Because we are discussing body image, I want to share an article I read today. 31 year-old actress, Jennifer Love Hewitt did an interview with Alexis Chiu of People Magazine recently. To provide some background information for you, some photographs appeared on the internet that were taken of Ms. Hewitt during a 2007 Hawaii vacation. She was wearing a bikini, playing in the surf, and looked to be having a lovely time. Many members of the blogosphere branded her “fat”, and the tabloid press ripped her body apart, inch by inch. Ms. Hewitt is a beautiful, voluptuous woman. There is nothing wrong with her body.
Is this what we are going to define as “fat”? Clearly, she is not fat. She did not benefit from the flattering lighting of a studio or digital alterations like airbrushing, but she is nonetheless beautiful. Her shape is utterly feminine and “hour glass”. Are you offended by this image? If so, why? Do you think that she “ought” to look better? Do you find her to be flawed? If so, what are her flaws?
Being raked across the coals by the media solely for how she looked had a profound effect on Ms. Hewitt. She was engaged when these photos were taken and published. That engagement ended shortly thereafter. She quickly became engaged again. That relationship ended, too. Obviously, I do not know the reasons why two relationships failed, but I am fairly certain that they were not helped by her experience. In her interview with Ms. Chiu she discusses her life after these photos surfaced, and what she now has to do to “be happy” with herself. In my opinion, it is extreme. Please read this article. Think about it. Is it possible to invest so much energy in our appearance that we fail to cultivate a rich inner life? Aren’t we more than just our bodies?