Today Show’s Comments about Jessica Simpson: “She’s Pretty Fat”
April 24, 2012 by Robyn Hussa Farrell
Filed under Activism, Body Image, Bullying, Fat Acceptance, Fat Talk, Featured, HAES, Loving Your Body, Media Literacy, Pregnancy, Role Models, Self Esteem, Self-Acceptance, Self-Care, Self-Compassion, Weight Stigma
This guest post graciously submitted by Sarah Biskobing, RD.
It seems as though once again, Jessica Simpson is under the microscope when it comes to her weight. This time, she is being criticized for being too heavy while being pregnant. Apparently, Jessica has gained around 40 pounds so far during her pregnancy. Dr. Nancy Snyderman blurted out “she’s pretty fat” when discussing Jessica’s pregnancy weight gain during the Today Show on April 3, 2012. Not only did Dr. Snyderman make this statement once, but she made it twice.
Sure, there are general recommendations for how much weight should be gained during pregnancy. However, Jessica’s pregnancy weight gain is between her and her doctor. It is really nobody else’s concern. It wasn’t anyone’s place on the Today’s Show to comment about her weight. It boggles my mind why Dr. Snyderman thought Jessica’s weight is of her business. Was the comment made out of concern for Jessica or her unborn baby’s health? I doubt it. A comment of “she’s pretty fat” sounds insulting and has a ring of bullying to it. When you are concerned about someone, you don’t blurt out a comment like “she’s pretty fat” on national television! Did Dr. Snyderman mention that gaining more than the recommended amount of weight can be dangerous? Yes. However, general recommendations are just that…GENERAL. When you are truly concerned about someone though, you bring up those concerns in private with someone who is actually in front of you so that you can have an actual discussion about it, not a one sided statement that is not able to be defended. And you don’t use words like “she’s pretty fat” when you are concerned.
If Jessica has taken some time to take a break from a rigorous diet and exercise routine to enjoy her pregnancy, more power to her! There are much worse things she could be doing while pregnant than eating a lot of mac and cheese (a food Dr. Snyderman said she needed to lay off of). Being pregnant is something to be enjoyed and cherished. It is something special. I don’t care what anyone else says, she is pregnant people, NOT FAT! Regardless of how much weight she has gained, I think she looks beautiful and happy. Why is it that we never focus on how happy someone looks when they are pregnant? Why is it that we find it our business to comment on how big or small someone is when pregnant? Sure, Jessica posed nude for the cover of Elle magazine. Donny Deutsch stated that by doing this, she put herself up for criticism. How does this make sense? So, hurtful and negative comments surrounding her weight are supposed to be tolerated because she chose to have herself put on the cover of a magazine? I highly doubt this was why she did the photo shoot. Star Jones states she was clearly air brushed. She very well might have been. However, given how much criticism Jessica has gotten about her pregnancy weight gain, can you blame her for allowing it be air brushed? I wonder how bad the criticism would have been if it wasn’t air brushed.
I am encouraging all people to think before they speak, whether you are in the spotlight or not. Comments regarding weight gain typically come across as hurtful. Is a balanced and varied food intake with moderate amounts of exercise important? Sure. But with that, a message that girls and women of all sizes and shapes should love their bodies should also be emphasized. Skinny, fat, or in the middle doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy. Leave that evaluation up to your individual doctor. We need to put more focus on loving yourself no matter what your weight, shape, or size (or anything else involving physical appearance). Because no matter what many people in this world think, looking a certain way won’t solve all of your problems. Skinny doesn’t always equate to happiness and health, and fat doesn’t always equate to misery and sickness.
To listen to the segment of the Today Show visit: http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/46937478#46937478
About Sarah Biskobing, RD, CD:
I am a registered and certified dietitian that specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. Currently, I work at in a residential eating disorder treatment center. On the side, I write and run a recovery based website/blog titled Eating Disorder Help with Nutrition (www.eatingdisorderhelpwithnutrition.com). Through my writings, I hope to help you challenge your eating disorder thinking so that you can live a healthier lifestyle that is free from food and body image obsessions.