Thursday, April 30, 2009

Weighing In

Today on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Kirstie Alley is scheduled to be a guest for the first time in over two years. In 2004, Kirstie first appeared on Oprah to discuss her battle with her weight. Shortly afterward, she became a spokesperson for Jenny Craig. Kirstie later appeared on the show in order to show off her 75 pound weight loss in a bikini; that’s right, after joining Jenny Craig and losing 75 pounds, she went on national television to show off her “new and improved” body. However, her motivations for her appearance on today’s show are drastically different.

In an article featured on Oprah’s website, ( titled “Kirstie Alley’s Weight Struggle,” she discusses how in a year and a half she has gained all of the weight back (plus ten pounds). Kirstie decided to share her story after Oprah confided (to the American public) about her continued struggle with weight and how she is back to being 200lbs. About her own weight gain, Kirstie says she feels humiliated and “sorry for the people she has let down”.

Although I am for people bettering themselves and believe that everyone should be healthy, I think that it is unfortunate that Kirstie feels guilty about gaining weight. In the article, Kirstie even goes on to say how she has developed a product that “cracks the code” to the secret of weight loss. So basically she is going on the show to not only discuss why she gained the weight back, but to also share the fact that she is coming out with a weight loss program later this year or the beginning of next year (go figure).

This episode of Oprah upholds the negative issues that women have with body image and how they perceive themselves. Kirstie was celebrated when she lost all of the weight and posed in a bikini, but now that she has gained the weight back, she is ashamed of herself and is now being viewed as a failure.

Another thing that I found interesting is Kirstie’s appearance on both shows. When she appeared in the bikini, her hair and makeup were flawless. Now fast forward to today’s show, she looked a “hot mess,” to say the least. I also think this holds a certain stereotype: “skinny women are beautiful; plus size women are not”.

It is really sad that in this day and age women and body image is still the focus when we should be focusing on other contributions women have made to society instead of what she looks like and how much she weighs.

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