In 2012, Tori Spelling gave birth to her fourth child and told Us Weekly that she dropped 45 pounds through “A combination of low-impact cardio and a ‘healthy’ diet of fish, veggies, soups, and ‘sensible’ snacks like rice cakes, edamame, hummus, and avocado.” Turns out it was total bullshit fed to her (pun intended because Spelling barely eats; which I’ll get to) by her publicist who gave her “clear instructions” on what to say about losing the weight.
Us Weekly went ahead and featured Spelling on their cover in April of this year shouting at women:
Women see this shit all the time and new mothers in particular are facing an almost epidemic level of postpartum body shame from celebrities and the glossies that love them along with the regular-but-not-famous-mom-with-a-Facebook-page-who-couldn’t-weight-lift-an-apology-if-a-pageview-was-on-the-other-side.
The postpartum body shaming is so intense, Kim Kardashian didn’t leave the house for almost two months after giving birth to baby Nori and shared one, above-the-shoulder selfie in that time frame. Regular women have absolutely no hope if Kay “I bleed vanity” Kay can’t take it.
Spelling revealed how she lost weight in her new book by writing:
“I really don’t exercise much, period. So I took off my weight the old-fashioned way. I like to call it the Just Keep Your Fucking Mouth Shut and Eat Air diet. It’s all the rage.”
When Us Weekly put her on their cover, she had an elaborate story about swimming off the pounds and how her family is known as a “foodie family” because they “love food” and, of course, her husband Dean likes to cook gourmet meals and she asked him to cut it out. “There’s no magic pill,” she said. You know, except for starving the pounds away.
It’s an unfortunate situation, but that’s how Spelling got in that bikini and on the Us Weekly cover and made some bank while also contributing to the machine of look-like-you-never-had-a-baby-after-just-having-a-baby.
I want to go ahead and give Spelling a high-five for coming clean and being honest. Of course it sells more books (she also wrote about her financial struggles in Spelling It Like It Is), but now the complex has been confirmed: Hollywood moms are not eating, they’re starving. The covers and the recipes, cleanses and trainers are like a kind of Photoshop for the postpartum celebrity set; airbrushing a story so good it’s more certainly not true. And the job is so bad, we know.
But the pressure is real. It’s thick and pervasive, a type of trickle-down beauty politic of desirability for women from the upper echelons of Hollywood to the grocery store lane where actual food is bought to actually be consumed. If cigarettes come with health labels, Us Weekly and the rest of the glossies are a warning before women feed their families that they shouldn’t feed themselves. If they do in abundance or at all, women can go ahead and forget about being noticed. Or loved. Or desired.
Not by another person, I’m talking about from within. Because what gets on the cover, what gets noticed and what’s consistently praised is how fast she lost the weight. How fast she flirted with fat and couldn’t love a full anything: a full figure, a full belly, a full moment without a reminder to hurry up and lose.
h/t: The Frisky
photo: Us Weekly, Arthur