Monday, September 10, 2007

Savaging Spears

Continuing my somewhat thematic coverage of obesity/weight/perception and the media, this morning everyone but me apparently woke up to newspapers around the country savaging Britney Spears for her "comeback" performance at MTV's Music Video Awards last night.

And while her performance is part of the talk, the big bit is not what she did, but what she wore - or, rather, didn't wear, and the body she displayed.

A sampling of the headlines: Chubby Britney Fails, Britney's Mommy Pack, Please Don't Give Me More, Bump in the Night, and perhaps my 'favourite', Lard and Clear.

The Seattle PI is asking whether or not it's fair to attack Spears for her shape. Her performance certainly seems up for grabs, but her body - in its imperfect size ten, after bearing two children - is that a target, too? Did she "ask for it" by wearing a revealing black bikini? Or is she just following the suit in fashion in Hollywood now - criticizing Angelina Jolie for her stick like limbs, and embracing America Ferrara for her soft, shapely form.

The PI story continues,
Talk of Spears' physique comes amid an increasingly critical focus on overly skinny actresses in Hollywood, who've largely replaced supermodels as the world's fashion plates. It's hard to pick up a celebrity magazine without a critical photo of, say, Angelina Jolie's birdlike arms. And curvy actresses are getting positive attention, from Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson of "Dreamgirls" to Golden Globe-winner America Ferrara of TV's "Ugly Betty."

In the fashion industry, there's been an effort to promote healthier-looking models. "Girls aren't looking as skinny this season as they did," said Suze Yalof Scwhartz, executive editor-at-large for Glamour Magazine. "There's food backstage. They're looking sexier." At Glamour, she noted, a model won't be featured "if she shows too much clavicle."

The nastier headlines about Spears are uncalled for, Schwartz said, but at the same time, "when you walk around the stage in a black bikini in front of millions of viewers, people are going to notice." She added that though Spears doesn't have the perfect body she once did, "Most women would die for the body she has now."

Frankly, if this is fat, sign me up!

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