Is Being Fat in Hollywood Profitable?

March 25, 2011 By:
Is Being Fat in Hollywood Profitable?

In Hollywood, it’s rarely the case that less is more. But when it comes to weight, it’s no secret—celebs don’t seem to think bigger is better.

Stars are always fighting in the Hollywood Weight War, and who can blame them? Having every bump and bulge in the spotlight is enough to make you want to put on a pair of Sketchers Shape-Ups and burn every last calorie in your body.

Ok, we would never wear Sketchers Shape-Ups, but there’s definitely a ton of pressure to stay slim when everyone talks about your weight gain.

But all that talk equals publicity, and most publicity is good publicity (We won’t say all publicity because here’s hoping Chris Brown’s career gets shot into oblivion). So, if it gets a buzz going, is being fat necessarily that bad in Hollywood? Is it possible that expanding past a size 2 may actually be healthy for one’s career?

One of Oprah’s favorite topics is her (and others’) fluctuating weight. She’s gained and lost more than the NASDAQ, and the public loves her for this. She might be a multi-billionaire, but in the weight arena, women can relate to her struggle. Her audience connects with her, and as a result, she has the highest rated talk show in history.

According to statistics, the average weight for Americans aged 20-69 is 132 pounds. That is not a size 2, which is probably average for Hollywood. Look at all the sympathy votes Jessica Simpson got when she put on a few pounds and the media touted her as an overindulgent fat-ass. It was insulting, sure, but she went from near obscurity to back in the limelight, all because she packed on the weight. Not only did people defend her, they could relate to her as well. So when she started her own clothing and accessory line, she had already garnered the public’s empathy, and she did awesomely in her new endeavor. Who wants to buy 3” stilettos from some skinny bitch who only has to carry around 90 lbs?

After being surprisingly light on her feet on Dancing with the Stars, Kirstie Alley still got flack for being what Hollywood deems obese. The woman is sixty years old! She’s really not that big, and even if she is, she’s spent her whole life under the scrutiny of Hollywood—she deserves a cheeseburger. But I doubt this generation would even know who she is if not for the constant “controversy” with weight. Recently, after George Lopez cleverly (#sarcasm) compared her to a pig, Alley got shoved into the public eye even more. Now is a perfect time for a company like, say Spanx, to enter.

Jennifer Hudson also made headlines with her dramatic weight loss through WeightWatchers. We’re not denying the fact that she’s a talented, Oscar-winning actress and singer, but the attention and endorsements over her weight certainly aren’t hurting her career!

Another Oscar winner, Kate Winslet, recently told Glamour that she was often bullied for being chubby: "When I was heavy, people would say to me -- and it was such a backhanded compliment -- they would say, 'You've got such a beautiful face,' in the way of, like, 'Oh, isn't it a shame that from the neck down you're questionable.”

Well, Kate’s “questionable” body harvested a lot of attention, making her a household name and an icon for “regular-sized” women everywhere.

And what has Kelly Osbourne been in headlines for more than her weight loss? Recently, it might be her hosting duties on E! Fashion Police, but who knows if she would’ve gotten the gig without all the attention on her shape-shifting body? The 5’2 Osbourne said she was weighed “almost 160 pounds” but lost 42 of them. And she’s rockin’ it. Because along with her newfound E! fame, she’s also the covergirl for Madonna’s daughter’s fashion line, Material Girl.

In the end, the attention these stars get from discussing their weight only makes the public favor them more. The publicity in that arena seems to make people care even more about their movies, projects, and products. Osbourne once said she “took more hell for being fat than [she] did for being an absolute raging drug addict.” That leaves us wondering, which is better for a star’s career: weight gain, rehab, or a sex tape?