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Jennifer Love Hewitt: Another Hollywood Hypocrite

15th August 2008

Jennifer Love Hewitt: Another Hollywood Hypocrite

posted in Body Image, Pop Culture |

Remember those much-criticized bikini photos of Jenner Love Hewitt last year and her impassioned pleas “to all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist, put on a bikini — put it on and stay strong”? On her website, Hewitt responded to the tabloid criticism by speaking out against the “way women’s bodies are constantly scrutinized,” selflessly adding that she wasn’t upset for herself, but “for all of the girls out there that are struggling with their body image.”
Jennifer Love Hewitt on cover of US Weekly
So, what’s the best way to get out from beneath the media microscope on your body and to promote a positive body image for all those poor girls “with butts, boobs, hips and a waist?” Oh, right. It’s to pose on the cover of a Hollywood gossip magazine flaunting your 18-pound weight loss and “new body” (translation: thin again).

Hewitt insists her weight loss had absolutely nothing to do with last year’s criticism, but according to MSNBC’s Scoop, one magazine insider says it’s less about “health” than the fact that Hewitt is simply irrelevant and parading a thinner body is always a surefire way to put an actress in the limelight again.

“The moment those pictures broke, a light bulb went off over the heads of many magazine editors — ‘How long until the weight-loss story?’ was the question. Weight loss always sells on the newsstands, and let’s face it, we wouldn’t have much reason to talk about (Hewitt) if she hadn’t done this.”

It’s incredibly sad and disheartening that women don’t make headlines for their talents, skills and altruism, but if they just lose a couple pounds they’re suddenly all the headlines rage. Hewitt may very well have been motivated by concerns for her health, and her body and what she does with it is her own prerogative, but I must also call hypocrite. Don’t criticize the media for negatively scrutinizing your body while you are fat, and then appear on the cover of a major Hollywood gossip magazine — notorious for its seismic coverage of actresses with dimpled thighs or pop singers with love handles reported with Schadenfreude — flaunting that same body when you are thin. Hewitt may appreciate the positive coverage today, but she’s only colluding in her own flagellation. Once you open the door and invite in media scrutiny of your body, you can’t simply ask them to please leave when you get fat again.

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There are currently 30 responses to “Jennifer Love Hewitt: Another Hollywood Hypocrite”

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  1. 1 On August 15th, 2008, thordora said:

    Sad. And she looks a lot better with those 18 pounds.

    And how TMI-I don’t need to know it’s 18 pounds even. Sigh.

  2. 2 On August 15th, 2008, Tari said:

    Okay, this pisses me off so much I can barely speak. The woman was never fucking fat to begin with! Ugh. The hypocrisy and endless brainwashing just NEVER END.

  3. 3 On August 15th, 2008, devil said:

    I can see why JLH gave in to the pressure. Her career is going nowhere anyway, why not get some attention by losing weight quickly? Maybe she’ll get an acting part out of this?

    Also, from her perspective, if you know you’re no great beauty (fat or thin), then why not try to get as close to the current ideal of beauty as possible? Lots of plain girls get noticed in Hollywood (for a brief time) just because they’re thin.

    So, yes, an act of desperation. We all know what’s probably going to happen and it’s very sad.

  4. 4 On August 15th, 2008, Claire said:

    I’m so with you:
    http://5resolutions.blogspot.com/2008/08/jennifer-love-hewitt-oh-hypocrisy.html

    Hollywood is toxic, and this whole mess is just another example. I can’t even bring myself to read the article. It’s just too depressing.

  5. 5 On August 15th, 2008, kayla said:

    Forgive me if I’m naive about all this, but did she for sure “pose” for this cover? I know that other magazines, even ones that aren’t gossip magazines have used old pictures and pasted together articles for their cover stories. So I’m just wondering. Honestly though, I’m not too surprised if she did do this. When she was saying all that “it’s not for me, it’s for all the girls out there” stuff, it kind of annoyed me. Same thing with Tyra. I don’t see what’s wrong with admitting that mean and petty things said about you in a national forum bother you.

  6. 6 On August 15th, 2008, Rachel said:

    Kaya – She posed. Here’s a quote from the US cover story:

    “I am in a pretty good workout regimen that I like, so it inspired me to keep it up,” Hewitt tells Us. “The energy level and the way I feel now is great.”

  7. 7 On August 15th, 2008, Michelle said:

    She isn’t “thin again” now because she wasn’t “fat” to begin with — not by any sane standards.

    I wish JLH would just go away. She isn’t interesting and she’s a wretched actor (anybody see her portray Audrey Hepburn?)

  8. 8 On August 15th, 2008, pennylane said:

    I’m not sure it was such a smart career move. She had built up a small following by declaring her body acceptance stuff (which was always a little suspect since she insisted on letting the world know she was a size 4 and not fat! rather than just saying–mind your own beezwax). Now she’s just another skinny starlet who, sadly in age-obsessed Hollywood, is reaching her expiration date. (I’m not endorsing ageism here–just noting she has now erased the one thing setting her apart from other actresses).

