It’s official: Jessica Simpson signed a $3 million deal with Weight Watchers to become their spokeswoman in 2012, immediately after giving birth to her first baby. Together, they’ll be mainstreaming the dangerous idea that immediate post-birth weight loss is healthy. Simpson’s decision is only mildly enraging (after all, what else would she do with her flatlined career?), but Weight Watchers should know better than to manipulate new moms into feeling bad about their bodies. Their program’s success is built on taking a balanced approach to weight loss, not enforcing the bad body image habits perpetrated by celebrity tabloids.
Sources say that Simpson will focus on losing her baby weight and prepping for her wedding with Eric Johnson, conveniently timed for soon after she gives birth. Early rumors about the deal held that she was signing on to get back to her early career weight, but sources say that it’s just the baby weight she’ll be losing. Which would seem like a fairly healthy goal, if it weren’t for the fact that she’ll be trying to drop pounds immediately after giving birth, when a new mom’s body is still adjusting hormonally and, depending on whether she’s breast-feeding, may actually need extra calories, not fewer.
But what’s even worse than Simpson’s—and other celebrities’—questionable commitment to immediate post-pregnancy weight loss is that Weight Watchers is mainstreaming it. Fox News explains their twisted reasoning for choosing Simpson to be their next rep:
According to a report from Us magazine last month, the company wants her to use their famous points system to follow in the footsteps of their other celebrity spokeswoman Jennifer Hudson to “lose a significant amount of weight.”
Not all weight gain (or loss) is equal, and thought
I haven’t had kids, but I imagine that it would take my body a few weeks to recover from nine months of growing a fetus and hours of pushing it through my vagina. I’d like to think that the people around me could understand if I didn’t “bounce back” to my pre-pregnancy weight—or even try—right away; after all, new Moms typically have myriad concerns other than looking good in daisy dukes.
Weight Watchers’ prides itself on a system that doesn’t promote deprivation or crash dieting; that’s why it works for so many women. But making new moms feel bad about their bodies, and pressuring them to tackle weight loss too soon, is just irresponsible and bad for the brand, if you ask me.