• Wed, Apr 17 2013

LeAnn Rimes Shouldn’t Have To Explain Her Weight Loss To Anyone

LeAnn-Rimes-weight-loss

For the past couple of years, singer LeAnn Rimes has been in news far more for her personal life than her music. From her very public relationship with Eddie Cibrian to her body, she’s been the subject of numerous rumors and tabloid fodder. In particular, this idea that she has an eating disorder because she’s lost weight — after all, most weight loss can be attributed to serious psychological ailments, right? Wait, no.

When she entered a 30-day rehabilitation program, she cited anxiety and stress as the reasons for admission — more than enough information for people who were wondering, though it was none of their business. Nevertheless, the tabloids hopped on it and insisted it was for an eating disorder. Rimes denied this, but it doesn’t change the fact that people still find it necessary to speculate on the conditions of women’s bodies.

Now, Rimes is finding these rumors frustrating enough that she’s addressed them with — of all f’ing places — the Daily Mail. In her interview, she explains that she was experiencing some very difficult times regarding her relationship and personal life, thus perpetuating both tabloid interest in her, as well as gossip about her body.

“People said I was [anorexic], but I didn’t have a problem with eating, as I ate a ton all the time — I could eat my husband under the table!… But I was going through a time when I just wasn’t sleeping — my mind wouldn’t shut off and my heart was breaking.”

It’s awful to feel like you need to defend your weight, your body and your habits to anybody, let alone to thousands of people who are online, in magazines and on message boards just endlessly debating whether or not you have a serious psychological disorder. It’s incredibly frightening that this type of speculation is almost entertainment for some.

When will we live in a world where women don’t have to explain every little weight fluctuation? Each time we lose a few pounds, people notice and discuss it openly; each time a female celebrity loses a few pounds, the paparazzi, tabloids and blogs notice and discuss it not just openly, but also critically. “Does she have an eating disorder?” they will inevitably ask, refusing to acknowledge the (literally) dozens of reasons humans lose weight besides EDs. But even more importantly — and perhaps detrimentally — they are encouraging the idea that ruthlessly ruminating a person’s eating habits in public forums is somehow okay.

Photo: FayesVision/WENN.com

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  • http://www.facebook.com/spockish Erynn Petrulis

    Thank you… I think we as a society derive a really dark voyeuristic pleasure from eating disorders, especially in celebrity culture. It’s particularly damaging because public perception of what eating disorders are (or what they’re really like) is so very warped that people who struggle with them then also have to face these bizarre critiques and appraisals of what they “must” be going through which is often times based entirely on appearance. It’s not helpful for those with eating disorders and it’s certainly not enlightening for the general public. You can have an eating disorder at any size, and if you’re very thin or very heavy it is really out of line for someone to decide they understand what’s happening in your life because of it.

    I really do dream of a world where we exalt compassion rather than the spectacle of other people’s misery. We have too much bullshit like this all over the place! grr.

  • Joanna Karpinski

    Actually, eating disorders are something that need to get talked about, and if someone does indeed lose a lot of weight as Rimes has, it’s only beneficial to ask, “what’s going on? Could this be an ED?” If someone had asked me ten years ago when I suddenly lost 1/3 of my body weight what was going on and started to bring up EDs, maybe I would’ve gotten help sooner. Kudos to people who *are* asking if she’s got an ED. There’s no shame in having an eating disorder. It’s not a choice, it’s not our fault. But it’s a dangerous thing to ignore.

    • Muggle

      When I was in high school everyone was convinced I had an eating disorder, especially after losing 5 pounds to a fairly minor week-long illness. I couldn’t gain the weight back no matter how much I tried. It is very, very rude to ask a woman who has lost some weight if she has an eating disorder, especially if you KNOW something else has been going on in her life (stress, illness, etc.) It’s just another way to concern-troll women and shame them over their weight.