There was a story in the New York Times, What’s the Skinny on the Heftier Stars, about the expanding waist lines of male stars like Russel Crowe, Denzel Washington and Leonardo DiCaprio. On the one hand, I was kind of glad to see that men are coming in for the same treatment that women have put up with forever. (Misery, and five extra pounds, loves company.) But here’s the thing: These men still get the (younger, thinner) girl nine times out of ten, no matter how many extra chins they are carting around. And the criticism of the men’s newfound heft had a mild, wink and nod tone.
When female celebs gain a few pounds, the media is downright wrathful. (Then again, if they get too skinny they’re also in for it.) To a large degree, this is a reflection of a mind set we’ve all internalized. In my experience, if a man gains a few pounds he thinks (brilliantly), I’ve gained a few pounds, maybe I’ll cut back on the beer…next. When a woman (and I include myself here) packs on a few, she thinks – I’m disgusting, I have no self-discipline, my day is ruined. Yes, this is an exaggeration, and yes, it may be a huge generalization. But there’s more than a little bit of (sad) truth in it, too. What do you think the differences are when it comes to men, women and weight? And, while we’re on the topic, what about the media treatment?