Weight Loss Is Not Jennifer Hudson's Biggest Accomplishment

Illustration for article titled Weight Loss Is Not Jennifer Hudsons Biggest Accomplishment

I caught Jennifer Hudson's new Weight Watchers Commercial. In it she says "Before Weight Watchers, my whole life was Can't." This was the most horrifying, angering and frustrating diet commercial I've ever seen.

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Why?

Before Weigh Watchers, Jennifer Hudson:

— Was a finalist on American Idol.

— Starred in a major film.

— Won TWENTY NINE awards for her debut performance including: Golden Globe, NAACP Image Award, Screen Actors Guild, Academy Award.

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— Was the only person to ever go from a reality show to winning an Oscar

— Had a debut album that won a Grammy.

How many actresses have gone an entire successful career without winning an Oscar? How many singers have been well loved and highly successful without ever winning a Grammy? Let alone winning one each on your FIRST TRY.

So Jennifer, let's you and me have a chat huh? If you want to change the size and shape of your body that's fine. If you reached your goal then celebrate your victory. If you're healthier that's great and if you think that Weight Watchers is healthy and want to try to convince people of that – it's your prerogative. But what would possess you to stand there and say that none of your previous accomplishments counted because you weren't thin?…that before you were thin your whole life was "can't". Discounting not just your work but your fans, and the people who supported you. I've always wanted an Oscar, since it doesn't mean anything anymore, would you send me the trophy?

I am well aware that Weight Watchers wants us all to believe that there is no such thing as success or happiness unless you're thin. The diet industry makes 60 Billion dollars a year by convincing us of that. I am utterly unsurprised that they would write such a script.

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What I can't believe is that Jennifer Hudson is willing to be a part of the message that no matter what you are doing in your life, if you're not thin it just doesn't count. During her Academy Award speech she thanked her Grandma saying "If my grandmother was here to see me now. She was my biggest inspiration." Now she is saying that it was nothing. I wonder how her Grandma would feel about that?

I don't know what Weight Watchers had to pay to get Jennifer to discount her achievements, and I don't care what she was willing to say for pay. I know that Jennifer Hudson used to know that her life didn't start 50 pounds from now. Your life is only "all can't" if you believe that it is. If she really believed that her whole life was can't, she never would have fought for her spot on American Idol. Never would have won a movie role over hundreds of actresses and singers. Never would have won a Grammy or an Oscar.

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Gabby Sidibe was on the cover of Elle this week. She says "I sleep with myself every night and I wake up with myself every morning, and if I don't like myself, there's no reason to even live the life. I love the way I look. I'm fine with it. They try to paint the picture that I was this downtrodden, ugly girl who was unpopular in school and in life, and then I got this role and now I'm awesome, but the truth is that I've been awesome, and then I got this role."

Your life does not start 10 or 20 or 50 pounds from now. Your life has already started. You will never get this time back, this day, this moment, this week – they are all gone. If you want to waste the time you have left waiting to be smaller that's your option. But if that's how you've been living – aren't you tired of that? You DO have a choice, a choice nobody can ever take away from you – you can live an amazing life right now.

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The way I know that is because I do. At 5'4, 280 pounds I have a fantastic life. I am extremely healthy, I have great friends, I date, I am succeeding in dance – a world completely dominated by a culture of "thinner is better". You can do it too. Even if you are trying to change the size of shape of your body, why not be happy and lead a fantastic life while you're at it?

Unless someone is paying you a lot of money to say that your life is crappy, maybe you want to just go ahead and be awesome.

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This post originally appeared on Dances With Fat. Republished with permission.

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DISCUSSION

louisawesome-old
LouIsAwesome

I am a WeightWatcher, which is not something I say loud and proud on a regular basis. Why? Because people a lot of people are extremely judgmental about people losing weight. This is the thing that just really sucks: There's too much freaking noise. You're damned if you're too fat; you're damned if you're too thin; and you're damned if you fall into the category of wanting to lose weight. Clearly J-Hud fell into the category of wanting to lose weight and I bet the message of this commercial speaks to a lot of people who do a lot of amazing things and yet feel held back by what they consider to be extra pounds. Is it right for WeightWatchers to capitalize on those mixed up emotions we attach to our weight... probably not. But every time I read another one of these body acceptance, down-with-diets-and-everyone-who's-on-one articles, I cringe. Not as much as I cringe when I read an article about a college age boy talking shit about fat girls, but I still cringe. So where are we now? I feel bad about losing weight; not losing weight; gaining weight; being fat; being thin. You just can't win.

I'm sure 100 Jezzies will immediate disagree with me on all accounts and that I'm wrong wrong wrong, not even speaking to the point of the article, and probs need tons therapy and maybe that's all true, but I'm just kind of tired of everyone talking about weight—a lot of it, a little of it, gaining it, or losing it—with negative connotations. Let's just let J-Hud do her thing.