Fox News host Chris Wallace suggested that Kelly Clarkson "could stay off the deep-dish pizza for a little while." As HNGN reported, a British TV personality Tweeted hurtful comments about Kelly Clarkson's weight. TMZ posted a bikini-shot of Selena Gomez and wrote "things are getting thick down in Mexico." As HNGN reported, Pink posted a picture in her dress before attending a gala honoring cancer survivors and Twitter trolls attacked saying the singer looked fat in her dress.
What makes these fat-shaming instances different than others? In each of the aforementioned cases, the celebrities fought back.
Social media has given the average person the idea that what they say matters and it gives them a platform to say it. Immediately. Without having to look the other person in the face. On the flip, celebrities have the opportunity to fire back just as quickly through the same social media platforms.
In everyday life, we may recognize the need for health diet, exercise and healthy body ideals, but when we look at celebrities, the healthy ones are being criticized for being "fat." Not only are we sending the message to celebrities that their "fat" is shameful, what are we saying to those vulnerable to that message, like our budding young women? The desire to look like a size 0 starlet while being told to eat a balanced diet, could lead to eating disorders.
"We need celebrities to change the culture," Marjorie Nolan Cohn, the national spokesperson of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Gulf News. "It's sad but true - this is who we look up to as a society. If they're not saying anything, [sending] a positive message is going to be a much harder and longer road."
Luckily, celebrities are firing back. Pink posted a long note to Twitter: "I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off," she wrote, adding "my hubby says 'it's just more to love baby.'"
When Clarkson found out she was being fat shamed on Twitter by someone she had never heard of, her response? "Oh, and she's tweeted something nasty about me? That's because she doesn't know me," Clarkson told the interviewer. "I'm awesome! It doesn't bother me. It's a free world. Say what you will."
"I think what hurts my feelings for people is that I'll have a meet-and-greet after the show and a girl who's, like, bigger than me will be in the meet-and-greet and be like, 'Wow, if they think you're big, I must be so fat to them,'" Clarkson told Ellen DeGeneres during a recent interview.
A clip of Clarkson recently went viral after she told DeGeneres, "Sometimes I'm more fit and I get into kickboxing hardcore. And then sometimes I don't, and I'm like ... I'd rather have wine."
Gomez, meanwhile, posted a bathing suit picture of her own to Instagram with the caption "I love being happy with me yall" and "#theresmoretolove."
According to psychologists, the best thing for a celebrity to do is to respond with,"I'm strong, I'm healthy and I'm happy with me," according to Gulf News. Nancy Mramor, a psychologist specializing in the social effects of media, particularly liked Pink's response.
"The reason that women have become obsessed with their bodies is because of celebrities," Mramor said, according to Gulf News. "It started with models and actresses who are physically perfect or airbrushed into being perfect, and people aspire to be like them."
"We have some powerful role models saying they're not physically perfect, don't want to be, don't aspire to be and don't judge themselves because they're not."
Nutritionist Cohn said the celebrity responses can go a long way to combat the effects of the next fad diet and a magazine revealing what Jennifer Aniston is eating (or not eating). According to Gulf News, Cohn believes the most important message celebrities can get out: "This is who I am and I like it this way and it works for me. I'm healthy without being perfect."