(Originally posted at riotsnotdiets)
I don’t watch The Rachel Zoe Project, but I know her thin size (and apparently questionable eating habits?) have been the topic of much debate in the past couple years. While I’m certainly interested in—and critical of—how exposure to extremely thin bodies in the media can skew young girls’ perception of their own bodies and how they should look, I’m not really interested in body-shaming people of any size, regardless of whether or not they are “healthy”. This doesn’t mean that I don’t think eating disorders or disordered eating in general shouldn’t be discussed… they really should, and I think it’s important for young people to understand the extreme lengths their celebrity role models go to to ensure that they stay a certain size.
But it’s not helpful for us to sit and hypothesize about the relative health of someone we don’t know. When the media does it to fat people, berating celebs I love like Gabby Sidibe “for the sake of their health”, I get fucking pissed. Because the fact of the matter is, YOU DON’T KNOW that person’s life experience, or lifestyle choices, or medical history. So many people look at me, as a fat person, and make assumptions about all of these things and more based on negative stereotypes they learn (at least in part) from the media. It’s not right, and it’s not fair.
So what is Jezebel (one of my fave feminism-meets-pop-cultural-analysis type blogs) doing with their latest post, “Can Rachel Zoe Get Pregnant”? Because to me, it looks a lot like body-shaming, even if they swear up and down that that’s not what they’re doing:
This season of Rachel’s show has focused on whether she can make time in her schedule for her ticking biological clock. Yet nobody has addressed the elephant in the room: whether or not she weighs enough to get pregnant.
This is not an attack on Rachel’s appearance, nor is it a criticism of her own engagement in body snarking, and it’s not a comment on her highly-publicized association with size-zero actresses. Yes, those elements are all in the Zoe Ether. But what we’re concerned with discussing is the practical question of fertility, and in what condition a woman’s body needs to be in order to conceive.
Really? Is that all your concerned with/discussing? Then write an article about THAT, and if you must use a celebrity as an example to entice your readers, why don’t you write about a celebrity who has actually talked about it openly instead of calling out someone who hasn’t and concern-trolling them.
Thankfully, a lot of Jezebel’s commenters have already pointed out the obvious: that this is really none of our damn business.