Man, remember when whether or not Donna Martin graduated was her biggest problem? (I’ve just aged myself, haven’t I?)
Oft-criticized, suspiciously slender Beverly Hills 90210 alumna Tori Spelling is drawing attention to her famous frame once again in her new book, Uncharted TerriTORI. Tori is going on the record, blaming her dwindling weight on a bout of swine flu (to her credit, Spelling can at least recognize a good punchline saying, “First I had a horse face, now I had the pig flu.” ZING!) USA Today reports that Tori was hospitalized at least three times in the past year for ailments including the aforementioned “pig flu,” stomach pain, migraines and nerve problems, which all caused her to drop pounds (anyone care to places bets on how soon other starlets investigate methods of swine contamination?).
Spelling says the constant media speculation surrounding her weight has been hurtful and she continues to deny accusations of an eating disorder. “I’m a role model for a lot of women out there, so I hate that they say these things unwarranted, without any research and facts. I think it’s doing a disservice to women out there that look up to any celebrity,” Spelling says. True. It’s better that women know the exact methods behind achieving the protruding bones on display in your reality show, your ubiquitous paparazzi bikini shots, your magazine cover stories, your fleeting guest stints on the new, horrid version of 90210…but I digress.
Tori may think she’s helping women by revealing the truth behind her emaciated frame, but she’s (perhaps unknowingly) doing us all a disservice by unleashing the gory details. Back in October, Spelling took to her Twitter account to adamantly deny a Star Magazine cover story that cited her weight at 95 pounds. She made good use of her Caps Lock key and punctuation abilities, tweeting, “Star Mag…LIES! Literally not 1 factual thing in entire article. And, come 2 my house&weigh me Star! I’m 107lbs. if you care about FACTS?!?”
Thanks for clearing that up, Tori. Those 12 pounds were absolutely relevant to my peace of mind and I can now sleep better knowing exactly where the needle on your scale lands.
Tori’s now again nitpicking numbers saying, “I weigh 101 (pounds)—my goal weight is 115. Finally I feel there’s hope.” Hope, indeed. Now that all those young women you’re a role model to can use your precise Body Mass Index to berate themselves for being pounds away from even your healthy “goal weight.”
While I appreciate your honesty and humor, Tori (not gonna lie, So NoTORIous was a television gem), maybe it’s time to focus on something besides your body…like maybe acting?
–Michelle Konstantinovsky is a student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and an avid admirer of shiny objects and preteen entertainment. It would be nice if you visited her website: www.michellekmedia.com. Also, she may learn to use Twitter more effectively if you follow her @michelley415.
ZING! to you michelle.. ZING indeed!
I had a roommate at university who was super healthy and very fit. She was 5’8″ and weighed under 100 pounds. I was much shorter and weighed quite a bit more than 90-some pounds. People were always coming up to me and asking if she were bulimic or anorexic (no, she actually ate more than I did and never visited the restroom after eating, let alone almost every time she ate). One day she was getting ready to go to a formal dinner and tried on her dress, which was too big. She bawled, because she simply could not gain weight and be where she wanted to be, and still to this day (even after having children) cannot do so. At her wedding, her entire family on her mom’s side was very tall, very thin, and very blond, so it’s definitely genes for her.
Sure, I have received flack for being overweight and I’ve also felt terrible when I see super-skinny girls or women who flaunt their terrible health, but my roommate was not like this at all. She didn’t want to be that skinny and was sick of the innuendos and rumours being spread. When she had difficulty becoming pregnant, people immediately questioned her health due to her skinniness (her doctor immediately ruled that out and said she was one of the most fit and healthy people he’s ever seen). She has dealt with this all her life, and it has truly opened my eyes to the “other side” of the weight issue.
Sure, I need to lose quite a few pounds and I think about that often, but I have quite a few health problems that make it difficult to do anything about that. She feels the need to gain weight but can’t either, and that issue is mainly in her genes (even though she’s almost all muscle due to the farm work she does daily).
I do agree that Spelling needs to focus on something else besides her weight, but I also know that when people harangue you for something you can’t control (be it overweight or under), you feel the need to speak out. You also shouldn’t be told that you can’t talk about it because you don’t have the same issues other people have. Hearing my roommate cry about the issues she was facing for being underweight really made me evaluate how we treat ANY woman, no matter her weight.
