if we lived on coffee, cigarettes, and salad (without dressing, natch) and worked out 2-4 hours a day.

I shudder to think what is going to happen to these women in 15 years.

And, why is what they eat or don't eat anyone else's concern? (Of course, they're considered more virtuous if they don't eat.) And, I'm sorry, but lemon water IS NOT FOOD!!!!!!

Nicole said...

A few months back, Kate at SP ran a post with a quotation from one of my favorite actors, James Marsters (he was Spike on BVTS and Angel):

"I am an actor in Hollywood and there is no such thing as a late night snack. They do not exist - you stop eating at sundown and you get to know your hunger. You’ll be spending a lot of time with that bastard and you gotta know how to beat him. The more fat you’re burning the louder the voice gets to eat and you have to know how to beat that voice down. It’s an act of will every day."

I thought at the time that it was one of the saddest, most honest things I'd ever seen an actor admit to. I mean, I love Spike's chiseled cheekbones, but I would have loved his character as Marsters played him just as much no matter his size.

Lucy said...

I haven't seen it, but I can imagine the impact it would have on me. The only thing a hunger-o-meter teaches me is that the celebs who say they eat are lying, and the ones who are honest about always being hungry have more willpower than I will ever encounter.

It's kind of depressing really, because of course we are taught that these women define standards of beauty, and unless you can learn to silence your hunger (and/or suffer miserably from it), you will never be "beautiful".

Alyssa said...

I haven't seen it, but I think it is sad how people (celebrity or not) feel pressured to be on some sort of diet or restrict their food intake in some way. Though I am not one to talk (since I have an eating disorder), the fact that celebrities do diet and continually try to be thin does not make it easier for the rest of society to think otherwise.

Fauve said...

I saw the "article". It sure was't much, but I can't pretend to be surprised. After all, it's US magazine. I'd love to see a real article that treats this issue with the true depth it deserves. Why, for instance, do actresses have to be so thin? They're not models, after all (and even models shouldn't Have to be that thin, imo). I saw a movie called Bread and Tulips, an Italian film, which featured a heroine both somewhat older and bigger than most actresses. http://imdb.com/media
/rm4260470272/tt0237539
She was so beautiful, I thought. Earthy and real and full of life.

Anonymous said...

It is really annoying when very skinny actresses pretend to eat a lot--who are you kidding, and do you realize you are making an ideal that's even more impossible for almost everyone to meet by saying that? I believe that SJP can get away with more tha most, but I do not believe that she doesn not diet and watch what she eats very carefully.

I liked Juliannae Moore and Kate Walsh the most--they seemed honest, and also aware of the absurdity.

Karen said...

Personally, I resent the idea that if you are thin and claim to eat you're lying. I'm thin, and I most certainly do eat. I eat exactly what I decide I want (usually only restricted by what I have around the house, this week is a bad week to crave bologna, but a good week for hot dogs).

One question I have, so Ali Lartner says she isn't one for moderation . . . so how much does she actually eat? Saying "I eat to excess" doesn't mean anything unless you know how they define excessive. Most women who feel a need to watch their weight, nevermind the celebs, seem to think that if they eat more than the 1200 cal Weight Watchers says you can live on they're overindulging. I live on a bare minimum of 1700, yet I'm still thin.

I do respect those who admit that they are actually hungry on what they (don't) eat, but I find it extremely sad that people don't see something wrong with it. They decide that that's what it actually takes to be what these stars are, and if they don't do it they are abnormally lacking in willpower, rather than being normal.

Laura said...

Hey, I'm a big fattie and I'm a little bit offended that everyone is assuming that thin actresses are lying about what they eat. Isn't that just the other side of the whole world assuming that all us fatties are sitting on the couch all day stuffing food in our faces? Perhaps they do lie, but isn't what they eat their business and not ours?

I think we should be talking less about the "article's" content and more about what kind of need/market they are filling. Why the hell are they being published in the first place?

Fauve said...

I think there are thin people who can naturally eat alot w/o weight gain. Usually they are young, but not always. I also think that there are many fat people who are routinely driven to (over)eat a great deal of food, more than they need or want, for health or pleasure. I also think alot of those actresses are lying when they brag about eating anything they want. Unless they mean anything they want and they just Happen to want only really tiny amounts of food. Or they purge it all. I think it's so hard to be in the public eye, for actresses, so I understand why they would lie. Even though it creates an illusion of being able to be very thin and muscled, yet still eat a huge amount.

Beth said...

Laura- you made such a good point about why we shouldn't make assumptions about what thin people eat.

Maybe it's disturbing there is a market for these articles, but think about it. Many people want to have bodies like these celebs, so of course they're interested in their eating habits. I would love to have Victoria Beckham's willpower. She's another one who admits to carefully selecting what she eats.

Anonymous said...

I am certain that generalization concerning the eating habits of thin actresses lead nowhere. There are so many other factors to consider.
"acting" is an art form, and many starlets who lack the talent for this kind of work must view their appearance as another way to get roles or photoshoots. Another aspect is the monetary factor - people like V.Beckham or Paris Hilton have much more possibilites to keep their weight down than a regular trailer park mom (nasty thought, but this is not a class-free society). I am much more interested in the modern schizephrenia of the public eye- favoring the ultra-skinny actress, but at the same time scrutinizing her for looking differently than us.

Palmtreechick said...

Cause none of that is disordered!

I've done the shots of vinegar, Weightinggame. :)

Fauve said...

Beth - you write that Victoria Beckham has "willpower", but who knows? With any of these actresses, they could definitely have an eating disorder. Beckham's "willpower" might, instead, be anorexia and/or bulimia. Many women, in careers that place a very strong emphasis on looks and being toned, often develop eds as a way to keep their weight down.

azusmom said...

OK, I'm just gonna say it again. I used to be a professional actress. I lived in New York and then L.A. Hollywood is filled with EDs. I've seen them, I've had them, and the industry perpetuates them.
Yes, there are certainly actresses (and actors) who are naturally very thin. But they are in the minority. Most of the people there are very vigilant about what they eat and how much they exercise. It's impossible NOT to get caught up in it if you live there, even if you're not in the Industry. The only way out of it that I found was to leave, both the city and the profession.

Meg said...

as someone who has been recovering from an ED i can say that this is EXACTLY the kind of crap that go me obsessed with comparing myself to other women, particularly celebrities - um mk circa summer 2004 anyone?
i don't know about anyone else but for me hearing anything about anyone else's diet/EDs/excercising sparks an immediate conversation in my mind about how i compare to them. i have to consciously decide that i don't care & i force myself to believe that i don't care. even tho that ED voice in my head really does.
this US article is BAD. i can't imagine how many girls are going to learn some bad habits from this.