As a woman of “average” to “curvy” size/shape, I often find myself considering whether I “belong” in the pop music genre. Let’s be honest, there aren’t that many female artists who have breached a size 8, let alone thesize 14/16 of the average American woman. Every time this subject comes up, someone mentions “But there’s Adele, and Ditto…and Jennifer Hudson. Oh wait, Jennifer Hudson lost a lot of weight.” The Grammies also revealed a thinner Adele, and Ditto’s weight is constantly a subject of talk among interested musicians, as it yo-yo’s from quite “round” to “deliciously plump”.
I don’t want to say that I advocate an unhealthy lifestyle, but I do think our culture has gotten a bit ridiculous when it comes to expectations about size, weight, and appearances in general. There will always be the person that argues that they are simply fighting the obesity epidemic because of the health implications and the cost that it imposes on the rest of society. OK, fair enough. Let’s look at this in a different way. We all know that drinking and smoking are also bad for one’s health. Moderate drinking can have positive effects on the circulatory system, so we’ll just ignore that one and go for smoking. Smoking has no health benefits and one should consider the impact of second hand smoke if they are genuinely concerned about health only. However, while we may agree that smoking is a bad habit, we are more inclined to accept someone’s addiction to smoking but find saddlebags and pudgy tummies “disgusting”. Think of all the mean things that have been directed toward overweight people and imagine that those same words were applied to a person that smokes. It just doesn’t equate. So, we can safely say that the problem our society has with heavy people is NOT the issue of health, but the issue of how a person looks.
I’m happy for Jennifer Hudson and Adele who are undoubtedly happier with a few less pounds, but I can’t help but think there is no place in the current entertainment industry for women who are not “the entire package”. Sadly, many fantastic voices of our time will go unheard because we are seeking the most beautiful/trim people rather than the most talented.
While I’m not an advocate of gluttony or forgoing health efforts, but I do advocate self-acceptance and following your dreams no matter what your size, age, race or experience. Share your gifts.