Are We Hypocrites When it Comes to a Star's Weight?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I’m so glad I’m not a celebrity. I criticize my own body more than I probably should. I can't imagine how I'd feel if the rest of the world were doing the same.

Cheryl Burke, the two-time champion from ABC's Dancing with the Stars has gained weight. She admits that, after having the summer off for the first time in years, she relaxed, indulged and added a bit of weight to her size 4 frame.

"Very comfortable" in her own skin, Burke, 24, didn't think much of the extra five pounds on her petite, strong frame. Then the tabloids and bloggers took aim at her. Pregnancy rumors, awful name-calling and other hateful lies spread around the Internet and the tabloids, Burke told ABC's Diane Sawyer on Good Morning, America recently.

"Stars are supposed to be just like us, and yet we jump when they go up or down a pound or two," Sawyer said while introducing Burke and her story.
For the record, Burke's a size 4. The average American woman is between a size 12-14.

Why are we so preoccupied with tearing other people down? Is it jealousy? If we're not criticizing (pre-pregnancy) Angelina Jolie and the cast of Gossip Girl for being too thin, then we're criticizing Tyra Banks and Jennifer Love Hewitt for not being thin enough. (Hewitt lost 18 pounds after the tabloids took aim at her!)

Does putting down celebrities make us feel better about our own bodies? Most of us (myself included) are larger than a size 4. So if we are mocking a size 4 woman, is that just our collective self-loathing coming through? If you call a size 4 "fat," then what do you say about yourself?

Have we forgotten the old adage "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones"? Dean recently wrote about the "F" word, and the majority of commenters said calling someone "fat" is unacceptable. Is an addendum necessary? We shouldn't call people fat... unless they're a celebrity.

Burke is beautiful, strong, and capable. Most people could never go out there and what she does on national television.

"You do not have to be a size 0 to be beautiful," Burke said. Hear, hear.

The hypocrisy when it comes to a woman's weight is astounding, don’t you think?

Like it or not, celebrities are role models in our society. So should we cut them some slack when it comes to weight and appearance?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


Don't bother telling me what size you are or how much you have gained or lost. What are your measurements?
Keep in mind the sizing creep of the last 50 years.
Size 10 Measurement charts
1960 - 32.5, 25, 34.5
Today - 38, 30, 40.5
There was no size 0 back then because we called it a size 6 Report
For me, and I guess this is being critical too, Many I have seen on tv lately need to put on 20#. The legs are so thin, they have no shape. Of course I know too, I will never be a size 4. Report
Stars jobs are dependent on their looks. If they don't like it, they should get a different job. I have no desire to be judged by other people, so I don't put myself in that position. I get so tired of them complaining. You can't have your cake and eat it too. I don't pay any attention to them, but they probably don't like that either. C'est la vie. Report
Personally I notice celebrity weights, and I do sometimes get caught up looking at before and after weight changes. If it's a healthy change, such as Jordan Sparks, or Jessica Simpson, I'm happy for them. They seem happier, and healthier, so good for them. If it's an unhealthy change, up or down, I don't think "oh she needs to eat" or "eww she's fat now." They're undergoing all the stress of being human, on top of the stress of fame. Angelina Jolie was looking underweight not too long ago, and I was just sad. She was stressed out, and it was reflecting through her health, who am I to judge someone who is just going through their own problems? I don't judge every non-famous woman I see based on her weight, and gain or loss, so why do it to celebrities? Report
Absolutely we are hypocrites! We (women) are perpetuating the unreachable expectations that we are putting on girls. If you get an opportunity to see the documentary Miss Representation, do so. Remember the media coverage of the first Obama election? All they talked about for the women (Clinton, Palin) was what they were wearing, how they looked, while for men it was about what they were saying. Its an eye opening documentary and a disgusting statement about society. Report
I notice this a lot with WWE too. I hear my guy talk about how Divas have gained weight or something or the commentators as I am wishing I was the same size as them. I know they are supposed to be athletes, but when I hear them being called fat, it makes me feel worse because I am at least double their size.
The problem I see is a combination of 2 things.

