I’ve been critical of Ricki Lake in the past for her attitude towards her weight loss. Last October, here’s what I said:
It’s not that I begrudge Ricki Lake losing weight (even though she’s only eating 1,200 calories a day, which seems tragically low to me); if she’s happy, then great. But the quotes about herself as a fat girl just make me sad; the fact that she felt she really needed to get as small as possible is sad to me. And I wish she were a little more body positive in talking about her weight loss.
It’s over a year later, and her attitude continues to disappoint me. It’s as if my blog post criticizing her HAD NO EFFECT ON HER WHATSOEVER! That can’t be, can it?
I didn’t have surgery and I worked hard. There’s no secret. I’m active. I watch what I eat.” But the talk show hostess feels under pressure to stay thin now she has shed her extra weight.
She adds, “According to Hollywood standards, I’m not a thin girl. I’m a normal girl. I don’t want to perpetuate that obsession but yet I am also guilty of wanting… to lose weight. I’m just grateful that I have sons and not daughters because it’s that much harder.”
And even though she has slimmed down, Lake doesn’t rule out putting it back on one day: “With the weight stuff I don’t have any answers. Something tragic in my life could happen and I could balloon and gain weight. I can’t promise I will be like this forever.”
God, where to begin with this. She’s self-aware enough not to want to pass her weight issues on to her kids, which is a good thing. At least she realizes that her focus on being thin might not be the healthiest behavior to model. I’m interested in whether you agree that this has less of an impact on boys than on girls, though. Couldn’t her emphasis on staying thin make her boys grow up believing that the only attractive women are thin ones? Isn’t that also damaging to them, and the girls around them?
Moving along, I love how the article says she hasn’t “ruled out” regaining the weight. This isn’t her fault at all, but it’s kind of ridiculous phrasing, isn’t it? “I am now thin. I have ruled out my body ever changing.” Anyway, the part that gets me is where she talks about re-gaining the weight as a result of “tragedy” and “ballooning.” Delightful word choice that speaks volumes about how she views being a fat person.
Oh, and the fact that she “can’t believe” she was a fat person makes me sad. When she played Tracy Turnblad, she was more than a “fat person,” she was a role model and icon. To lose weight is one thing; to turn your back on who you used to be, and what you used to stand for, is quite another.
Posted by mo pie