Monday, March 15, 2010

Weight Loss Companies Target Gabourey Sidibe

image Academy award nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe has been talked about as much for her role in “Precious”, as for her weight.  Hollywood is no stranger when it comes to reminding women how imperfect our bodies are; however, in the case of Sidibe, it has gone into overdrive because she dares to be fat and female.  Women like her are expected to disappear into their home with only the company ten cats for the sin of not conforming to social norms.  

Last week, Howard Stern attacked Sidibe and suggested that she would not have a career because of her weight.  It seems many are willing to over look the fact that Sidibe is not only extremely talented, she is happy and beautiful.   These attributes are ignored because they do not come in a size 2  dress. 

This week, a weight loss company has targeted Gabourey, offering a year of their product for free, if she loses weight.  As usual, they justify this by claiming to be concerned about her weight, because everyone knows that fat equals having the grim reaper as your constant shadow.

After viewing the recent pictures taken of you strolling around Santa Monica earlier this week, we at AcaiSupply.com have decided we can no longer sit back and keep our mouth’s shut! Obesity is a major epidemic in the United States, and we would like to help you rid yourself of this terrible affliction. Life doesn’t have to be this way.

So there Gabourey was, living her life, when AcaiSupply decided that her mere existence is horrible.  How could she possibly be happy, when she has this “terrible affliction”? It is specifically because we have demonized fat, that they can even make the suggestion that she lose weight.

Rather than questioning the help of this so-called weight loss aid, some of the commenter's at TMZ joined in on the fat hatred.

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It is far easier for them to continue to attack Gabourey, than look at the product that AcaiSupply is peddling.  Last year Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Oz and the Illinois attorney general, sued over 40 of these companies. 

Dr. Oz had this to say:

Many Americans have seen images of me, and Oprah and others supporting, it would appear, products that actually don't work in the ways that are described.

Here’s the bottom line, people are making assumptions on Sidibe’s health based on her size, but unless they have had access to her medical file, it is simply conjecture.  Sidibe seems happy and that is what should be the main concern.  She does not need  people to point out that she is fat every where she goes, because I am quite sure that not only does the woman own a mirror, she is very aware of what her body looks like.  This so-called concern on the part of AcaiSupply, seems to be nothing more than an attempt to gain attention using Gabourey’s fame, and therefore is not in the least bit unbiased.

I fear that for as long as Sidibe leads a public life, this is the sort of treatment that she will receive.  Fat hatred is a normalized part of western society and many feel it is within their right to not only make false assumptions, but publicly shame a person. Fame and success will not help to mitigate fat hatred in the way that it does other marginalizations, because it will only serve to make her that much more visible and therefore that much easier to attack.