1. People expect too much of celebrities. They are actors and singers, and while they are seen as role models they are human, not perfect.

2. People do not know how to respect other people's privacy.
They should be able to have privacy and allowed to live their own lives. To deny them that is completely unfair, especially when those same people demand privacy in their own lives.

Those are the biggest hypocrisies I see, and the main reasons why people have the wrong idea of what a person is supposed to look like. Until people can start respecting others more, it's not going to go away. Report
Once I have achieved perfection I will have earned the right to think about whether other people are living up to whatever my hallucination is of how they should be - until then, I think I will focus on becoming the best I can be, in all areas of my life Report
I have way more important things to worry about than a "celebrity" gaining a few pounds. Fact is, they are human too and shouldn't be scrutinized for every thing that goes on in their lives. I think I will keep my focus on being healthy myself and continue to not worry about Cheryl Burke or anyone else gaining a pound or two....if she wants to eat a donut, let her eat a donut! Report
Oh it's terrible what the public expects celebrity women to look like. If a male lead has a belly and man boobs it's endearing... but if an actress gains weight from either having a baby or just cause (like we all do ALL OF THE TIME) we judge them so harshly. I look at those article and think, "Well, if she's fat... then I must be disgusting!" It's sad and I do feel for the ladies. I don't think anyone could make enough money to make that kind of judgement and embarrassment worth it. Report
Depending on their type of work, celebrities should be expected to have better bodies than the average American. In fact, this is part of their job: to look good. As mentioned, they are the "role models" in society, and many look up to them as their ideals, something to look forward to. However, not all celebrities should be held up to this standard. It's the difference between a bikini model and a comedy show host. If America wants skinny and fit as the ideal, then I feel like celebrities should have to own up to that ideal. Report
Many people have hanged Madonna out for being too muscled and too skinny too much of this and that.. These comments come from people whom have no concept of the body ideal she wishes.. Just googling her for photos I found photos of her doing stuff like her in extreme yoga positions turned up. She hits the gym and the pavement, thats wrong too..
I call her a alround superstar.. 50+ looking fantastic and in great shape shaking her money maker.. Men half her age would die for the chance to dance with her and add it to their job CV..
She is a decent women and I am tired of the press doing character murder.. Women buy the magazines and have a hand in feeding the leeches whom write the stories..
Paparazzi was one of the reasons Diana died in a car crash- having a camera stuck up in your face every time you walk out your front door will make people do deperate things.. Report
I thin most celebrities are on the too thin side, but it's also hard to tell sometimes if the camera truly does add 10 pounds. I know that I HATE photos of myself yet am far less critical when I see a mirror. I know I need to lose weight and wonder if I might become more successful if someone did point out my fat in the newspaper??? Maybe that would give me the extra push I need! Report
It is sad how women are always slammed for gaining some weight - especially when they are healthy to begin with! Double standards indeed. Report
I don't care if my favorite actor or actress has gained/ lost weight. I think Sara Rue was beautiful before Jenny Craig. So why does the media think we care? Why are these horrible photos printed of someone's weight gain/ are they pregnant/ bad beach bodies/ cellulite??? Because there are people who buy them to feel better about themselves. It sucks.

Part two of that... Alec Baldwin has gained weight as he aged. BFD. How come his size and weight isn't being shredded? Hi Double Standard. Nice to meet you.

