Weight Watching

Confessional – this is embarrassing.

Yes, I notice when people gain and lose weight, and I wonder why. Is the weight loss intentional? Do they have an eating disorder? Why did they gain weight – are there emotional reasons, is their natural set point higher, do they care? In particular, I notice weight fluctuations in female celebrities, because being thin seems to be an integral part of being an actress. (Here’s looking at the whole cast of Ally McBeal.)

This is an embarrassing example of what I notice;

The TV show Will & Grace is coming back after at least a decade. In honor of this, one of my local stations is running episodes of the original series.

Last night, I watched one of the very first episodes and noticed that Debra Messing looked to be a pretty normal slim weight. In later (but still early) episodes, she got super super skinny, to the point that I wondered if she were anorexic. She became a bit of a fashion icon and showed up in the pages of Vogue. What, I wondered, was behind the weight loss. Was she hungry? starving? stressed? Did the network pressure her to lose weight?

During the run of the original show, Messing got pregnant, had a very difficult pregnancy, and gained a lot of weight. (I remember her weight gain became the butt of Joan Rivers’ jokes. Horrible.)

When super-skinny women, like supermodels, gain tons of weight when pregnant, I make the (completely unfounded, of course) assumption that they have been starving themselves for so long, that they use pregnancy as an opportunity to eat everything they’ve denied themselves.

Naturally, me being me, I made this assumption about Debra Messing. And then after she had the baby, she never got terribly thin again.

While I know all this time and energy spent wondering about the impetus behind celebrity weight fluctuation is ridiculous, I have to admit, I do wonder.

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