Jennifer Love Hewitt is angry. And you wouldn’t like Jennifer Love Hewitt when she’s angry. (Actually, it’s kind of a nice change of pace for the perma-perky Party of Fiver.) Apparently, Hewitt is upset about some paparazzi shots that surfaced on the Internet of her on vacation with fiancé Ross McCall. More specifically, she is distraught over snarky comments that accompanied the photos. Comments that insinuated that she had packed on some pounds. Comments like ”We know what you ate this summer, Love — everything!” Others have wondered if the extra weight means Hewitt has one in the oven. (I’m talking about a baby here, not food.)
Well, the less famous J. Lo fought back on — where else? — her blog. An entry dated Nov. 29 stated, ”I’ve sat by in silence for a long time now about the way women’s bodies are constantly scrutinized. To set the record straight, I’m not upset for me, but for all of the girls out there that are struggling with their body image. A size 2 is not fat! Nor will it ever be. And being a size 0 doesn’t make you beautiful…. And like all women out there should, I love my body. To all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist, put on a bikini — put it on and stay strong.”
Check out Hewitt going all Dove-marketing-campaign on us! Look, I haven’t seen the pictures in question, because I don’t make it a habit of scanning through bikini shots on the computer…at least not when my wife’s home. But in this instance, I support Jennifer 100 percent, and that’s not simply because I have been hypnotized by her breasts. As a society we criticize the fashion and entertainment industries for promoting beauty and perfect proportions as the be-all and end-all, setting up an unrealistic template for impressionable young girls. But then that same society takes a perverse delight in mocking celebrities who don’t look like a Barbie doll every single second of their lives. I always get a sick feeling in my stomach when I’m standing in my A&P supermarket checkout line and am assaulted with cover images from tabloid and gossip rags making fun of celebrities for having cellulite or some other physical imperfection. I don’t get it. Is Jennifer Love Hewitt’s body supposed to look the same at 28 as it did when she was 19? It’s almost like if you don’t have plastic surgery these days you are considered some sort of Neanderthal. And if you do have plastic surgery, well, then you are simply setting yourself up to be on next month’s ”Botched Botox!” cover.
I have always felt that the day you decide to be a public figure such as an actor or musician, you knowingly sign up for all the things that come along with it — namely, a loss of privacy as well as a ridiculous amount of scrutiny. If you want to be put under the microscope, people are going to find blemishes. But there is a difference between taking celebrities to task for stupid stuff like driving drunk or driving with their babies in the front seat (well, pretty much driving anywhere…hey, here’s a hint: hire a driver!), and simply not looking hot enough in a bikini.
Plus, if you want to pick on Jennifer Love Hewitt, there is simply so much other material at your disposal. Like her piss-poor Party of Five spin-off, Time of Your Life. Like her truly unfortunate musical career. Hell, the woman stars on Ghost Whisperer, for crying out loud! All of that is fair game. Mocking her for a square inch of cellulite, however, is just cheap and mean. (I wonder how the people taking shots at her look in swimwear?) It’s sad how women are not allowed to age gracefully in Hollywood — how so many feel the need to go under the knife to stay relevant. Here is yet another ugly example of that pressure being applied.
As for Hewitt, it’s nice to see her fight back and actually take a stand on the body-image issue. It’s certainly a bolder message to the masses than her Nov. 9 blog post about the People’s Choice Awards. (”I don’t normally beg for votes, but I’d love to see you — the fans — just support the show in general. Please take the time to vote on behalf of Ghost Whisperer and help keep us on the air for another season.”) I don’t plan to vote on behalf of the show. Hell, I don’t even plan to watch it. Sorry, Jennifer, but my support extends only so far.
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