Worry about yourself and getting healthy and wish the same for others.

xo Report
A Hollywood size 4 is not the same as a Penny's or Sears size 4. They have vanity sizing. A person shopping at one of the stores they shop in would probably fit into a size labeled 4 or so sizes smaller in number. That number really doesn't mean much when you look at it that way. One day a while back I went shopping at several stores. At one store I was a large, at another I could wear the medium, and at another a small. I don't care much about those numbers any more. Report
You have got a point. I have come across alot of young ladies that think they are fat. To top that all off they try to lose weight by not eating. I think this comes along with low self esteem. Women have curves. That is what makes a women beautiful in my opinion. Report
No wonder teenage girls have bad body images of themselves. Being a normal weight is now seen as being grossly overweight, if you believe the entertainment magazines. Or the sizing in stores geared toward teens...what's up with the shirts sized "adult M" that wouldn't fit your average 10 year old? My daughter is 5'5'' or thereabouts and weighs in the neighborhood of 125. She regularly buys size L or XL shirts in those teen stores...really, is that a "large" sized girl these days? Glad that she has more sense than to believe the labels, but so many girls don't. And a note to the women's magazines out there...don't insult my intelligence by weight loss stories featuring women who lost a bunch of weight and look great, but the article always seems to need to mention that she now wears a "size 4" or whatever it is, when her weight prominently mentioned in the article couldn't possibly fall into that size range. What's wrong with just celebrating the fact that she looks awesome and is healthy, without assigning her an unrealistic clothing size? Report
I can't even tell you how many times I've seen SP members comment on blogs calling thin people things like weak, mean, lazy (because of course they couldn't possibly work to stay that thin...every single thin person is "naturally thin"), unable to take care of themselves, and unable to identify with other people.

Pot, meet kettle. Report
I definitely think everyone is hypocritical when it comes to celebrities and their body shapes and sizes. Look at Jessica Simpson. She was/is a curvy girl and everyone called her fat and cracked jokes about her. It's not normal to look like most stars. It's not normal to lose your baby weight in a month. We are all beautiful, no matter what size pants we wear. Like you said, NORMAL is 12-14! I think Cheryl looks gorgeous. Report
It's wrong no matter who it is referring to, celebrity or not Report
No, celebrities don't get cut any slack when they lose or gain too much weight. A huge part of their job is looking good for the camera. If I lost my ability to add and subtract (I'm an engineer) I'd lose my job, or at a minimum be severely impaired in my job- if they lose their ability to look good, they lose theirs. Report
I don't believe in the "F" word either. Until a person walks in another's shoes they should keep their comments to themselves.

The problem I have with celebrities who gain or loose weight is when they "lie" about it. They lie about how much they really gained proclaiming it was only 5 lbs when it is obvious it was a lot more than that. If J. Love Hewitt lost 18lbs, then how was she insisting that she was still a size 4 at that time? I don't care what size she is but please don't insult my intelligence that on her very small frame an 18lb weight gain is a size 4. After loosing her 18lbs did she then become a -2? Kristie Alley is another example. I am over 200lbs and there is no way she weighed less than I do when she declared her weight on Oprah. It made me angry that even when she was showing the world she was working hard to loose weight she couldn’t be honest to begin with!

If a celebrity wants me to empathies with them, then be honest. Do not be afraid to admit you are just like me and every other woman in the world. Step up and claim your size. I in return will support your talent and not your waist line!
It's interesting too, that the men never seem to get criticized. Men are still considered good looking no matter what their weight is. I agree it's the tabloids and magazines. I only look at that stuff if there's just nothing else to waiting in the doctor's office. I'm much happier being ignorant of such things. Report
Hang on - most female celebrities are way too skinny!! Plenty of shots are fired at the famous underweight skeletons too.


Remember, it is not us that takes aim at these's the media. The media used to be a voice for the people, but now they're just a channel for marketing and sales messages.

