"I'm feeling good," Jennifer Hudson sings in the new Weight Watchers commercials, which seem to come on every five seconds or so. But the truth is, she felt good before she lost weight, too. Hudson was on Ellen on Wednesday, and said she was "very comfortable" with herself before losing weight. "It wasn't that I couldn't do it," she explained.
"I just didn't see anything wrong [with my body] — and I still don't. I liked who I was then, and I like who I am now."
Naturally, Jennifer Hudson is allowed to feel however she pleases, but as a Weight Watchers spokesperson, her message keeps getting muddled. In commercials that ran in the fall, Jennifer's line was, "Before Weight Watchers, my whole life was Can't." Since she had already earned fans as a finalist on American Idol, won a Grammy, appeared in two major motion pictures, won a SAG award, an NAACP Image Award, a Golden Globe, and a damn Oscar, the "can't" stuff was absurd. Weight Watchers tweaked their ads, and now Hudson triumphantly sings of a "new life." Wasn't her "old" — fat — life also worth singing about?
It seems like Hudson — and the folks at Weight Watchers — are walking a fine line… and unsure of where to put their feet. Choosing "Feeling Good" as the anthem for Weight Watchers puts the focus on health and energy, instead of a "bikini body," but leaves a gaping hole in the narrative: If Jennifer Hudson felt good about herself before, why did she lose weight? Which, by extension, forces us, as consumers, to wonder: If I'm fine with myself, why should I lose weight?
It seems the unspoken subtext — what Hudson is not saying, what Weight Watchers is not saying — is that thinner is better. The same rigamarole we get from fashion magazines, non-weight related advertising, movies, TV and almost every single form of media. Although Weight Watchers tried very hard to make a non-judgey commercial, the propaganda is the same as always: Fat=bad; thin=good. Even though you can be healthy and fat and unhealthy and thin, and vice versa. Back in 2009, after giving birth, Jennifer Hudson said she wanted to lose weight to "set a good example for my son." Fat=bad; thin=good. Why else, in the midst of all kinds of other family drama, is there a headline today which reads, "Miley Cyrus Got FAT"? Because — altogether now — Fat=bad; thin=good. At least, that's what we're supposed to believe.
Jennifer Hudson: "I Didn't See Anything Wrong With My Body When I Was Fat" [Bossip]
80lbs. Lighter Jennifer Hudson: "I Liked Who I Was Then and I Like Who I Am Now!" [Star]
Miley Cyrus Got FAT [Yeeeah]