I have a little confession. I’m a little pop-culture obsessed. I eat up all things Hollywood. I live for Awards Season (it’s like the high holidays for me). Hollywood’s comings and goings: the drama, the gossip, who’s sleeping with who(m?)…ahh…all this stuff makes me very happy. Alarmingly so.
My guilty pleasure for the past 8 or 9 years has been my daily dose of Lainey Gossip. She is the Meryl Streep of gossip. She is a maven, a sherpa… She is the Rain Man of who, what, when, where (and what they wore, to boot). What I love most about Lainey is that she writes with a no holds barred attitude, telling you exactly what she thinks.
The other day, Lainey posted an article on Jessica Simpson, and a recent photo spread she released to promote her clothing line. You can read the full article here. Lainey rightly points out that the photos, purportedly taken in November, have been heavily retouched.
The issue here is not whether or not the photos have been doctored (anyone with reasonable vision can see the difference). The issue is that Jessica Simpson is denying it. Yes, she lost a giant amount of post-baby weight (using the Weight Watchers system), but she did not look like the shot on the left in November.
The other problem is the overall message this sends to all of us: Jessica’s real body is not good enough to sell her own clothing line. Listen folks, if Jessica Simpson, with her team of trainers, chefs and stylists behind her isn’t good enough to appear in a print ad hocking her own clothing line [this is not a Lagerfeld spread in Vogue for crying out loud!], then what hope do the rest of us have to look halfway decent in our family pictures???
This whole thing landed badly for me. I’m not naive, I know that fashion magazines re-touch their models’ photos. I am well aware that the “beauty standard” spoon fed to us in every magazine is often completely unrealistic or unattainable. Still, knowing all this does not make me immune to the desire to try to attain the unattainable. Messed up, I know. But recognizing this…being truly cognizant of it…this is progress.
Letting go of those unattainable standards is the real work. And I will work on this.
Today was my 42nd consecutive day of working out. This is something I feel really great about. I’m proud of myself. What I’m not proud of was how critically I judged myself in the mirror this afternoon, waiting for the shower water to warm up. I have work to do. And I don’t mean physically.