I stopped buying womens magazines and reading gossip sites and it's amazing how much more positive I feel about my own image. Report
A think there is way to much pressure on female celebrites to be stick thin. I am a size 3/4 in most clothes, sometimes I am a 5 or a 2 it really depends on the clothes. So clothes sizes can be very unreliable. I am not a stick, I am healthy and I have a bit of a tummy it isnt going anywhere either after having 3 kids. I think Cheryl Burke looks fabulous as she is. Instead of focusing on celebs and their weight I think more focus should be about what they actually do and who they are. Also when you are short as I am an extra 5 lbs can make you look alot heavier and I know this from experience. Either way she looks gorgeous Report
She looks great, either way. Being petite myself, I know how an extra 5 pounds can look like a lot, and can make a huge difference in the way clothes fit. On taller people, there is more room to spread it out! The good news is, 5 pounds is a not a lot to have to take off. Report
Even a "celebrity" is human....just as we are...we have our "ups and downs", and can work on the correct solution....I would really dislike, all the "attention" because I have gained a "few pounds". Report
If Cheryl Burke needed to lose weight, I'm doomed!! She has an awesome, fit body that no one should have criticized. I'd love to see the size of those who made all the comments in the first place. I suspect none of them are so svelte!!! Report
I really hate how there is such a hype about celebrities and weight. I feel like magazines that are supposed to fill us in on the happenings of the entertainment world focus more on the happenings of weight gain/loss. Either they are commenting on how someone is "too thin," "too fat," or just obsessing over someone's good body. Personally, it's not so much the hypocrasy that bothers me as much as how aweful it makes me feel about myself and how I don't look like some of the ultra-thin celebrities. Such an obession with the celebrity weight only makes me stress more about my own weight issues. I hate that and I think it's aweful that it is focused so much upon. Report
I think we are harder on celebrity bodies than anyone else. I am someone who absolutely LOVES curves. Cheryl Burkes body is perfect and strong in my opinion. Beautiful, healthy and happy. Yes I think alot of people may be too critical on the celebrity body. Myself included...I have been guilty of knocking someone for being to thin. Report
Every time I see a picture of Queen Latifah I think about how beautiful she is because of her confidence in her size. She's not only a "thicker" celebrity, she's also tall. But man is her confidence gorgeous! Report
Children watch and hear what we [society] do and say... which doesn't paint a very good picture. My healthy active granddaughter was already thinking she was too fat at 6 yrs old! Sure didn't get that from my daughters or me but she sees media everywhere. Report
i will never call a celebrity fat unless i see them eating all junk food all the time. they should eat healthy and be healthy just like the rest of us should be.
HOWEVER, i'm all for showing the disgusting pictures of the too skinny celebrities and call them anorexic because it shouldnt be ok for that to be accepted. they should know that they do not look good, do not deserve compliments, and most importantly are not healthy! i dont conceal my staring when i'm at the gym at anorexic girls and neither should the media when it comes to celebrities! Report
I personally do not care at ALL what size a celebrity is. I think that they, like all other people in this world, should be allowed to be who they are, and not what other people think they should be. I can honestly say I am not a hypocrite in this manner, because I honestlyu could care less what size they are.
I may feel bad for them if they become annorexic because of the pressure, no one should have to deal with that, but if they want to be size 0 or size 14, that should be THEIR choice, not ours.
I think we need to stop focusing on stars, and focus on ourselves more. Just like we like our privacy, they should be allowed theirs. Report
I do agree that a lot of it comes from people's obsession with putting down someone else in order to feel better about themselves. It's so much "fun" to hear about troubles in paradise. Who would've thought that all those celebrities who seem to have the world on palms of their hands are actually real people.
Sex and drama are two biggest sellers in our culture. Media takes adventage of it and we're eating it right up. Report
Well, I wouldn't say hypocrites, but I do say "Most media outlets love bad news and, if there isn't enough, they create it because bad news sells papers." So, they create artificial standards of beauty and then go after famous people who don't match that. Frankly I find that less than disgusting, not even worthy of that term. What's worse, the American public seems to want more of that. What have we become? Report
