The crucifixion of women at the grocery store checkout line
The number one nail used to hang stars on the cross is their weight. Jessica Simpson’s body triggered a pregnancy weight gain firestorm in the tabloids. Claiming that she gained 40 pounds during her pregnancy with daughter Maxwell Drew, the 5-foot-3 star admitted to weighing 175 pounds (her baby did weigh 9-pounds, 13-oz.) at the time she posed for Elle Magazine pregnant and nude.
While US and OK! Magazine were slandering her for apparently indulging into pregnancy cravings like buckets of fried chicken and buttered Pop Tarts, she had no issue openly discussing her weight gain and even poked fun at herself on television. Having a bad rap as Hollywood’s famous ditz (remember when she had trouble deciding if tuna was chicken or fish because the food label said it was ‘chicken of the sea’?), Jessica Simpson taught the world something through her pregnancy weight gain: it doesn’t matter what other people say about you, as long as you are happy.
And besides, gaining the weight worked to her advantage. She now has a four million dollar deal with Weight Watchers and a goal of losing 50 pounds. You go girl.
Women can't get it right: too sexy, too skinny, and partiers
Perhaps those in the lime light that face the ultimate public shaming in the tabloids are the stars that grow up in the spot light. Miley Cyrus is no better or worse than your average teen, but the tabloids have a habit of showing her in the worst light as she goes through her rebellious teen explorations and mistakes.
Cyrus has constantly been criticized in the tabloids for being too thin, dating older guys, showing too much skin in photos, and of course, who can forget about the pot controversy. As soon as she left the safety of Disney’s arms, the now 19-year-old faced it all. These are pretty tough hits from the public, especially at such an impressionable age, but if anything, Cyrus has shown young girls exactly how to handle the criticism: with resiliency.
Cyrus has risen from the tabloid ashes and has handled negative comments and confrontations with elegance, and better than most adult stars (ahem, Russell Brand a.k.a. the paparazzi slayer). Recently in reaction to criticisms that she has been dressing too sexy, she talked to the press about why having sex isn't taboo, saying that it is the only way the world continues to grow and that self-worth has nothing to do with sex, but instead, self-worth has everything to do with how you feel about yourself – you said it, Miley.
Even though celebrity gossip forums are increasingly popular, and they basically thrive on the sport of shaming and blaming successful, beautiful women, false slogans continue to be printed across magazine covers and – unlike online gossip sites, once its in print, it ain't going away.
These magazines are artifacts of horrible journalism (if they can even be called journalism) because the most important rule of journalism---to relay information in a truthful manner--- is clearly just a joke to whoever owns these rags. Not only do these magazines tell nothing but lies and get away with it, but they make millions of dollars on the backs of women. As a weekly circulation, in 2007 Us Weekly banked 1.85 million dollars on largely falsified stories (primarily about women). Crucifying women at the checkout counter puts money in the pockets of the corporate media owners, who, by the way are 97 per cent male.
Magazines should spend their big bucks on showcasing celebrity women and girls for what they are: complex, sexy, vulnerable, real, flawed, savvy and sometimes even brilliant superstars. Women who could be making the rest of us feel like superstars, too.