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Media Spot-lite: Celebrities and Photo Captions

March 29, 2012

A while ago (when was Fat Tuesday anyways?), I wanted to link to this NY Daily News piece entitled “Fat Tuesday Special: Stars Stuffing Their Faces” but for some reason felt a bit uncomfortable about it. Which is strange, because I adore poking fun at celebs as much as the next b****, but I recently revisited the photo montage and realized: I am really turned off by the way they captioned these photos, especially for a “Fat” Tuesday special. Let me give you an example:

“Kim Kardashian works on her trademark curves by indulging in some cotton candy while watching her (ex)-man Kris Humphries play the Knicks …”

“… and shovels in some lunch with a pal in West Hollywood.”

Basically, I dislike Kim Kardashian just as much if not more than the next folk. I dislike that she’s famous for doing absolutely nothing except overexposing herself, I dislike that she and her family are trying to conquer every possible market (ugh and now they have weight-loss products…another ironic story for another ironic day), I dislike that she is vapid, shallow, and basically completely worthless and yet a multi-multi-millionaire…I dislike everything about her! I do! But what exactly are we doing by using phrases like “works on her trademark curves” (by taking a bite of cotton candy?) and “shovels in some lunch” to describe a WOMAN who EATS?! I mean, I have come to a point where I no longer internalize anything the media tells me to, and have managed to deflect and protect myself from all the absolute bull they spew at us on a regular basis, but what purpose does it serve to portray a woman who publicly eats in such a degrading manner?

And yet other celebs, like the ever-gorgeous Sofia Vergara, are portrayed as thus:

“It’s so nice to see an actress eating dessert!”

Perhaps the creator of this photo essay has a personal vendetta against K.K., but why is it “nice” to see one actress (who is also known for her curves, by the way) eat dessert and not another? Mixed messages much?

Oh well. All in all, there are much worse things in the world to focus on. But, I just wish the media could be more cognizant of the way they portray eating and weight and women, avoiding the shame that usually is involved in the representation…pipe dreams?

(Images courtesy of The New York Daily News)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sexy Curmudgeon permalink
    April 2, 2012 1:07 pm

    What I’m most struck by with celebrity features like this is the celebrity fetish cycle that our society and media are so skilled at perpetuating. We build these celebrities up to be revered and admired (often by virtue of their celebrity alone, Kardashian case-in-point), giving them glamorous fashion shoots, interviews, and access to money that allows them to hire daily personal trainers, cooks, etc., all things that are completely out of reach for average people. Then, we love to “humanize” them again – magazines show us how celebrities are “just like us,” showing them eating(!), driving their cars(!), walking their dogs(!). They ARE just like us, so why does our culture have a need to perpetuate this cycle? Is it a desire for unachievable goals? For role models? Or maybe this stems from an inherent insecurity, a need to build something up so we can then cut it down and reconfirm our own feelings of superiority. This all links back to the diet/working out/body culture that enjoys such ubiquitous influence, so Hangry Hippo is really accessing the heart of the issue by linking these two trends. Thanks Hangry, keep the insight coming!

  2. April 2, 2012 9:03 pm

    I completely disagree with you. This was just the hard hitting news I needed!

    I have long been suspicious that Kim Kardashian in fact eats, and FINALLY i have proof! Clearly I am going straight to the top with this news. Furthermore, I am going to inform the farmers and ditch diggers of the world that they have been doing it wrong, and apparently shoveling should be done with a small fork.

    Our Tabloid Culture is an embarrassment. I cant even find out if KK uses Qtips. The public demands answers.

  3. April 2, 2012 9:03 pm

    I can comment again! Was having problems….

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