Everyone talks about size of clothes and on and on. I am a size 16, down from an 18 and am very happy with how I look. Are there things that I would change? You bet but I look in the mirror every morning and like what I see. The charts all say that I am obese but I don't look obese.
I think that people need to love themselves and make a pact to compliment everyone they see with one positive compliment and then people would quit worrying about weight and sizes and more about what people have inside that is beautiful. Report
Not to be a debbie downer..but who even cares about sizes? American sizes are what I call "feel good" sizes. In Europe I would be nowhere near a 4 (and I know, I have tried on eurpoean clothing) Express I wear a 2.
Sizing is an unreliable method for judging ourselves.
LAME! Report
I do think "we" are hypocrites. I will say that I have never criticized a celebrities body. But, it breaks my heart and makes me feel extremely self conscious when I hear others doing it. I do think... "wow, if they think Kelly Clarkson is fat I will never be acceptable. And even when I lose weight and reach my goal I will be fatter than most fat celebrities. It is quite deflating. I try to avoiding reading these things because it makes me feel like I might as well not bother. I will never be good enough. Especially in a mans eye. Some of them say that they don't want skinny women or whatever, but those same men will call Kelly Clarkson or Norah Jones fat. Just like the article Coach Nicole just wrote about people criticizing her body. If she gets criticized then really, I will always be fat, no matter what I weigh, according to America. How depressing. Report
I don't think the reaction everyday women have to celebrities is JUST jealousy.When you are fed a message : " skinny is beautiful, and above a size __ is fat" then you INTERNALIZE it.
Meaning, you may react to it/be affected by it without even realizing it! I don't think it is right to tear down a model for gaining weight. Usually it is super hypocritical. Because it means they have probably become closer to the size of an average sized women. (And a woman CAN be healty, fit and bathing suit sexy at the avg size of 12..everyone has diff bodies!)
Likewise, it is understandable when people criticize people for getting "too" skinny. But the real focus should be WHY did that female actress get that small. If you take a step back, you realize they are victims of a system that itself has double standards (and in favor of men). Think about it...We are TOLD and INTERNALIZE the notion that men can be any size, age and have different features. But we all become stringent on a female actress's, size ,age and features. It's like we lash out but it is many times a reflection of the insecurities we have. Because, like those women, we are victims of this ridiculous standard. We need to challenge the system itself.
:0) Not a radical. Just a passionate beleiver in positive self image..and the responsibility the media has in promoting this (and it's failing miserably) Report
See..our culture is a sick one in some ways. This is one of those ways. I couldn't be a celebrity unless i was like Queen Latifah, who is SO beautiful just being who she is. This whole thing about Jessica Simpson is ridiculous. It was ridiculous about Cheryl Burke. Frankly, any grown woman who wears a size 0 - 2- 4, and diets or has surgery to be that size, is a woman i feel sorry for. That's not even reflective of a woman's body. That's like a girl's body; a pre-teen body. Like, there's nothing sexy about that IMHO. For instance..the actress Brittany Murphy. The first time i saw her was in "Clueless" (she played Tai), and she was SO cute. She was thick, she had a pretty face and a beautiful smile.. She was PHAT, not fat. Somewhere along the way, somebody must have told her she was fat and unattractive (a lie), so she lost all of this weight. She doesn't even look the same as she did before. She played Eminem's girlfriend in "8 Mile", and i didn't recognize her at first. Once i realized who she was, it made me sad. She doesn't look hot anymore. She just looks hungry. Report
If anything, I would be happy if the women in the spotlight gained some weight. Eating disorders are like a virus in the entertainment world now, so that gaining 5 or 10 pounds seems to be career-threatening. Doesn't make me a hater to notice that there is a rampant unhealthiness in Hollywood right now. I shudder when I see comments on celebrity photos, as girls marvel at a starlets "great legs", when in fact they are nothing more than skeletal. This is where that attitude about Cheryl's 5 pounds comes from. Size 0 or less is becoming the new standard for celebrities, and nothing more is tolerated. The pressure is coming from the producers and agents, and the eating disorder virus is the result. I so wish that women would regain their power and refuse to buy into that weak mentality. I just so wish that more celebrities would refuse to compromise their own health and well-being, and tell the producers and agents "take me or leave me." so that this madness will stop.

