Why Do We Pressure Sexy Women to Lose Weight? 8 Beautiful Stars Who Still Get Called Fat
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Have we gotten so riven by self-hatred in this country that even Kate Upton's body can still be subjected to this nastiest and most personal of public critiques? Upton is basically the epitome of curvy, blonde beauty as it's valued in the U.S. today. Hers is a look that ticks every box. She has the long, golden hair, the huge breasts, the tiny waist, the long legs, the tanned skin, and the gorgeous face that we women are taught — by virtually every beer ad and billboard and movie poster — that men want.
If Kate fucking Upton's thighs are not immune from public dissection, then who is?
Sauers comes to the conclusion that none of us are, and she’s right. But so many more famous women are upheld—not just by pro-ana bloggers—to this ridiculous standard. As for Upton, she hasn’t publicly responded. Perhaps tellingly, her Twitter feed is a string of public appearances (Fallon), more fashion spreads (Vogue España), and TwitPics of beach vacations.
2. Aishwarya Rai. The stunning Bollywood superstar has been called the world’s most beautiful woman by a variety of media outlets across the globe. She’s also super-bright, having had aspirations toward zoology, medicine and architecture before her modeling career kicked off and she became Miss World. She’s been on the cover of US Vogue thrice, and she’s broken boundaries for South Asian women everywhere, having become the first Indian woman to join the Cannes jury panel in 2003, the same year she became a face of L’Oreal and an ambassador for the United Nations’ work against global poverty. She’s the type of woman anyone would look up to, on par with the Queen of Jordan or Audrey Hepburn in her well-rounded awesomeness.
But none of that mattered this year when Rai, shortly after having GIVEN BIRTH, became the subject of derisive body-shaming headlines in India, whose tabloids seem to be taking a cue from the United States. ABC News, this May:
In November 2011, she gave birth to a little girl named Aaradhya. Recently, she started stepping out in public again. Pictures show a woman who has clearly gained weight, but does not appear unhealthy or abnormal for a new mother. But online criticism of her body was swift, harsh and carried an undeniably snarky tone.
The boiling point appears to have come with the release of a report by “Bollywood CIA” posted on YouTube. The video, titled “SHOCKING! Fat Aishwarya Rai!” shows before and after pictures of the star set to the sound of an elephant trumpeting in the background.
There were also tabloid headlines that seem quite familiar: “Shocking! Aishwarya Rai’s Baby Fat Woes!” a statement echoed in the latest stateside gossip headlines about Jessica Simpson, who also recently gave birth. ABC reports that indeed, it’s the Western world that is responsible for this stigma:
Professor Rachel Dwyer, the professor of Indian Culture and Cinema at SOAS, University of London, sees the criticism as a western import.
“I think this baby weight thing is a western obsession with pulling stars down,” she wrote in an email exchange on the topic. “Women who lose weight are congratulated and those who don’t are seen as letting themselves go. I’ve not heard of it in India before.”
3. Alicia Machado. This Venezuelan bombshell was crowned Miss Universe in 1995. If there was any doubt that a beauty pageant is little more than a “cattle auction,” as second-wave feminists deemed it, in 1996, the Miss Universe Organization considered revoking Machado's title because, as it was reported, she had gained too much weight. She was still the stunning telenovela star who had won over contestants across the globe, but a few extra pounds (and not much) on her arms and waist were what set off the organization, and there were rumors they would replace her with the runner-up.