The Obesity Stigma Continues…

10 Feb

This week in the news, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, made headlines for calling superstar singer Adele fat. Although this isn’t the first time the designer has commented on others’ weight, for some reason, this one seemed especially cruel. Adele is recovering from vocal chord surgery, overcame a bad break-up (hence the reason her album is so successful) and is right now enjoying some much deserved praise as she sails into the Grammys with 6 nominations.

Adele is an amazingly talented singer. She is probably one of the best voices to come along in decades. Yet, rather than praising her Lagerfeld points out her weight. Typical in the society we currently live in. Demi Moore and Lindsay Lohan get more sympathy for their drug problems than the overweight do. Bridesmaids actress Melissa McCarthy is up for an Oscar, but it seems like every time she is mentioned, somehow her size is worked into the article. Whether it’s something along the lines of a plus sized actress getting a nomination or who thought she’d make it in Hollywood with her size.

Also, the majority of the comments out there are directed towards women. Overweight men never come under the same scrutiny. Being overweight is the ultimate sin in our society right now. It’s sad, because overeating is a legitimate problem just like alcohol and drug addiction, but it is still being ostracized.

Adele has repeatedly said over and over that she is comfortable in her own skin and represents the vast majority of the women in the world as more are closer to her size than a supermodel’s. I commend her for taking that stand, but I’m sure somewhere, deep down it does hurt to hear those things.

Obviously being overweight can be unhealthy and dangerous, and it is good to slim down a bit in order to prevent diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart problems. But, people can weigh more than the “norm” and be considered fit and healthy if they exercise and take care of themselves.

Instead of criticizing these women for their struggles and flaws, we need to praise them for their accomplishments with no strings attached. Adele is a great singer, period. Melissa McCarthy is a talented comedian. That’s all that needs to be said.

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