  9. 9 On August 15th, 2008, Charlynn said:

    Grrrrrrrrrrr.

  10. 10 On August 15th, 2008, Marileen said:

    I have a subscription to US magazine so I read that article when it came in the mail yesterday. JLH is not directly interviewed in the main article and the brief quotes from her about her workout regimen are in a little separate text box (without context of when and where they were asked). Her personal trainer is primarily quoted and there aren’t any specially posed photos accompanying the article showing off JLH exercising or showing off the brand new thinness Ricki Lake-style. Even the cover photo could be from some random red carpet.

    The article itself has some mixed messages – the trainer repeated says JLH just decided she wanted to get healthy and stronger after hurting her leg last spring (she sprained it or something and there is a picture of her walking around wearing one of those cast-like boots). Trainer said for JLH it wasn’t about weight loss (and that her big goal is to run a marathon by her 30th birthday) and praised JLH for her healthy attitude. But the sample day of JLH’s food and daily calorie counts provided by the trainer were low enough that it clearly indicated dieting is really what she has been doing along with exercise. The article talked about the positive reactions to her weight loss by studio execs, etc. and promoted her show the Ghost Whisperer, too.

    I think JLH is trying to have it both ways. Trying to avoid contradicting herself by saying it is about health while still becoming what Hollywood expects so she can keep the TV show and career going. I think JLH allowed this but let her trainer do the talking so she could keep her distance from it somewhat. I’m sure there has been incredible pressure on her to do something like this, and she finally caved. Maybe she wanted to anyway.

    I feel a little sorry for her. It’s kind of like JLH can’t win. She’s never been a really big star and has always seemed like a somewhat desperate actress (especially after getting Punk’d). And her body has become a topic of discussion in ways I’m sure she never wanted it to be and made her a target/role model. I see her as a victim and a perpetrator.

  11. 11 On August 15th, 2008, Hysterical Woman said:

    Wasn’t her “fat size” a 2?

  12. 12 On August 15th, 2008, JenK said:

    Rachel – I don’t who this woman is or that she was quoted encouraging “body acceptance”. But I do know the “body acceptance” quotes are just as likely to have been scripted by a publicist as the current “so happy to be thin” quotes.

    AKA, it’s all publicity, and nobody knows what the woman actually thinks.

  13. 13 On August 15th, 2008, Charlotte said:

    I was pretty mad when I saw those recent pics of JLH. Plus, yesterday I saw Queen Latifah’s newest Jenny Craig commercial where she discusses how much she lost.

    The world is just so crazy sometimes.

  14. 14 On August 16th, 2008, Grumpus said:

    Unnatural-looking cover shot. Photoshop diet?

  15. 15 On August 16th, 2008, BigGirlBlue said:

    Personally, I think the photo looks completely airbrushed. I prefer the before look myself. And what woman doesn’t try to get into better shape for her wedding day? It’s just unfortunate that she decided to do an interview/spread with US. I still like her and enjoy her show.

  16. 16 On August 16th, 2008, Kalli said:

    Just realized that in the original quoate JLH says if you have boobs, butts, hips and waist to put on a bikini and stay strong…but the extra weight isn’t always in the sexualized parts of the female anatomy. would it be ok if i had some arm wiggle and thigh jiggle? this entire situation pisses me off

  17. 17 On August 16th, 2008, Liza said:

    Oh come on, Photoshopping off 18 pounds doesn’t take more than a few hours, not two weeks.

    I, like pennylane, was suspicious when she went from her stuff about being scrutinized to saying well I’m not fat anyway because I wear a 2 (or 4 or whatever it was). You know, don’t scrutinize us, but I still want you to know I fit your mold.

    I agree she looks better in the before picture.

  18. 18 On August 16th, 2008, Lil said:

    I saw that cover story when I was in the checkout line yesterday buying groceries. I just tisked to myself and shook my head.

    I guess that she can’t stand the way womens’ bodies are scrutinized after all – especially her own, when she’s not the ‘ideal’ weight Hollywood thinks she should be. Only unlike JLH and a lot of those starlets who miraculously drop tons of weight seemingly overnight, we still have to be scrutinized for our bodies and constantly held to that standard. “Well, if JLH can lose 18 pounds in a few weeks, why can’t YOU!?” Even if her star is on the wane, JLH has still got adequate funds to afford to shed the weight and the scrutiny with it and I bet she’d damned grateful for it. At least until she winds up on the cover of another magazine with all the weight back again.

    It’s really sad that so many women and their achievements are seen through the murky lens of ‘acceptable size’ and if, god help them, they’re not deemed ‘fuckable’ or ‘cute’ or ‘sexy’, then they might as well dig a hole and jump in, because they might as well not be alive.

    Whether the weight came off or stayed on, JLH has now revealed herself to be full of shit and no matter how ‘healthy’ it might be (wow, to lose a whole eighteen pounds?! try losing 400 something or more and then come back and talk to me), she’s shown herself to be just as shallow as the rest of them out there and thusly I wash my hands of her.

