The skinny on Hollywood stars

Kristen Johnson, who was so wild and fun and larger than life on 3rd Rock from the Sun, is the latest Hollywood star to go all Skeletor skinny. These pictures of Johnson recently at a PETA event made my heart drop. Johnson told everyone who asked – oh, and they asked, because in Hollywood everyone is as preoccupied with your weight as you are – that she dropped 60 POUNDS. Sixty! From a body that didn’t look like it needed to drop weight.

I know I shouldn’t get emotional about someone else’s weight loss and by now we all know that the people in Hollywood have different ideas about what an adult women’s physique should look like, but, wow, haven’t we learned anything? When three out of the five Spice Girls – a group all about female empowerment – have discussed their struggles with eating disorders, you gotta step back and wonder, should we all go to therapy together? Like, as a group?

In just the last few years I’ve watched ladies who started their careers looking fine become suddenly reduced to their smallest terms. Where is the rest of Christina Ricci nowadays? What happened to the Brittany Murphy who was so wonderfully bodacious and real in Clueless? Both are Hollywood ‘bots now, sleek and too skinny. (And P.S., both are Italian like me, so I can’t imagine how hard they are working to stay so tiny).

The first time I saw America Ferrera, I thought to myself, “Unbelievable. Hollywood has let in someone who is beautiful, ethnic, and bootylicious.” But the latest pictures I have seen of America the Beautiful have me ruing the fact that she, too, is getting smaller and smaller.

I know the reasoning behind this. I know what producers say. They say the camera adds weight. Thinner women look better onscreen, which really makes me wonder how skinny the Olsen Twins are in real life if they look so scary small in paparazzi shots.

Is anyone in Hollywood ingesting anything more than Starbucks and Marlboros? Even women who are on the record about flipping the finger to the Hollywood skinny have eaten their words (if nothing else). Janeane Garofalo, who based much of her early stand-up comedy about being frumpy and mocking TinselTown’s obsession with weight, is now stick-skinny. To Janeane, I say: liar.

Same goes for liar Courtney Love: Once a vocal critic of Hollywood standards, now a frightfully thin plastic surgery enthusiast. Hey, Courtney: your pants on fire (although with Courtney, at any given moment, her pants could very well be on fire).

I know most famous women are tiny. I remember reading an interview with dreamy Amber Benson when she was playing Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She was incredulous about the press always championing Joss Whedon, the show’s creator, with casting a “full-figured” girl to be Willow’s soul-mate. Benson told the interviewer she was a SIZE FOUR, which says something about how small Alyson Hannigan and Sarah Michelle Gellar are.

But Gellar didn’t start off that way on Buffy: she was a toned, athletic girl with – yes, I did notice them – boobs. By season six of the show, Gellar looked emaciated. As Zander expanded, Buffy and Willow got smaller. This happened on Friends, too: The girls got smaller while the guys got puffier. Well, Matthew Perry’s weight was all over the place. But I bet he never worried about his job when he was fat.

Which, of course, is what I get so worked up about. That a big chubby schlub like Jim Belushi is cast opposite itty bitty Courtney Thorne Smith, who has talked about suffering from an eating disorder in the past to be as thin as producers wanted her to be.

Look at the difference between Leah Remini and Kevin James on The King Of Queens. It’s an interesting game, if you’ve got the time, comparing the bodies of husbands and wives on network television. (Admittedly, with some shows, it helps to turn the sound down).

It’s not just them, it’s us, too. Calista Flockheart and Thorne-Smith weren’t the only shockingly skinny ladies on Ally McBeal. Portia DeRossi also shrunk down to nothing.

As much as I find it amusing that Queen Latifah is paid to be a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig and yet doesn’t lose weight, I hope she never will. Latifah for two decades has succeeded in music, television, and films because of her talent, not because she got down to a size zero.

Also, Latifah is hot. Latifah, please don’t change. Enjoy the money Jenny Craig gives you and keep doing whatever you’re doing. Use that dough to take that cute little personal trainer of yours out to a big, fabulous dinner. Bring the rest of Hollywood with you. And make sure they eat.

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