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So, Kirstie Alley--she's a celebrity, right?
Sure! We've seen her before. Wait, now why is it that she looks familiar? Well, if you're old like me, you might remember her from the TV show "Cheers." Or you might have seen her in the less well-known show "Veronica's Closet" in the 90's. Or from the silly movie with the talking baby and John Travolta. She's been in other stuff too.
But at some point, Kirstie did what a lot of women do as they get older: she gained a bunch of weight.
Rule number one of being a famous actress: don't gain a bunch of weight.
(Rule number two: don't get older. Naively, many actress persist in doing this anyway! No wonder their careers tank).
But, fortunately for her, Kirstie Alley was allowed to stay famous anyway. Normally, if you're an actress and you gain weight, you go from starring roles to cute little cameo appearances. You're not the Girl who gets the Guy anymore; you're batty Aunt Mildred or you're the emergency room patient with the wacky medical complaint or you're the cafeteria lady with the ugly hairnet and the caustic put-downs.
How did Kirstie avoid being the cafeteria lady? Well, partly by making fun of her own girth. She starred in a Showtime series in 2005 called "Fat Actress."
Then she became a spokesperson for Jenny Craig and lost 75 pounds and was in TV commercials! Hooray for Kirstie!
But, oh dear.
Later she gained 83 pounds, and stopped being a spokesperson for Jenny Craig. (I'm not sure which began first, the weight gain or the break-up with Jenny). Either way, she ended up heavy again and was no longer paid to tell people to eat Jenny Craig.
Oh wait, that didn't come out right. But you know what I mean.
I know it sounds like a sad story, but don't be sad! Because it has a happy ending:
Apparently Kirstie had a huge epiphany and came to realize her sense of self-worth shouldn't be all tied up in her weight and appearance! So she decided to focus on getting healthy by exercising and eating nutritious whole foods and discovered that there were other more important things in life than how many pounds the scale said she weighs, and...
Nah, just kidding!!! Ha ha ha!!! Of course that's not true.
What actually happened is that Kirstie recently went on Oprah and bemoaned her 83 pound gain. She told People Magazine about how horrifying it was to discover she was 228 lbs. "I was so much more disgusting than I thought!" However, now she's totally turning things around. She intends to hire a personal trainer and work really hard. And according to the Oprah website:
Though Kirstie says she still hasn't gotten back on the exercise equipment, she has begun the weight loss journey. "For the last year and a half, I've been researching and developing my own weight loss line, and I've actually lost 20 pounds in the last five weeks doing that," she says.
The article goes on to say that her new weight loss line will be on the market this fall, probably in November. And Kirstie is hoping to have lost a bunch of weight by then.
Now I wish Kirstie all the best with her health and self-esteem and all. It must be horrible to have your private life and your fluctuating poundage reported and photographed in the tabloids for everyone to gawk over.
And so many women have experienced the same sad cycle. There really is something poignant about it.
However... does the fact that Kirstie Alley is now starting to market a "weight loss line" based on the weight she intends to lose in the coming months strike anyone else as a little premature?
Though she'll probably manage to lose weight again. If she's motivated enough, she can probably pull it off temporarily, no matter what sort of program she decides to go on.
The thing that really makes me want to take a sledgehammer to a big-screen TV set, though, and then and pound away at the plasma for a good hour or two is: Kirstie Alley stands a reasonable chance of selling whatever the hell plan she comes up with.
Because she's a celebrity.
And it doesn't matter if it's a sensible weight loss plan, or if it's a chocolate pomegranate termite-juice shake, combined with a fitness regimen of shoulder shrugging and nail-filing and hair tossing. It doesn't matter. A bunch of people will buy it because it's Kirstie Alley's plan.
I do not understand this.
Why people are so stupid when it comes to celebrities pushing products? Celebrities are the last people on earth to take seriously when it comes to endorsements.
First off, the main kind of celebrities we have in this country, besides sports heroes, are actors and actresses.
Shall we stop and review the job description of acting? Acting is pretending. Actors get paid a lot of money to say things that are entirely made up, and be convincing about it. Do they sound sincere? Of course they do, that's their job!
But people should be especially skeptical of any temporary weight loss results achieved by a celebrity.
Rich, famous people who have careers on the line and huge financial incentives at stake, who can hire trainers and personal chefs and turn their houses into gyms, are much more likely to lose weight than an average person, even if program they're on is absolute lunacy and completely unsustainable.
Can an average person really expect that they'll get the same results if they just do the same kind of bicep curl or buy the same shake or frozen dinner?
But people do expect that. Because actresses and singers and sports stars and talk show hosts are our "friends." And if our "friend" can lose a bunch of weight eating a particular kind of convenience food, then shouldn't we trust that it will work for us too?
Seriously, you're going to love the Cranky Fitness Miracle Weight Loss-Cupcakes©. We swear they totally work for us!
So what do you guys think, about Kirstie's "line"--am I just being too cynical and mean? And are you more likely to buy a health or weight loss product because a famous actor or actress is associated with it?