A few weeks back I blogged about joining WW and how excited I was to see Jennifer Hudson’s transformation. My friend Cecilia’s comment has stuck with me, and prompted this blog post.
She said: “To be honest, sometimes I feel really jaded about famous people losing weight. They can afford the top cooks and trainers. Of course they can lose so much weight between September 09 and April 10!”
She had a fabulous point. It got me thinking about the celebrity endorsement and why it holds so much weight (pun intended!). Why do celebrity endorsements even work? Do people buy something because their favorite singer or actor use it? I don’t, but I know I am not the majority. On the flip-side, if a celebrity you HATE endorses something, are you less likely to purchase it?
*For the record- I did NOT joined WW b/c I saw Jennifer Hudson’s results. I was rejoining anyways, and was commenting on how good she looks as their new endorsee.
The first celebrity backing a weight-loss plan I can remember is of course Fergie, Duchess of York. She was always the pretty red-head with the nice accent on the WW commercials. However, a recent picture shows she’s gained some weight. She hasn’t been a spokeswoman for WW for a few years, and I wonder if her motivation to stay thin has dwindled?
I’ve never tried Jenny Craig (the idea of eating pre-packaged food grosses me out the door, sorry) – but they have had a plethora of celebrity endorsements. In the late 90’s there was Monica Lewinsky – followed by Kirstie Alley (who I ABHOR) and then Valerie Bertinelli. Most recently they’ve had Sara Rue, Jason Alexander and Carrie Fisher.
Why do I hate Kirstie Alley so much? Have you ever watched “Fat Actress“? She’s pathetic. She encompasses everything I hate about fat stereo-types. She’s lazy, she whines non-stop and she loves fast food. I couldn’t even make it through one whole episode. She also can’t seem to keep her weight off. She has trainers, she has cooks and yet she can’t lose weight? It makes you wonder if she really wants it. If you REALLY want something, you won’t let anything deter you from succeeding. I distinctly remember her saying she had lost 75 pounds at one point and thinking “Bitch please, you don’t look 75 pounds thinner!” Apparently I’m not the only one who was suspicious of her weight-loss b/c in 2008 Jenny Craig dropped her like a hot potato.
I have no problems with Jason, Sara or Valerie – they lost reasonable amounts of weight, and if they followed the plan – good for them. It didn’t make me want to run out and try Jenny Craig, but that’s just my prerogative. I’m sure plenty of people joined based on the success they had.
However, Carrie Fisher makes my blood boil.
Have you seen her new commercial? The world is a hostile place for a fat person? There comes a point when you can’t stand not leaving the house anymore?! Shut up. Please just shut up. You sound ridiculous. At my heaviest I will admit, I didn’t love going out to socialize, and I didn’t feel comfortable in every situation – but I lived my life. I held down a full-time job, a social life etc. I didn’t lock myself in the house like a leper because I was fat. It infuriates me to think people around the globe will see this commercial and say “Oh if Carrie Fisher is fat and doesn’t have the house, maybe I shouldn’t either?!”. Sigh.
As a side rant – Carrie reports her weight to be 180 pounds. I’m almost double that….and I’ve lost 90 pounds! I would kill to be 180 pounds, I wouldn’t lock myself in the house and boo-hoo about how mean society is.
So instead of wanting to try Jenny Craig, they’re latest choice in celebrity endorsement has caused me to hate them.
Now, take a different kind of celebrity endorsement – Oprah. Anything she touches turns to gold, she is truly America’s sweetheart. But, she has struggled with her weight publicly for as long as I can remember. She has tried a million diets, and a million exercise plans and had varying success. But, all along America has been there – loving her. She succeeds? Hell yeah! We knew you could. She fails? It’s ok – she’s human like we are! I don’t have strong feelings either way on Oprah, but I will say that I have never tried something just because she was doing it. I do find the “Oprah effect” interesting though.
So, are you more likely to try a diet or exercise regimen because a celebrity has endorsed it?