This week, TOWIE Jessica Wright felt the need to defend her weight-gain that became apparent in recent bikini pics in news media. Her words were empowering, telling women with curves to never be ashamed of their bodies. But are celebrities’ fear of publicising their flaws causing an even more harmful message…?
With a sexy selfie Instagram video, Jessica hit back at trolls who made nasty comments about her weight gain, which she says she is the first to admit. The photos of her on a private holiday in LA were made public this week, and despite having a gorgeous and curvaceous figure, I noticed myself she did look less trim than what I remember.
Did I care? No! If anything, I felt a sense of relief knowing a reality star I follow on social media actually looks normal when stripped down. Thankfully, she didn’t try to deny it, and the most respectable part- she actually faced it head on to say:
“I’ve enjoyed my past year and yes, I’ll be the first to say I have put weight on, I have an extra couple of lbs I’d like to shift but I’m a normal girl and just like anyone my weight fluctuates especially during certain times of the month. I’ve been on holidays, I’ve had tonnes of cheat meals, I’ve had more vinos than normal, met amazing people, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Life is for living and I’m doing exactly that”.
What a brave and inspiring woman. I certainly wouldn’t enjoy the paps 24/7. To have to explain her weight gain as anything other than enjoying her life is disheartening, but I am glad she did so. Too often I, and everyone else, beat ourselves up for having that glass of red with dinner, skipping a gym class, or god forbid, having carbs after 7pm.
Self-acceptance is an incredibly difficult thing to grasp. I have struggled with it since the age of 14. Sometimes I think I am there, other times I am so frustrated with the guilt I carry about the smallest of things, which consume my everyday thoughts.
I personally could not cope with the attention celebrities’ face. TOWIE’s Lauren Goodger, for example, has displayed a fightback for years over her weight, as well as the nasty bullies that come with it. Currently, she is her slimmest and looking amazing. Yet from what I notice, she still deals with trolls comments on a regular basis: ‘You don’t look like your Instagram photos’… ‘You’ve photo shopped this photo’… etc.
Unfortunately, the role of Instagram to show the best bits of our life does not always play to celebrities’ advantage. Commonly we use the page as a filtered and perfect façade of our lives. The parts we don’t mind being public. But for celebrities always in the spotlight, nothing remains private, as Jessica Wright found out.
By no means do these celebrities have abnormal, ugly, or unwomanly bodies, especially Jessica Wright. However, when they, and us, feel the need to construct a public image of a flawless appearance, an exciting and vibrant life, and successful career, I begin to wonder whether they are part of the problem…
Jessica’s message concluded with:
‘What kind of message are we sending out to women and young impressionable girls?!? I am by no means fat, I’m a UK size 10 yet I am being body shamed for putting on weight. #EveryBODYisbeautiful.’
She is wright, (sorry, I had to). But when she described those photos of herself, taken when she thought she was in private, as ‘unflattering’, she is unintentionally sucked into, and involved in, the damaging message. That message being: “you must fit the slim, toned, tanned image of a good-looking woman you see on social media”.
Despite her body confidence, the idea that your Instagram must only show your perfections, is giving a false impression.
But can we blame her, or any other celebrity? Certainly not. In fact, I feel sorry for young women such as her. They are human, too, and no doubt under constant pressure to keep up appearances. I can accuse her of living under pretence, but the bigger picture shows a large group of us are. And naturally so; no one wants a photo they deem themselves to be sweaty, pale, and chubby in on Facebook, right?
I am so glad Jessica stood up and told everyone she has put weight on without shame, and that she is happy with her figure and life. The next step for society is to allow the world to see us, warts and all, despite our flaws. And if that is no-where near on the horizon, let’s stop body-shaming and forgive each other for the filters please? (‘Cos you won’t be seeing a bikini picture with bad lighting on my Instagram any time soon either, soz…)