Christina Aguilera is one of those celebrities, like Kirstie Alley, whose drastic and continuing weight fluctuations are kind of shocking. But the way people are writing about these Aguilera photos from last Saturday’s Michael Jackson tribute—in which the singer appeared heavier and wild-haired in a leotard and fishnets—is offensive and absurd.
Maressa Brown at The Stir says Aguilera “appears to have no real idea about what she’s been doing to her body.” RadarOnline speculates that Aguilera is “totally unaware of how she looks” (which—with the omnipresent attention to her body and look—I find unlikely).
Radar then trots out a nutritionist, Jackie Keller of Los Angeles’ Nutrifit, to explain how because Aguilera had an eating disorder in her teens, and has been ‘yo-yo’ dieting ever since, her metabolism and ‘self-perception’ must be shot.
“Going through periods of eating really bad food and then not eating is a form of binging calling ‘disordered eating,’ which destroys the metabolism because you are always at a war with food,” explained Keller, who provides calorie-controlled delivery meals to some of Hollywood’s hottest stars.
Ugh. Yes, disordered eating can be very, very bad for your body. And I think it’s important to point out to people that constant dieting and weight fluctuations should not be the norm of adult life.
But we actually don’t know anything about Aguilera’s current eating habits. We don’t know about her metabolism. We don’t know whether she thinks she looks really awesome right now, whether she’s trying to lose weight and struggling, or whether she’s distraught about her weight gain. Using as evidence the fact that she performed, in a skimpy costume, while daring to be a little heavier than normal, is silly—Aguilera is a performer and dancer, and skimpy clothing is part of her persona. What, is she just supposed to hide out in her apartment, or only perform in baggy t-shirts until she slims back down to the size she was when she was 16?
And as if calling Aguilera a delusional fatty isn’t enough, Keller then goes on to imply she’s an alcoholic!
“People don’t have any clue how bad excessive calories are from alcohol. Stopping drinking would make an enormous difference in her body, and then she can go on to whittle away her other bad habits one by one, such as cutting out processed food and exercising,” she explained.
Let’s be honest: When the rich and famous gain or lose weight in a really obvious way, it is sometimes hard to look away. But I think I almost prefer the old-style, “Look at how much weight this celebrity gained!” tabloid reporting to this new style of serving up train-wreck photos of chubby or skinny celebs with pompous moralizing, psycho-babble and an air of faux-concern. As LeAnn Rimes said recently, it’s ‘bullying’ dressed up in the guise of taking eating issues seriously.
Photo: The Daily Mail