Saturday, 30 July 2016

Singer JoJo’s Extreme Diet – Why Isn’t Talent Enough?

Actual SizeIn an interview with PopSugar, Singer JoJo has bravely decided to talk about the pressure that she was under to lose weight early in her career.  She explains:

Here’s something that I agreed to do that ended up messing with me psychologically…I was under a lot of pressure with a company I was at previously, and they wanted me to lose weight fast. So they got me with a nutritionist and had me … on all these supplements, and I was injecting myself — this is a common thing ‘the girls’ do, by the way — it makes your body only need certain calories, so I ate 500 calories a day. It was the most unhealthy thing I’ve ever done.

First of all, who the fuck is this nutritionist? It’s bad enough that Dr. Oz endorses crap like this, but at least he got called before Congress and labeled a scam artist.  For all we know this nutritionist continues to starve pop stars for profit.

There is no injection that makes you only need certain calories.  While she doesn’t disclose what kind of injections, this sounds like the HCG diet.  Victims of this scam inject themselves with the hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is produced during pregnancy and legitimately prescribed as a fertility medication. In addition to the injections they are restricted to 500 calories a day.

As you might have guessed, there is no research to suggest that this leads to sustained weight loss, but there are side effects which include gallstone formation, irregular heartbeat,  fatigue, irritability, depression, edema, gynecomastia, gallstone formation, irregular heartbeat, electrolyte imbalance,and the risk of blood clots forming and blocking blood vessels. All that risk for an approximately 0% chance of long term weight loss.

Regardless of what type of ridiculous and dangerous diet she was on, nobody was suggesting that it would improve her singing voice or her health, and that’s an issue. In our culture, talent isn’t enough.  For the vast majority of people who want to be singers (or dancers,or actors, or in the public eye in any way,) fitting the stereotype of beauty is the golden ticket that they must have in order to chase their dreams, because in our culture very often we choose our singers, dancers, actresses etc. based on their ability to approximate the stereotype of beauty first, and their talent second.  And that sucks.

How many talented people do we miss out on because they didn’t happen to fit some ridiculous, incredibly narrow standard of beauty?  How many bullshit “Nobody Could Have Believed” e-mails do we have to endure?  How many talented people put their health and even their lives at risk trying to reach that stereotype of beauty?  This needs to stop. Talent should be enough, and the entertainment world should reflect the diversity of the real world.

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