T.G.I.F., PopWatchers! By which, I mean to confess to you that this morning, somewhere around 10:15 a.m., I ate a bag of “T.G.I. Friday’s Cheddar & Bacon Flavor Potato Skins Snack Chips” — or as I like to call it, a 1.75 oz. bag of self-loathing. I’m not sure how it happened, other than that ignoring the siren call of the vending machine that sits right outside the men’s bathroom is tougher than you’d think — especially at the end of a long, emotionally draining week. (Think I’m kidding? Click here.)
Anyhow, after scarfing down the “approx. 28 chips” (228 calories) in said sack, I started thinking about Lily Allen’s blog meltdown (slightly NSFW) from a week ago, the one where she wrote, “I used to pride myself on being strong minded and not being some stupid girl obsessed with the way I look. I felt like it didnt matter if I was a bit chubby cause, im not a model, I’m a singer. I’m afraid I am not strong and have fallen victim to the evil machine. I write to you in a sea of tears from my hotel bed in Seattle. I have spent the past hour researching gastric bypass surgery and laser liposuction.” (This, just days after she appeared at the London launch event, pictured, for her fashion line Lily Loves, whose clothes are meant to flatter women who aren’t stick figures.)
Thankfully, Allen followed up with another post a couple days later, noting she was feeling better, ignoring all the nasty Internet chatter about her physique, and “eating lots of bread and pasta.” Which puts her in very good company with another talented female artist, Kelly Clarkson. In Dave Karger’s EW cover story this week, the original American Idol dismisses all the vicious comments that have been made about her own weight in recent months by noting, “I work out when I want to work out; I don’t work out when I don’t want to work out. After a long day and I’m tired, yeah, a cookie helps. It makes me feel good. It’s soul food! There’s a reason why it’s called that.”
That’s an awesome message from one of the biggest names in anindustry where I sometimes think label heads have convinced themselvesthat being thin and pretty is more important than being talented — atleast when it comes to signing female artists. Heck, just today, CNNran a story titled, “If you’re a female singer, you’d better be sexy.”
But PopWatchers, I think that’s a falsehood. Look at Idol — ashow in which America plays the role of label exec. In six seasons,women including Clarkson, Kimberley Locke, Fantasia Barrino, LaKishaJones, Melinda Doolittle, Jordin Sparks, and Diana DeGarmo — none ofthem sporting the currently fashionable bag-o-bones body type — haveadvanced to the final four. So riddle me this: If the most populist,popular show in America doesn’t give a hoot about being skinny, whydoes the “evil machine” care if Lily Allen is a size 2 or a size 12?I’d say let the revolution begin right now, but for me, it already didthis morning. And it tasted like cheddar and bacon.