Friday, July 27, 2007

Oh, that's how you lose weight.

I am an Us Weekly subscriber. Several years ago, my sister-in-law bought it for me for Christmas, and I was delighted. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving all year. Every Thursday (or sometimes Friday or Saturday), I find a surprise in my mailbox. Though I have mixed feelings about Us Weekly and my need for it, I have renewed the subscription twice. A couple of times a year, I have a conversation with myself, asking: Shouldn't I turn my back on celebrity culture of this sort? Am I somehow encouraging Paris, Lindsay, Nicole, Britney, and the gang by reading about them each week? Can I tolerate one more story about Brangelina (I have have no interest in them, though I'm not bitter toward them like several members of my family)? Do I really believe I'll discover the "truth" about what Katie Holmes is thinking in the pages of this magazine? Would I want my preteen daughter (I don't have one yet) to see me reading Us? On the flip side, I rationalize: Practically speaking, Us does not take long to read (30 minutes tops); most weeks the magazine gets passsed along to my husband, friends, sister-in-law, or babysitter; and if I gave in to temptation at the checkout line and purchased one at news stand price a couple of times a month, I would spend more money than I do as a subscriber. I further rationalize that I am a strong woman and a critical reader. I'm not looking to Us for fashion tips, much less moral guidance or role models. In fact, it's more likely I read the magazine so I can feel superior to the size 0's I read about there (not that this is a good thing for me to do).

The issue that arrived yesterday features Jason Priestly (yes, he's still alive) and his wife and their new daughter (very beautiful and tiny baby, by the way). I enjoyed the feature on their new family and their discussion of parenthood. The piece I object to is an Us Exclusive entitled "The Hills' Bikini Makeovers" which asks: "Can you ever be too sexy? MTV's leading ladies . . . tell Us how they toned up in just four months." I am by no means opposed to reality television, but I never watched Laguna Beach and I don't watch its spin-off, The Hills, either. Indeed, I am only aware of L.C., Heidi, and company because I read Us Weekly. Until this feature, I had never heard of Whitney Port, one of the young women whose bikini makeover is featured. The one paragraph devoted to her mentions that she is 5-foot-10. Okay, so am I. It mentions that she gained 25 pounds in college. Okay, so did I. Currently, she weighs 115 pounds. Okay, that's crazy. 5-foot-10 inches and 115 pounds? If those numbers are true, that's patently ridiculous and cannot be healthy. Of course, I am not a medical professional or a nutritionist; however, as a fellow 5-foot-10 incher, I have to state that her college weight (140 pounds or so) is far less than any goal weight I have ever set for myself or achieved in recent years. What's her secret, beyond working with a trainer and "going on walks and long bike rides"? Us writes: "Her only eating rules are to try to stay away from carbs, sugar, and fried food" (emphasis mine). Wait! Those are the only rules? Got it. Thanks Us.

1 comment:

lappie said...

No soft pretzels, candy, or french fries? Sounds miserable. Boy would she be a blast to go out to dinner with..."I'll just have some lettuce with no dressing...wow, I'm stuffed..." The only advantage to that lifestyle is that there always do seem to be plenty of size 0 clothes on the sale racks.

 
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