I want to like Gwyneth Paltrow -- especially because I LOVE her Glee character Holly Holliday -- but she makes it so damn hard. Her recent completely uncouth comments made to a former Tonight Show intern about his weight have me reeling. Apparently she pointed to his stomach and said, "What's going on here? I love you. Get it together." Nothing this woman had done up to this point made me roll my eyes as much as this. Being that she has a propensity to irritate, that's sayin' something!
But it really made me think ... her behavior actually offers us all the opportunity to take a look at ourselves. Despite being forehead-smackingly rude and out-to-lunch WRONG, what Gwynnie was doing isn't exactly uncommon. The saying-it-out loud part is, but the judginess? That's everyday behavior -- consciously or not -- for most of us.
We all think we know what's going on in the life of any overweight person.
We tune in to shows like The Biggest Loser and see the chick who plays Lauren Zizes on Glee, an actor like Jonah Hill, or even just a person on the street and assume these people must be overweight because they're slovenly/really lazy/compulsive over-eaters/not interested in taking care of themselves/clueless about healthy food/disinterested in exercise, etc. We're all Gwyneth for a moment, thinking, "That person needs to get it together."
The truth, though, is that while over-eating and lack of exercise is the cause of a weight problem for some people, it's definitely not the case for all. More and more, I think, people are suffering from conditions or taking medications that create or exacerbate a struggle to maintain a healthy weight.
Take depression -- many of the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) meds cause weight gain. Granted not everyone on SSRIs needs to be on them to stay mentally healthy, but those who need them may have no choice but to contend with the weight dilemma in order to keep their moods balanced.
Or how about hypothyroidism? An overweight person's "excuse" of having a "glandular problem" has been a joke dating back to caveman times, but it is completely legitimate. If your thyroid is sluggish, your body's metabolism isn't working properly, and weight gain is inevitable, while weight loss is practically impossible.
Hormone imbalances (like PCOS, NCAH, estrogen dominance) are becoming more and more prevalent, given environmental toxins and endocrine disruptors in our food and products like sunscreen. Menopause or andropause. Just having had a baby!
Given the plethora of circumstances that contribute to an unintentional battle with weight, it's obvious we need to exhibit more sensitivity -- basically the opposite of Gwynnie's in-your-face, accusatory, judgmental attitude.
After all, who is anyone to judge a stranger on their shape?
Do you agree -- are most people too quick to judge and assume they know why someone is overweight?
Image via FOX