I think Cheryl looks healthy, and I wouldn't have noticed a 5 pound gain on her. And why should I care if she's healthy? I care about the unhealthy celebs with eating disorders or using drugs to achieve waif-like thinness, and only because of what it's doing to the girls who look up to them. In my house, my girls have always know that we don't talk about being "thin" we talk about being "healthy", and we don't worship celebrities, or lust after designer brands, we just try to be the best and healthiest we can be. And I wish the same for celebs. Report
Society sucks when it comes to role models. Why do we have to be so thin that we don't look healthy? Why do we have to be able to count our rib bones or accentuate our really skinny collar bones to fit in? I love Jennifer Love Hewitt. She and I have the same build. We are "Hippy" and have curves and muscles and look like we don't starve ourselves. I was very upset when the tabloids went after her last year. What is wrong with having curves? Can't curves be sexy? What is the drive to be a stick? People aren't going to hug a stick because they would be afraid of breaking you. Curves do not mean that you are plus sized. Curves simply mean that you have a normal woman's body and god blessed you with your breasts, hips and booty. Excercise can make these assests look even better. I do jogging, power walking, ect and my booty is more lifted and rounder and my hips look great. My husband even says that a booty is better than no booty and is always complimenting me on mine, especially in jeans.
Embrace who you are, love your curves and don't even think for one second that you are a freak of nature because you are not a walking stick.. I am starting to take this advice because I curvy, I have hips, and well only one breast, but I am alive and trying to be healthy. According to society I am overweight at 149 because my BMI is 26. Well what is not further investigated is that I am a Breast Cancer Survivor at the age of 31 and in menopause and take an anti cancer drug to keep me "healthy". What I think is wrong is that more of our personal history is not taken into consideration with or why we have "weight." DO we have weight or is society telling us we have weight because we are curvy? Hmmm Report
It is so sad that people say such hurtful things to these beautiful and very SKINNY women! They are just so unhappy with themselves, all they can do it take it out on people whom do not deserve it. Report
I was sorta "disappointed" when beautiful stars like Jennifer Love Hewitt and America Ferrera ( I think.. the girl in Ugly Betty) obviously lost so much weight after "standing up" for themselves. You're thinking man, it's gotta be the pressure they face. No skinny butt, no roles. And I think we're prejudiced against them stars, why else would the aisles be stocked up with pictures of cellulite behinds or saggy stomachs.. honestly, if you look at the beaches, it's not like everyone's there is a Size 0.
Is it the mentality of.. man they have all the luxuries, the money to hire personal chefs, nutritionists, to have 10 personal trainers to work their body to perfection.. If they're not skinny, what chance do we have?

We have the luxury of knowing we did it ourselves! We don't need all those extras to do it on our own. We just need our own motivation, support and will-power to do it and at the end of the day, I think we feel better about ourselves than the stars do counting the calories of every little leaf they eat. :) Report
I'm much more concerned about how much I weigh than what the stars weigh. Report
Cheryl Burke from what I read is a professional dancer who burns more calories in a week then most do in a month some even several months. I can understand why she wouldn't think much about it athletes can have trouble keeping weight on especially in training so extra weight will come off if it needs too. I have never and never will understand why so many people think any one in the public eye seem to lose their rights as human beings to be protected from malicious nonsense, stocking, etc. Report
I'm so glad that I'm not a celebrity. This would drive me insane. Nobody seems to care if Kathy Bates or Queen Latifah gains 5 it b/c they are not "skinny-minis" to begin with? But, those who are thin get attacked. Not fair! Report
You know, I'm happy for her - she's so comfortable with who she is & has such a healthy body image, that she doesn't care that they try to tear her down - That is more of an accomplishment than taking off the weight. To be able to look at who you are now and see a beautiful person, regardless of outside observation and opinion, now that is inspiring.....

Thru SparkPeople, I'm learning to love myself as I am and that being healthy means more to me than a number on the scale or on the tags. Report