Proud2Bme | Keeping Your Weight Loss a Secret?: My Take on Kirstie Alley's Tweet

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Keeping Your Weight Loss a Secret?: My Take on Kirstie Alley's Tweet

By Christina Keefer---My cousin recently posted on Facebook about a weight loss tip she swears by. As I rolled my eyes and clicked the “hide” button, I realized two things: it is not her fault that weight-loss culture is pervasive and perhaps it is a good thing she told every 150+ friends on the internet about her body changing intentions. 

Kirstie Alley recently posted a message about weight loss on her Twitter that can be interpreted so many different ways that my English literature major-self is itching for pens and a well-fabricated thesis statement. 

My initial reaction to her tweet was to rejoice; thank God someone is telling the world that no one else wants to hear about your weight loss! Thank God that someone famous is telling all of my cousins, and friends, and friends of friends, and teenage girls with tumblrs that they need to stop sharing weight loss tips. Maybe if more people get on that bandwagon of watching their own weight, instead of being a weight-watcher for others, then I won’t have to hide half of the posts that show up on my Facebook feed.

But as I read on, I realized that there could be a slightly more...sinister...message behind Alley’s tweet. “You should keep your weight loss attempt a secret as to avoid scrutiny from others?” I recognize that Kirstie Alley, as a Jenny Craig spokesperson, is likely not marketing to my demographic, people who have experienced or recovered from disordered eating. She likely has experienced people trying to bring her down in her weight loss journey, especially as a woman in Hollywood. But my when I was past the point of no return of disordered behaviors, I did not tell a soul I wanted to lose weight because I knew that they would somehow convince me I didn’t need to. This was self-harming behavior, not self-preservation behavior, as Alley suggests. It made me wonder, ‘Why is she masquerading a weight loss tip as a behavior damaging both to one’s health, and one’s relationships?’

As annoyed as I am when posts like my cousin’s show up on my Facebook, and my twitter, and my instagram, and my blog, and basically anywhere I am at any given moment, I think I would prefer people to talk about weight loss rather than keep it a secret. If I hadn’t hid my cousin’s post, I could have told her “You are beautiful no matter what size you are. You do not need a tip to accept your body - you just need to. If you are unhappy at the size and feel you are unhealthy, that is one thing. But if you are chasing an emotional, unobtainable goal and taking it out on your body, that’s another.”

If my cousin had not posted the weight loss tip at all, though, I would have had no idea she was trying to lose weight. If I had spoken up about my desires to lose weight in the first place, maybe I could have received the proper help before I got any worse. Keeping weight loss a secret is a disordered behavior. It isolates you from those who care about you and discern your worth not by physical appearance, but by the combination of your heart and soul. What Kirstie Alley perceives as “stomp[ing] on your goals and dreams,” is in actuality people trying to drill into her, yours, and our heads that our weight should have nothing to do with our goals and dreams.

So, Kirstie Alley, we should not keep our weight loss attempts a secret. We should be vocal about them with those we love, and who love us, to make smarter decisions concerning our bodies. 

About this blogger: Christina Keefer is a recent graduate of the University of Florida. She currently lives in Washington DC and is interested in identity and how body image plays a role in cultivating and shaping our personalities. 

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