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Kirstie Alley Fat Again

May 18, 2009

A few days ago, I was in the grocery store and noticed the cover of this month’s People Magazine. It features Kirstie Alley who has apparently put on 83 pounds since going off Jenny Craig and is now consumed by self-loathing that her weight could reach the impossibly high number of 228. I don’t know where to even start breaking down this article. Every single line made me alternately cringe and want to scream in frustration. All the usual platitudes about weight gain/loss are there from “I’ve let myself go” (in big print at the beginning of the article) to “I’m so ashamed” all the way to the classic “but now I’m going to get back in even better shape”. I can’t think of a coherent way to structure this, so I’m just going to quote the article, and then rant about the quotes. Also, check out this post from another fat acceptance blog about the same article.

But your solution is either jump under the E train or you do it all again.

OR, you learn to love your body the way it is instead of starving it and hating yourself. Apparently if you’re fat, your life isn’t worth living unless you’re trying to get thin. All fat people should just go throw themselves under a train.

I’m fat! There’s nothing else to call it. I know that a lot of people like to call it a “disease” and an “addiction,” but honestly, the bottom line is that I was just really irresponsible.

No, you’re weren’t irresponsible, you were eating what you wanted to eat and enjoying it (in between the bouts of self-loathing). Becoming fat does not make you an irresponsible, lazy, or stupid person. And if you only managed to keep that weight off by being on a diet for years, then perhaps it’s neither an addiction nor a disease, but simply the way you’re body wants to be.

Admittedly, Kirstie did stop exercising completely and start eating lots of butter on everything, which no one would ever recommend as a healthy lifestyle, but it still seems that her body wants to be at a higher weight than when she was on Jenny Craig. So I do support her current plan of weight loss, at least in so far as it includes exercising again and eating less butter, but her goals are completely unrealistic.

I have to be below 140 to really look good. […] I love the way I look at, like, 128. One time on Cheers, I weighed about 148 lbs., and they told me to lose, like, 20 lbs. Now, I’m 5’8″, so at 148 lbs., I wasn’t fat. But they’re saying, “You know, you need to lose 20 lbs.” So what does that put me at? 128. That’s where I keep getting this number.

Has she stopped to think that Cheers stopped filming nearly 20 years ago? If you struggled to weigh 128 back when you were 40 years old, can you really expect to get back to that weight now that you’re nearly 60? And Kirstie, maybe it’s just time to stop fighting your body. Exercise moderately, don’t eat an entire stick of butter in one sitting, but enjoy food, enjoy your body, and stop letting everyone around you tell you that you should be ashamed of yourself.

And lastly a few words on fashion:

I don’t know what you’re supposed to wear when you’re fat

Maybe what other people wear just a little bit bigger?! Really Kirstie, really? Have you never seen a fat person with some fashion sense? You’d think with all her money she could hire a stylist to figure these things out. As it is, you can tell that she’s trying to hide her fat because in every picture she’s wearing a flowing ankle-length dress. Honestly, ankle-length dresses aren’t very flattering on most people, and it just looks like she’s wearing a muumuu. She has great curves and I think she would look a lot better (and probably slimmer too) if she wore clothes that accented her waist and showed off her hourglass figure more.

Take home message for Kirstie: gaining 83 lbs is not the end of the world. Neither is weighing over 200 lbs. You should stop being ashamed of your body and start listening to it. It will tell you how it wants to be. Losing weight can be very difficult, so can learning to love yourself. Maybe you should try the latter since the former hasn’t worked out so well for you in the past.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Becky permalink
    May 18, 2009 7:05 PM

    1. Great post. I’m glad you emphasized that gaining 83 pounds is not the worst thing that could happen in someone’s life.
    2. Kirstie Alley: blurg
    3. Have you seen her twitter? It was linked to from your article, and it’s either made up or Kirstie is going crazy on her diet because the whole thing is about potatoes.

    “Kelly told me to get off of twitter..I am gonna fire gratin asssssss!”

  2. MOnstrosity permalink
    August 14, 2009 4:26 AM

    Are you implying that there is nothing wrong with being fat? If you are, you are WRONG and all the medical literature is contrary to your belief. There is absolutely something wrong (and not to mention hideous) about people that are fat and allow themselves to be fat. Our bodies were meant to be thin, healthy, and attractive– and the dichotomy you have fictionalized that being thin equals starvation is completely ludicrous. People *SHOULD* be ashamed of their bodies if they are fat because being fat is neither healthy, natural, nor attractive, in teh same way having decayed teeth is neither healthy, natural, nor attractive. You can’t expect people to respect you is you disrepect, neglect, and are irrespnsible with your own body.

    • Lisa permalink
      August 15, 2009 11:02 PM


      There is actually a substantial body of medical literature that says that being fat can actually protect you against a whole range of diseases and conditions. And a study has shown that overweight and obese patients live longer and are less likely to die from cardiac events than “normal” weight people.

      I certainly did not intend to convey the idea that all thin people are starving themselves to be that way, some people are thin naturally. Kirstie Alley is not one of them. All I meant was that if a person has to starve themself to be thin, then that probably is not the way their body is “naturally,” and perhaps they should stop starving themselves and learn to love the body they have instead of craving one that they can never achieve.

      The dichotomy that you have fictionalized between being fat and being attractive is completely ludicrous. Fat people can be attractive, and skinny people can be unattractive. Not to mention that skinny people can be unhealthy and in your words “unnatural”.

      AND, no matter what you think of fat people and their “disrespect, neglect, and irresponsibility” towards their bodies, they are still human beings and therefore deserving of respect.

      If you are interested with reading anything with a differing opinion to your own (and I sincerely hope you are), I suggest you start here and pay particular attention to points 1, 2, 7, and 8. After that I would suggesting reading anything and everything else on our blog, or Shapely Prose, or any of the other lovely blogs on our blog roll. Happy reading! And I hope you learn something new!

    • Lisa permalink
      August 15, 2009 11:25 PM

      Another thing I should have mentioned in my first reply – this is from Paul Campos (via Shapely Prose):

      “Americans are obsessed with fat because fatness has become a symbol for poverty, downward mobility, nonwhiteness and socially marginal status in general. Fear and hatred of fat has very little to do with the health risks associated with being “overweight” and “obese” (which are wholly imaginary and highly exaggerated, respectively), and everything to do with the symbolic meanings that thin and fat bodies have in this culture.”

  3. Hajnalka permalink
    March 16, 2010 10:21 AM

    So I was so dissapointed in Kirsty’s recent public appearences, she looked amazing and she could be an amazing example for us fat girls everywhere, instead she is obsessed with how aweful it is and as you said the choice seems to be skinny or die? I am a happy 48 year old size 20/22, I am healthy and I have more confidence then most people I know including thin/fit women. They obsess about food more than me and I am enjoying my life not obsessing about that extra leaf of lettus.

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