Alley’s ‘Big Life’ fuels America’s weight obsession

April 8, 2010 — by Ren Norris

I bet everyone has seen, at least once, the Jenny Craig commercial that features actress Kirstie Alley gushing over her recent weight loss while sporting a tight black dress. What everyone fails to notice is how many times Alley has had the weight loss “success” of dropping a few pounds.

Alley has now transformed her career from an accomplished film and television actress to an accomplished diet actress, famous for “losing” weight and, in a few short weeks, finding it again. She has appeared on Oprah and other shows with empty promises of keeping off the weight that she had lost. Alley’s new claim to fame is her shows and appearances where she talks about her weight loss goals, but the story is getting repetitive.

Still, her ability to draw audiences has spawned a new reality show called “The Big Life” that is all about her journey to lose weight (again). America should be sick of watching this woman drop 50 pounds and then gain it back in a few weeks. But, as Alley probably figured out, people are still interested in and are willing to watch stories of weight loss. Many tuned in to the premiere of “The Big Life” which only reflects America’s pleasure in watching someone else struggle with weight loss. The show follows Alley’s everyday life of scales, weights and personal trainers, which becomes a bore after seeing 5 minutes of her daily routine.

But the line of reality workout shows does not stop at “The Big Life.” From “The Biggest Loser” to “Celebrity Fit Club,” it seems viewers can’t get enough of the same stories. Whether people watch to inspire themselves to drop a few pounds or raise their self-esteem by watching others’ failures, America has become obsessed with weight.

If a celebrity appears to be a tad thinner than usual, tabloids jump to the conclusion that it’s anorexia. If a movie star is seen eating ice cream, it becomes headline news in magazines that they are unhealthy and not watching their weight. Having constant TV programs like “The Big Life” is not helping America get over its weight obsession. If Kirstie Alley can base a career on the fluctuations of her weight, then there is a serious problem with entertainment nowadays. People need to stop focusing on celebrities’ weight loss and gain and remember that weight is just a number.

Besides, people have better things to do on a Sunday evening than watch Kirstie Alley lift weights (kind of).

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