  19. 19 On August 17th, 2008, devil said:

    Back when JLH said, “A size 2 is NOT fat” (implying that she was actually a size 2) she was still full of it. There’s no way she was a size 2 at the time…she was at least a size 8. Of course, it didn’t matter what size she was till she LIED about it, insulting our intelligence (or ability to actually SEE).

    This sort of denial and distorting is why I think she lost weight for all the wrong reasons. And, you know, I feel so sorry for her for being a weak, insecure little wench that I won’t even feel (much) schadenfreude when she puts all the weight back on again. There will be plenty of vultures in the press giving her hell for that.

    Thanks for letting me comment twice, Rachel. This story is so annoying.

  20. 20 On August 17th, 2008, Alex said:

    Okay, she very well may have been a size 2–definitely not an 8, considering the fact that she’s really short. A size 2 when you’re 5’1″ is very different from a size 2 at 5’11″.

    But nitpicking aside, she’s such a pointless celebrity. She’s obviously trying to reinvigorate her nonexistant acting career.

    I think what makes me so angry is the fact that so many celebrities who were not even overweight, but on the low end of a healthy weight range, lose a ridiculous amount of weight in a short period of time and preach about how much energy they have and how much healthier they are when they were healthier before! It sends such a horrible message to women. I know so many girls and adult women my own age (25) who actually believe the garbage celebrities throw out about weight loss. It is ridiculous.

  21. 21 On August 17th, 2008, keshmeshi said:

    Getting nitpicky here, but she said, or implied, that she was a size 4 and she looked, at most, like a size 6, and keep in mind that the camera adds weight. Ricki Lake most definitely lied about her size; she claimed to be at least a couple sizes smaller than she actually was. Whether Hewitt lied is still up for debate, in my opinion.

    It is disappointing that she’s doing this.

  22. 22 On August 18th, 2008, BigGirlBlue said:

    They all lie about their weight, like they like about their age. And as for her acting abilities, her own show is going on it’s third season so I’m sure she’s laughing all the way to the bank. I tend to take anything in these magazines with a grain of salt. We only see a fraction of the person portrayed on their pages. It just seems to me that there is more to the story than this. Maybe she’ll address it on her website. ;)

  23. 23 On August 18th, 2008, Dan said:

    Great call and so so true. Your right it is a slippery slope.

  24. 24 On August 18th, 2008, Rachel said:

    ..but on the low end of a healthy weight range, lose a ridiculous amount of weight in a short period of time and preach about how much energy they have…

    In JLH’s defense, she only lost about half a pound a week, which is realistic and certainly more sustainable than if she had lost it in say, two weeks.

  25. 25 On August 18th, 2008, Bree said:

    US Magazine is at it again. Big Fat Deal has a new post about their “weight loss winners,” and none of them needed to lose weight. Three of them were pregnant (now even carrying another human being inside you is considered being fat). There is only one celebrity who would qualify as plus-size, Kimberely Locke.

    This is the stuff that sells their magazines. When there’s no “real” celebrity news, they fall back on celebrity dieting because they know women will eat it up and they get money. Unfortunately, money turns a blind eye to the potential of young girls and women developing eating disorders or going on crazy diets because the media tells them they’re nothing unless they’re a size 0.

    Also, these ladies can afford personal trainers and their schedules afford them the availability to let them exercise any time they want. The average woman sometimes can’t even squeeze in 30 minutes for any type of physical activity. So I don’t want to hear “if x can do it, so can you!”

  26. 26 On August 18th, 2008, Alex said:

    Rachel,

    She may have done it in “healthy,” slower way, but she was probably at a healthier weight before she lost. Eighteen pounds is a lot of weight to lose if you’re on the thin side to begin with.

  27. 27 On August 20th, 2008, MrsDrC said:

    “…there will be that one day in your 20s when you’ll eat a hamburger and actually see the hamburger on the side of your leg. Initially it’s shocking, and you think, Whoa, I have to actually think about what I eat and [b]work out double the amount[/b] I did before.” ~ Jennifer Love Hewitt

    My desire to smack her just grew ten fold.

  28. 28 On August 22nd, 2008, Amanda said:

    Yeah, way to go Jen. Just when I thought you had actually become a person, you go and slap us right back in the face.
    I’ve had an eating disorder most of my life because all I wanted to do was look like girls like you. And just when you’d restored my faith in the so-called “normal body” for a girl, you turn around and reinforce that the only real accomplishment for a woman, that will get you the most attention is losing weight so that your back down to your “normal size 0″!
    Congrats on making everyone feel bad about themselves again!

  29. 29 On June 1st, 2009, Weight Battles of the Rich and Famous » The-F-Word.org said:

    [...] really expect them to just stop once you get fat.  The corollary to this is exactly why I called hypocrite on Jennifer Love Hewitt, who, when criticized for her body trotted out the “love your [...]

  30. 30 On April 13th, 2010, Beauty and The Body Logic « The Body Logic said:

    [...] rail out on topics like Jennifer Love Hewitt: Vajazzler/Huge (and I don’t mean size-wise) Hypocrite or wearing uncomfortable platform heels to “dress skinny.” But I can’t just limit [...]

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