For a majority of today’s aspiring actors and actresses, having an attractive figure is essential to having a career. Those just starting out in Hollywood especially feel the pressure. In the land of beautiful people, having a near perfect body is basically a prerequisite. Once established, however, it’s up to the celebrities how they deal with the issue of weight. If they allow it to take center stage in their life, it will more than likely take center stage in the media reports about them. Of course, ignoring the issue of weight is easier said than done, especially when considering Hollywood. Also, the intensity of this pressure can vary based on what point someone is at in their career. It’s also affected by the celebrity’s original disposition and the way they became famous.
One starlet who received more attention after improving her physical appearance is former “Hills” cast member Audrina Patridge. In 2008 she returned for the fifth season of the MTV show after having a breast augmentation. The 25-year-old had also toned up to the point she had barely any body fat. At the time, a pal of the actress’ told Us Magazine that she “feels she has to be perfect to continue her career in TV and film.” Ever since showing off her new body, Patridge’s name has become synonymous with this image of a Brunette Barbie Doll. Since choosing this route for herself, one has to wonder if it will naturally handicap Audrina in the future in terms of her opportunities and expectations. Such challenges are common with young female stars who eventually become known primarily for their looks instead of their talent.
In some instances, a person becomes a celebrity through a character they play. These individuals, guys especially, are lucky in that the weight pressures of Hollywood aren’t as punishing. Take Jonah Hill for example. He rose to fame with his role of the overweight, desperate high school student Seth in 2007’s Superbad. Since then, he’s attained a number of other comedy roles, all of which show him the same way. Fans like seeing him as the pleasant and chubby goofball, so if he became thin, it’d probably confuse them. Viewers are used to Jonah Hill’s humor and his image going hand in hand.
When a celebrity’s weight begins to attract more attention than their career, it becomes a problem. As a result of seeing these stars change pant sizes every week, the public begins to focus solely on their weight issues and what could be going on behind the scenes. A well-known example of such a yo-yo dieter is singer Janet Jackson, who for years has been losing and gaining weight. She’s been a size 0, a size 10, and everything in between. As a result her weight is always a focus when she steps out in public or does an interview. Another example, perhaps the most notorious, is the case of former “Cheers” actress Kirstie Alley. The former Weight Watchers rep actually made fun of her obesity with 2005’s “Fat Actress”. The comedy series showed Alley playing a version of herself as she coped with Hollywood’s weight obsession. After this, A&E launched a reality show based on Kirstie’s life as she battled the bulge. In this case, it’s clear to see how Alley’s weight struggles took precedence over her persona.
A celebrity’s weight can impede their career if they let it. One great example of someone who hasn’t been swallowed up the Hollywood pressure is Rachael Ray. The chef and Food Network Host has never been a size 0, something she’s been casual and frank about. She has also ignored negative whispers surrounding her image. As a chef, Ray frequently gushes about her love of food as she prepares dishes on TV. When asked how she manages her weight, the 42-year-old told the Associated Press, “I don’t,” adding, “I haven’t known my weight since I was 12-years-old. I have enough pressure.”
By watching Ray on TV, one gets the impression that she has a strong sense of self, that it’s something she’s never going to lose. She’s comfortable with who she is, and that’s probably why the media has backed off from the weight issue. Rachael Ray is not close to being fat, nor is she skinny, and she’s okay with it. End of story.
Other stars who share Ray’s disposition will likely shield themselves from further media scrutiny.