Weight Watchers, Stop Shaming Jessica Simpson

Last night I was watching Dancing with the Stars: All Stars, as I do on Monday nights since ABC owns my soul, and I was forced to miss Drew Lachey’s dance. Ultimately, this is not a tragedy, but the reason why was pretty upsetting. I saw the Jessica Simpson Weight Watchers commercial and found myself giving a pretty embittered twitter rant against Weight Watchers, causing me to miss Drew Lachey’s dance. In the commercial, if you haven’t seen it, Jessica’s face is shown in close up and she is only shown from her shoulders up. That’s all. We all (well, those of us that read Us Weekly) know that Jessica has a deal with Weight Watchers to lose her baby weight. She gave birth to her daughter on May 1, that is five months ago. It may seem like a long time to Heidi Klum or Kristen Cavelleri or any other celebrity who gets their “pre-baby” body back in a month by starving themselves and having their personal trainer sleep in their guest room. These celebrities somehow manage to not even look like they even had children. From what I understand, in normal-person time, 5 months is not that long to lose all of your baby weight, Weight Watchers or no Weight Watchers.

As someone who has experienced Weight Watchers in the last three forms the plan has taken, I can tell you that it works. However, it works slowly (frankly, the newest “points plus” plan works at glacial pace). This is not an Atkins or a 17-Day drop weight extravaganza. As Weight Watchers likes to put it, “the plan is a lifestyle change.” At my largest, I had 25 pounds to lose. Over the years its been anywhere from 10-20 pounds at a time. Each time I have followed the diet to the letter and it has taken about 6 months to reach my goal weight. That is essentially one pound per week, give or take, which is a healthy rate of weightloss. I didn’t mind because I knew that I was learning and changing and was happy to be on the right track. I even learned to cook during those weight loss times. What I do want everyone to know though, is that it was sometimes frustrating, it wasn’t fast, and I wasn’t even dealing with a new born baby.

Its been reported that Jessica Simpson gained 70 pounds during her pregnancy. Whether or not that is true, or why that is even news, doesn’t really matter. If she is losing a pound to two pounds a week, as is recommended by Weight Watchers, it will take her between a year and 18 months to lose all of her weight and that’s fine because SHE JUST HAD A BABY! She probably has other things on her mind besides counting points.

I think the reason that I was so upset about the commercial was because I felt like Weight Watchers is trying to shame Jessica Simpson, and by extension all new moms and women in general. By not showing her whole body as it is, by keeping her in close up, they’re saying that she is inadequate to be shown on television. They are implying that she has in some way failed. In the commercial she is talking about being a new mom and trying to be healthy for her daughter. What kind of message is the commercial sending by implying that she is in some way unhealthy for being “overweight”? She isn’t even really “overweight” because she is on the plan and, say it with me, SHE JUST HAD A BABY. Also, at the end she says that she wants to be the best version of herself. I could understand that line being said by someone who is using Weight Watchers to lose 200 pounds and is in danger of having a heart attack or getting diabetes. Of course Weight Watchers could help that person be healthier, and therefore a better version of him/herself. Jessica Simpson isn’t unhealthy for gaining weight when she got pregnant and had a baby, she is a woman.

I have always respected Jessica Simpson because of the scrutiny she has had to endure for her weight. I feel like she really has a normal sized body, we kind of have the same body type, and at times she has tried to starve it into looking like a supermodel. Finally she is at a time in her life where she is a new mom, which I would imagine would make her happy, and she is allowed to be a little bit softer, and Weight Watchers is trying to shame her out of this happy time with this ridiculous commercial. I used to have a lot of respect for Weight Watchers because I really felt like they were “on our side,” the side of women who wanted to lose weight. But it doesn’t seem like Jessica Simpson wants to lose weight, its like they’re making her. Sure, she signed the contract and agreed to this, but if Weight Watchers understood their own program they would be more comfortable showing Jessica’s progress and not hiding her in close ups of her face.

I’d put the commercial up here, but that would be endorsing it. It’s all over the internet if you want to see it.

Read more about Celebrities and Weight Loss: Open Letter to Female Celebrities: Be Honest and Why I Never Stole Cookies from the Cookie Jar and My Heart Breaks for Kate Middleton


15 thoughts on “Weight Watchers, Stop Shaming Jessica Simpson

  1. pretty sure I read that Jessica Simpson was given the option to show her entire body and she chose not to. Seriously doubt it was WW trying to shame anyone…

  2. It was Jessica Simpson herself who personally requested that she only be shown from the shoulders up. And it’s 100% her choice what she shows/doesn’t show at any given time. There’s no shame in being uncomfortable with one’s own body sometimes. Pretty much all of us have been there.

    • Thank you guys for posting. I was reacting purely from what I saw and what I have seen after a celebrity has a baby. If its true that Jessica didn’t want her body shown, I can of course respect her choice. I always wonder how much control the celebs have over these kinds of ads.

      • Yeah, she explained on Katie Couric’s show about it being her choice. I can’t really blame her. Some of the things people are saying about her weight and eating habits are just terrible. (Not you, but other people on other blogs and in the media.)

  3. I can’t believe that Weight Watchers would shame anyone, male or female. There has never been a stigma to be perfect in their campaigns. The people they use aren’t super models, that’s the point. She is easy to relate to in her struggle with weight, and so was Jennifer Hudson, The Real people of the I Believe Ads, etc. I find this to be far from shaming.

    • hey allofmywords, in general, I totally agree with you. However, something feels different in the Jessica Simpson campaign. I’m not sure about Jennifer Hudson, but I know with Jenny McCarthy, she used weight watchers, lost weight, and then became a spokesperson. I think the same is true with Jennifer Hudson. With Jessica Simpson, I feel like there is added pressure from every where, not just weight watchers to get back to her pre-baby weight quickly since she signed on to be a spokesperson while she was pregnant.

      I love weight watchers. It has helped me immensely throughout my life, not just to lose weight but to understand food. This commercial just feels like it goes against everything that I know and love about it.

  4. Regardless of the choice in the ad, I did feel an inward cry for Jessica when I heard she had a deal with WW right after she had her baby. Talk about the pressure to PROVE you can do it, to PROVE WW works. I too have been on WW for about 12 years, and it does work, but it also takes a ton of concentration and commitment. So does working full time. Oh, and so does being a mom to a toddler. So WW is the thing that slips. At least my slips aren’t front-page gossip news, or the stuff of TV commercials.

  5. I want to say that I read somewhere that Jessica Simpson chose to keep the commercials to head/shoulders until “viewers connected with her journey” but I think it’s more so it’s a *GASP* factor once she’s at her pre-baby weight or lower. I do agree though, if she gained 70lbs, it will take her a lot more than 5 months to lose this weight doing WW alone. I wish her luck and I hope, for her sake, she’s able to shield her daughter from the body image issues and criticism that Jessica has had to endure over the years.

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