Let’s not berate Spelling for sticking up for herself, even if her weight is under where she wants to be — and especially not because she’s trying to get healthier by gaining weight even as others are trying to lose. I don’t think about her BMI against mine because I’m overweight. I feel and share her pain in not being at a healthy weight for my body and my health and realize that sometimes it’s not an issue of fat vs. skinny but instead should be an understanding that we all have our difficulties and that maybe we should be helping instead of tearing one another down…
(I don’t know Spelling’s true story, but neither does anyone else but her. No matter what, she’s got some health issues she needs to deal with — either just being underweight and ill or actually having a weight disorder — and being told that she doesn’t have the right to talk about her struggle with weight only makes it much more likely that people who do struggle with anorexia or bulimia will continue to hide and remain silent instead of getting help. Let’s keep the weight dialogue open on all sides instead of shutting people down for hopefully being honest.)
I also feel you were harsh on Tori. She’s admitted to having an ED years ago, and considering the low recovery rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if she is still dealing with it to some degree. But does that give you the right to make fun of her in a mean sarcastic way?
Not at all. I’m actually VERY shocked by this behavior from an ABOUTFACE writer. I thought we’re all supposed to respect one another…support each other no matter what we weigh. If she were obese and in correcting a magazine article listed her exact weight, would you have belittled her then? I bet you wouldn’t.
So why do you think it’s ok to poke fun of her weight statements when she’s underweight? Where’s the respect ABOUT FACE??? Where’s the empathy?
I was supportive of this website until I read this offensively judmental article about someone who is likely suffering from depression already and doesn’t need your cruel remarks to make her feel worse. Comments like the ones in this article should be kept to yourself and CERTAINLY NOT published.
Lisa Murr, RN, FNP
Thanks for your story, Jesusita. I agree – we should keep the weight dialogue open on all sides and people should feel free to honestly discuss their issues.
And Lisa, thank you for your comments, but I’d like to clear up some points (I don’t think this will change your opinion on the piece, but just for clarification’s sake).
First of all, as offensive and cruel as you find my statements to be, I am in recovery from an eating disorder. Tori Spelling, on the other hand, is not. Whether or not she is being truthful is another story, but in all the years I have followed her career, I have not once seen her quoted to admit to be suffering or in recovery from an ED. By all means, I may be wrong – feel free to cite the source. But in my research, all I have found are numerous accounts of Tori adamantly denying any experiences with disordered eating.
Second, while I have no problem admitting my fondness for sarcasm, I never in any way intended to “poke fun” at her weight statements. I don’t think they’re funny in the least. My sarcasm is a result of my outrage that a celebrity (of any weight – if she were obese, I wouldn’t have tolerated it either) feels the need to publicize their weight. In the immediate years of my recovery, I found numbers to be one of the primary triggers of relapse.
My empathy is not lacking – but it’s not focused on Tori. I feel a great deal of empathy for the multitude of girls and women that are repeatedly exposed to weights, measurements, jeans sizes, cup sizes, etc. etc. and feel they will never fit the mold.
I appreciate that Tori feels the need to inform the public that her body is not the result of an ED, if she feels that is the responsible thing to do for her young fans. But I don’t respect the repeated discussion of the intricacies of her body composition. It’s not necessary and it may do more harm than good.
Third, Tori is a businesswoman. She’s an entertainer. She may really believe that exposing her illness will dissuade fans from attempting unhealthy eating habits in an effort to emulate her body. But no one’s asking her to do so by repeatedly posing for magazine cover stories or writing tell-all books. More power to her for recognizing how to capitalize on her own brand and stay relevant. But she can do so without discussing the nitty gritty details of her weight.
Finally, please do not let my opinions sway your views on About-Face. I’m one person with my own cynical tone. Our blog is an open forum for writers to express their views. The point is not to keep our comments to ourselves as you suggested. It’s to engage in an open, ongoing dialogue about issues in the media that we find questionable. I hope you continue to support About-Face because if I had discovered this organization a decade ago, it may have spared me years of needless suffering.
Thanks again for your input.