Friday, April 17, 2009

Marie Osmond and weight

in her new book MIGHT AS WELL LAUGH ABOUT IT NOW, Marie Osmond gives me a mixed message about weight. it reminds me of my own confusion.

on the one hand, Marie (hopes it's okay if i call her that) discusses being forced to diet while a teen on her variety show. she was 5'5 and 110 and told she must lose 10 pounds. Marie starved and was briefly bulimic, getting down to 93 pounds. after the show ended, marie gained some weight and spent years criticizing herself for no longer having that skinny body

She say'she's changed her beliefs and would "like to believe that we could shake the earth with thinking differently about our weight and focusing more on how true beauty comes from being healthy, both physically and emotionally."

she adds that she's decided she'll "no longer flee the thought of having a true female body" and she's going to "stand and fight for my own daughters to be healthy, no matter what their natural body size."

And then she writes about her current diet, Nutrasystem. she makes fun of her butt and herself for pretending she'd just had a little "water retention", when she started gaining weight. she got up to a whopping size 12, which isn't THAT crazy on someone 5'5 is it? i wear a size 10, and i don't think i'm huge. (well, a part of me thinks i'm huge.)

for all i'm critical of Marie, i understand. i wish i could throw my (size 10) body over young girls to protect them from the onslaught of advertising and peers. "you're fine the way you are - however you are", i'd profess loudly and proudly to anyone who'd listen.

then i'd go home and criticize my stomach.

this is a simplified summation


  1. I don't think a size 12 sounds "too fat" for someone who is 5'5". This seems like another media-inspired mixed message.

  2. If girls could embrace the concept of good nutrition and exercise it would help so much. Early in their life too, before the media infects their brains. I don't really like the dynamics of my body - but I like that it is strong, healthy and fit. I wish I had been shown that road when I was younger

    Still, in my mind, I will always want it thinner and thinner and lighter and have stick arms etc. Only these days I have the sense to accept that thought process as wrong. (except when I eat chocolate).

  3. It is so true, isn't it? I dont think that wanting to help others while unable to help ourselves is hypocritical... I think we have a yearning to protect others from the hell in our own heads, because we wouldn't want to wish that on anyone.

    Great post. Very thought provoking, and sensitive at the same time.

  4. I hate these mixed messages from celebrities. Out of one side of their mouths, they say that it's all about being healthy and happy with who you are as an individual. Out of the other side of their mouths, they talk all about their diets designed as if we're all the same. To me, they just sound stupid. It's like when people were making fun of Jessica Simpson for being "fat" and her defense was, "Body criticism is mean! And, oh, by the way, I'm a size 2." How is that helpful? Idiots.

  5. I find myself constantly saying to my therapist "I would absolutely never say or think this about another person but..." and then make some comment about how it's not okay for me to look the way I do, weigh the number I do. It's a vicious cycle.

  6. just eat it: you are so right -- just another mixed media mixed messed up message for us gals. how can we ever be free?

    linda; i'm feel exactly as you do. if i woke up tomorrow and was naturally skinny (and healthy, of course), ah, i really would be THRILLED. still, i'm miserable when i see my wonderful 14 year old niece calling herself fat (she's perfect) and dieting and weighing herself every day. heart-breaking!

    karen: i know what you mean. i would love to make someone else's life easier than mine has been. i related to marie osmond, because i send out so many mixed messages. it's hard to be clear in a society that values skinny. you have to be very, very brave.

    kim: exactly!!! perfect example. and yet, i still hear my inner voice saying, "jessica simpson is no size 2". i can't even believe that knee-jerk reaction. that's something i really need to work on.

    Amelie: thank you for writing. yes, aren't we gentler with other people? i really do find people of all shapes and sizes beautiful. but for me, not so much

  7. I am so sick of Marie Osmond. BTW she is not a size 2 at 5'5" and 120 lbs. I am a a size 2 at 5'4" 98 lbs. Go figure. She will be heavy again because she is not naturally thin.She is big boned, just like her mother. Why doesn't she just accept it?