Jennifer Hudson Lost Weight and Young Girls Lost a Role Model


Jennifer HudsonEvery time I’m subjected to one of those Weight Watchers commercials, I have to shake my head. Jennifer Hudson sure does have a lot of pressure on her. She better pray that she never puts those pounds back on because that weight loss has really reignited her career. With the buzz from her Oscar win come and gone, the media is once again on her like white on starched rice. But if she gains even some of it back ... yikes. No more Shape covers for her.

I can’t help but give her the side eye. She needed to lose weight for her health and that’s commendable. But to go from a size 16 all the way down to a nonexistent size 0? That is so extreme. She was a card-carrying enthusiast of the Big Girl Club and talked about how comfortable she was with her curves. Going from one end to the polar opposite says to young girls: Oops. Scratch everything I said before. What I meant to say was rail-thin is the hip thing to be.

If you want a super small role model, you’ve got a bevy of choices in Celebrityville. What do you want? A model, an actress, a questionably talented reality star? I could practically wrap my whole hand around some of these starlets' thighs, and some of these singers strutting back and forth on the red carpet look just all emaciated and deprived, like a strip of beef jerky in an evening gown. So when someone comes along with a little meat on their bones — you know, like real-life women — it’s a reason to root for the home team.

Here I am telling Tween Girl to stop being worried about her weight and here comes Jennifer Hudson, once the champion of fly full-figure girls, zapped down to an itty bitty nonexistent number. It was great to hear a celebrity be so at peace with their plusness.

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.

Not all of us are built to be size 0s, and let’s be honest: just because you’re waif thin does not necessarily mean you’re healthy. I know we push this get-skinny agenda, but I actually know some fuller-figure folks who take better care of themselves and make way better food and fitness choices than some people who can shop at 579.

It’s frustrating that celebrities who at one time celebrated their thickness turn around and lose mega weight. Once upon a time they touted, “It’s OK to not wear a size 0.” Then they turn around and what? Become a size 0. It's confusing to kids who struggle with celebrity worship and their own self-esteem, especially girls with body image issues and their own weight struggles.

Role models are not made in Hollywood. I get that. Our girls get their eating and exercise habits from their parents, so they stand much more of a chance of watching that doggone overplayed Jennifer Hudson commercial while noshing on a bag of Doritos if that’s what they’ve seen their mother do. (Not that noshing on Doritos is all bad but, you know, just for the sake of argument.)

I suspect that J. Hud was probably trying to prove to herself and some other folks in Hollywood that she could look just as “good” and be just as fierce as some other aspiring actresses. Maybe she’s been passed over for parts because she was too big or didn’t fit a certain image. I’ve heard that industry can be so, so superficial, and it makes me thankful that I sit on my rump and write all day rather than get critiqued based on how perky my boobs are or how clear my skin is. But if you’re going to be a game changer, be a game changer all around. We’ve already seen this story on repeat, and so have our kids.

Should celebrities be more mindful of their young fans or are they obligation-free to the people who support their art?

Image via BigGirlBlue/Flickr

celebrity, food, girls, kid health, tweens, teens


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nonmember avatar Lisa

Let me're heavy. I'm not sure if she is actually a size 0 (like you, I always knew she was WAY bigger than a size 16), but she looks great. It's been a gradual loss over a few years, which means Jennifer has done it the right way. There is no magic pill for weight loss, just diet & exercise, which is the way she chose. She she be congratulated. Also, I saw on Oprah that she inspired her heavy family members to join WW and lose weight. Rather than slamming her for no longer being a role model for "big girls" (read: FAT), you should commend her. "Plus size" "curvy" people are getting heart disease & diabetes in record numbers. There is no pride in that.

nonmember avatar shelly

She suffered a terrible tragedy in the public eye with grace. She is a good mother. She works hard. She is beyond talented. She speaks well and tries to help others. Does her si negate all that. I have to ask, if she were white would the weight loss have mattered this much?

jalaz77 jalaz77

Celebrities shouldn't be a role model first of all and second she lost weight and has said she is happier about that than her Grammy. What is going to give you a longer happier life with your child? A Grammy or losing weight?

nonmember avatar monica

what's wrong with having a role model show you that its good to be healthy? I mean, sure it's great to be comfortable in your skin and your "curves" but it's great to show that weight loss is atainable.

and yeah Shelli, Sarah Rue had the same thing when she lost weight, she got criticized for it.

cocob... cocobeannns

First of all, there is no way she is a size ZERO. Second of all, there is now way she was a size SIX before. Both of those statements are lies. But, I do applaud her for bettering herself and to make the healthy decision of losing weight and doing it the right way, which she has clearly done. I think that in itself should make her a role model for OVERWEIGHT young girls who look up to her, or anyone for that matter. I don't think anyone should look to celebrities for role models, most of them are not at healthy weights and alot of them don't make the smartest decisions. But, if you're going to, at least admire someone who makes healthy decisions... like Jennifer Hudson.


You seriously think only overweight women can be role models? Really? That's really sad. So if someone works hard to be healthy, they're not a role model? I've read some cockamamie posts but this one about takes the cake (pun intended). I feel bad for you Janelle if you really believe this. How shallow. Now if I said I didn't want a fat person to be my child's role model, can you hear it now?

organ... organicyogalove

she is not a size zero, no where near it. and you sound so incredibly insecure, jealous and down right bitter i think its time to handed your "reporting" job to someone with a little more self confidence. THAT is what gets a good story. 

Littl... LittleManMama

I thought she had publicly said she is now a 6? Which doesn't matter. I am starting to think that the author just doesn't like people very much. Or loves to "stir" it up so much she strives to come up with the most asinine arguments in order to rile everyone up.

xavie... xavierlogan09

I always thought she looked better bigger. I also agree that she could have lost some weight but still been a curvy woman. I think it's sad that she used to say she was happy the way she looked. Obviously not or she wouldn't have lost so much weight. Just like Jordin Sparks who said she liked they way she was and then lost a lot of weight. In reality you don't get famous by being overweight. It's sad but if it weren't celebreties wouldn't feel pressured to lose so much weight.

madam... madamekatekate

Jennifer Hudson's weight loss doesn't take her role model status away.

As a larger woman, she taught girls that it is ok to be ok with yourself. You can be big and still work your stuff.

When her weight loss journey began, she taught girls that you can love yourself as you are and still recognize that you may need to make changes for your health. And working towards a healthy goal in a healthy way (which I feel she did) is a kind of love for yourself that's on a deeper level.

She went through some pretty deep stuff (her family's tragedy, getting married and becoming a mother) (and still working!) and she's always handled herself with a lot of grace and humility you don't see in celebs these days.

J-Hud is talented like what, classy, and sweet. She works hard as a mother and an artist. She loves herself-size regardless. And that's what we ought to focus on. IMHO.

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