Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Could someone please feed these girls?
So I finally caught the tail end of the much-hyped new 90210 last night. Huh. Here are my thoughts, for what it's worth. For starters, the show itself is pretty lame and the acting is fairly blah, except when it comes to the fabulous Ms. Jessica Walters (Shout out, Lucille Bluth!!!) Keep in mind, this commentary is not coming from some old-fogey completely out-of-touch with the reality of teen drama (even if I am in my 30s now) but rather from someone who loved the original 90210. Although, I admit I did quit watching once Brenda moved to London...I was a member of Team Dylan-Brenda Forever.
But on top of the steaming pile of mediocre that seems to be the new version, you know what I found really disturbing? The unhealthy physique of so many of the female stars. No joking, y'all...those are some emaciated-looking girls. And apparently, I'm not the only one to notice. Check out this sentence from an Entertainment Weekly article.
"Almost without exception, the young actresses on The CW's spin-off are alarmingly thin, with arms that seem thickest at the wrists, and legs that look, well, like arms." The article also notes that 90210 insiders "quietly admit" they know there's a problem. Well, halle-freakin-lujah. I suppose I should be thrilled that people are even NOTICING there's a problem. But here's my real beef with the weight issue. If you'll recall about a year ago, when Britney Spears took the stage at the Video Music Awards weighing a tad bit more than she did as a svelte teenager, magazines and bloggers across the globe pointed fingers and essentially called her fat. Classy!
So what kind of mixed messages are we sending to women and youth today? Because it seems to me that we're basically saying that, while we don't want them to be too skinny, gee whiz, they also better not weigh more than a size four!
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average woman is 5foot 4 inches tall and 164 pounds - in other words, a size 14. When's the last time you saw an actress on a hit show that was anywhere close to that size? Now try comparing the current cast of 90210 to the original crew (as posted in my photos at the top of this entry). Kelly, Brenda, Donna and Andrea look positively plump next to today's gaunt group. The same goes for supermodels today, most of whom are probably half the size of Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell - gorgeous women who graced the cover of every magazine back in the '90s.
Sadly, I doubt it will get any better anytime soon. According to reports, the new 90210 beat every other network on Tuesday night in capturing the female 12 to 34 age bracket. You think there aren't tween girls sitting in front of their mirrors right now, measuring the size of their waist and calves? The National Eating Disorders Association cites data from the 1990s in which 42 percent of girls in grades 1-3 reported a desire to be thinner. Says the association's CEO Lynn S. Grefe, "There's no doubt it's gotten worse."
Sadly, there are Web sites devoted to tracking the weight of celebrities, gleefully noting every gained pound or appearance of cellulite. In a time when actresses and models are dropping down to frighteningly skeletal proportions, I think we're sending a dangerous message by trashing any women with full, healthy figures.
We have a problem, folks, one that seems to be getting worse each year.
Sigh. Rant over. I'm about to head off to a high-impact step class at the gym. After that? I'm going home and whipping up a healthy, low-cal dinner. It's one thing to eat smart. It's another to starve yourself.
Check out tonight's dinner recipe, courtesy of Splenda.com.