Jennifer Hudson didn’t even know she was a plus size until she came to Hollywood.
“In the neighborhood I’m from in Chicago, a 16 is normal,” the singer and actress said, according to People Magazine.
The Academy-award winner shrunk from size 16 to a size 6 when she became a spokesperson for Weight Watchers. Now, she is even smaller. Some say she is a size zero, and even though she looks healthy, some of her fans are upset. They say Hudson, who once publicly embraced her curves, has let down girls struggling with weight and body issues.
One blogger who stirred the controversy over Hudson’s new body wrote, “‘J. Hud is’ gorg-e-ous, thick, thin, whatever. She is friggin’ beautiful. But even in her desire — and need — to diet, would it have been so wrong to stop at a size 8? Or even a 6? Coming from a size 16, which is what she claims to have originally been even though I think homegirl was closer to a size 18 on a good day, that still would have been a tremendous accomplishment and success. She would’ve been thinner, she still would’ve been healthier, but she also would’ve been a realistic and relatable size. And Shape might’ve still put her on their cover.”
What a mean and envy-ridden statement!
The blogger says she worries about young girls struggling with “body image.” She takes a shot at Hudson by stating the singer was bigger that 16. If weight is so inconsequential why even mention it? The blogger then feels free to dictate that a 6 or an 8 is a “relatable” size, but zero isn’t. It is this kind of thinking that makes women and girls crazy. Why shouldn’t Jennifer Hudson be any size she wants? No one would have dared to openly criticize her for being larger?
This controversy is not about weight, it is about change. People like to label you “fat girl,” “bombshell,” “nice girl.” If you do anything to break out of your label you will get flack. That’s what happens to everyone — celebrity or not —when they change their image.
Change is stressful, but life is dull without it. Labels cramp your style and hold you back. They can even kill you, if you aren’t careful. Labels are used to keep you in your place.
I was social smoker until I quit cold turkey. I was terrified of gaining weight, so I walked like a fiend. I used quitting as a reason to exercise more, and it worked. I have never smoked again. I was also very thin and fit after I quit. You would think everyone would have been thrilled, but they weren’t. A friend made negative remarks about my thinness and my “snappy” personality. I know she just didn’t like the change in my status. She had to get used to me being a thinner non-smoker.
When we were growing up, my mother liked to label me and my sister. School came easily to me, so I was “the smart one.” My sister got to be “the athletic one.” The better I did in school, the less I was encouraged to excel at anything physical. As a result, it took me years to really find my niche with yoga and Pilates, and to develop any confidence.
My mother wasn’t alone or ill-intentioned. Parents, teachers, and even friends often label in an attempt to find attributes or even solidarity, but that doesn’t make it any less restrictive.
Friends who bond over being overweight or single may become resentful, if a member of the duo or group loses weight or develops a serious relationship. It’s easy to point to jealousy as the cause for friction, but just as often the culprit is fear of change. The results can be shocking.
When two friends of mine in their late thirties married, it cost the bride another relationship. When she told her longtime ‘best’ friend about the engagement, her friend became distant. On the wedding day, her friend did not show up or even bother to call, yet she had agreed to be the maid of honour and only attendant. The two ‘friends’ never spoke again. The ‘friend’ evidently felt betrayed that the bride had the decided to change her life and get another ‘best friend’ by getting married. How twisted. How sad.
Fashion designer, philanthropist, and diva Diane von Furstenberg sums up the need to be free to find oneself, no matter what others may think. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I knew the woman I wanted to become,” von Furstenberg says. “Fashion was absolutely an accident in my life. As a result of that, I was becoming independent, and I was becoming more and more the woman that I wanted to be. If I have any role in what I do in fashion, it’s to make women feel more confident. To be confident, makes you beautiful, makes you happy, makes you fulfilled.”
Darlings, you need to be free to become the woman you want to be. Labels are just a civilized shackle. Don’t let any one shackle you or your dreams.