Back in Misty's day, there was no such thing as a size 0. Size 2-4 was thin, size 6-8 was normal, size 10-12 was chunky (or maybe just athletic/tall) and anything bigger was "plus size." In those days, Madonna had a tummy, Janet Jackson wore over-sized blazers, Mindy Cohn ("The Facts of Life") and Tina Yothers ("Family Ties") had careers... even President Clinton was revealed as a chubby-chaser (fun fact: Monica Lewinsky's little brother was in my friend's fraternity at the time - yikes)! Sure, there was some eating disorder controversy those days in the form of afterschool specials, The Karen Carpenter Story, and Tracey Gold ("Growing Pains") coming out as bulimic. But other than that, most of us thought eating pasta (aka carbs) was healthy and the Lubbock girls from "Just the Ten of Us" were considered hotties, as opposed to the current teen starlets on "Gossip Girl" or "The Hills."
After seeing formerly eatingly disordered "Sopranos" actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler for the bazillionth time (she's a regular at BF Scott Sartiano's infamous NYC eatery/nightclub Butter) last week following all the Jennifer Love Hewitt bikini pics controversey, I decided it was time to be a voice of reason in the matter of celebrity lovehandles. To do so, we must backtrack a few decades. Once upon a time, it was models and (later) supermodels who graced magazine covers. These women had traditionally been admired yet also recognized as thinny freaks of nature. Surely many women wished they resembled these sashaying stick figures, but the height aspect alone dashed most of those delusional daydreams.
In the mid-90s and early 2000s, fashion and beauty magazines, as well as the suddenly ubiqitous celebrity weeklies realized that actress's faces -- and physiques -- could sell more copies. Actresses had both bodies and personalities that seemed more relatable and achievable than the aformentioned clothing hangers with big racks. Yes, I am hereby hypothesizing that actresses and female singers decided and/or were told by managers/agents/executives that they had to be model-thin to compete with the petite-boned-and-long-limbed model predecessors of yore. This frame of mind was soon passed down to teen stars like Hilary Duff and Britney Spears. Plus, whatever the celebs weren't whittling away from their bodies via starving, purging, fad diets and/or excessive exercise, the magazines were airbrushing off them. So, what did tabloid editors/publishers and bloggers then do to grab even more attention/hits/revenue? They decided to print and post pictures of the rumored FAT and FAMOUS on their covers and web sites to supposedly make us feel better about ourselves as we scrutinize and ridicule them...and then ourselves in turn. As infomercial queen Susan Powter once screamed, "Stop the insanity!"
In this very special edition of the Telltale Tart, I am making it my mission to tell you the truth about a bunch of celebrity bodies. I know for a fact that most "regular folks" have totally warped perceptions of what stars actually look like. Below you'll find a list of ladies I've met and my own honest impressions of their weight issues (or non-issue sas the case may often be).
Tara Reid has naturally "chubby" cheeks and a long torso (i.e. weirdly disproportionate stomach), which probably accounts for her body dysmorphia, thus leading to weight ups & downs and plastic surgery. When I first met her she was hosting E!'s "Wild On" series and was drunk, dancing on a bar in Mykonos. I saw her again later in the summer in NYC and she was still on the skinny-but-a-little-bloated side due to massive alcohol consumption most likely. This was after her well documented plastic surgery debacle. Right now there are pics circulating of her on the web looking like a boney bobblehead again. Advice: Tara - You have a naturally athletic physique and a round face. Accept it, move on and get into an acting class, pronto! Bunny Lebowski will thank you.
Paris Hilton is what the beeyatches refer to as "skinny fat". Clearly she is not truly fat, but she has no meat nor muscle tone and generally looks unhealthy. Plus, Ms. Hilton has horrible posture when she's not posing for photos. I distinctly remember watching her navigate through the crowd at Marquee one summer and all I could think was how much she looked/moved like The Cryptkeeper. Ladies, do NOT aspire to look like this. Never ever never.
Nicole Richie was always petite, but packed on some pounds while recovering from a heroin addiction. After looking a little roly-poly on "The Simple Life" next to her much taller sidekick, Richie clearly went on a starvation diet. I'd say she was about 100/105 on a 5'2" frame when we chatted during a 2005 Fashion Week party. That weight looked decent on the tiny troublemaker. However, she soon dropped down another 10-15 lbs and that's when things got scary skinny. I see her preggers now and eating McDonalds with Joel Madden, and I fear for that baby. Let's all pray for a boy who won't inherit mom's weight mania.
Mary-Kate Olsen (and her twin) are perpetually twelve years old if you ask me. By that I mean their bodies look pre-pubescent. I wonder if Mary-Kate even gets her peroid? Is it possible she wears all those layers to hide the fine fur that grows on anorexic bodies? I once heard that the bad Olsen actually wasn't eating disordered at all -- that in fact, she had a raging heroin addiction which accounted for her teeny-tiny frame. Nicole Richie must hate her for that. But seriously, I don't understand how anyone (except for pedophiles and Lance Armstrong) could possibly think she is sexy. Oh, and that recent "kidney infection" -- they are often related to binge-eating disorders, FYI. I do approve of her guest starring role on "Weeds", though.
Posh aka Victoria Beckham is now trying to make Asian women hate their bodies/faces too. Have you heard that Skinny Spice is teaching Japanese women how to use bronzers and hilighting powders to make themselves appear thinner? This smells fishy like day old sushi that Posh refused to eat because it had one kernel of rice stuck to it. Indeed, the brainiac Brit looks like a Blopop in person - all head, very little body. Do men -- besides the gays who resemble her -- actually find this attractive? I don't get it. And now she's rubbing off on normal-bodied, athletic-limbed Katie Holmes. A guest appearance on "Ugly Betty" hardly makes up for her negative influence on other starlets and young women around the world. Verdict: Posh should be locked up and force fed fried Mars bars.
Courtney Love is clearly a mess, regardless of her weight, there's no denying that. However, in the span of one year, I interviewed the artist formerly known as Mrs. Cobain at both her fattest (probably a size 10) and her skinniest (no bigger than a 4). It was frightening. While she broke down in tears at the former size, she at least looked like a normal person. And she was dressed age-appropriate in black slacks and a white blouse. At t