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HEALTH

Charlize Theron Joke About ‘Being Fat’ Sent the Wrong Message to Teens

Charlize Theron was the butt of a joke about her weight by Chelsea Handler (foreground) and also called herself 'fat.' (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Charlize Theron was the butt of a joke about her weight by Chelsea Handler (foreground) and also called herself ‘fat’ at the amfAR Inspiration Gala. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Charlize Theron, one of Hollywood’s most glamorous actresses, engaged in a little self-deprecation about supposedly being “a little fat” at a major fashion gala and drew laughs from the audience. But she sent the wrong signal to teens who constantly fret about body image.

Theron appeared at the amfAR Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles on Thursday night and made the remarks after accepting an Inspiration Award for he work to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDs in Africa.

Chelsea Handler, the impish, politically incorrect comedian, called attention to Theron’s weight gain during remarks while presenting the award.

“Yes, I am very fat right now,” Theron replied when she took the dias.

The actress said she’s gained about 30 pounds for her current role in the comedy-drama “Tully,” directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody. Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass and Ron Livingston co-star.

Theron plays Marlo, a mother of three children, who has just given birth. Her brother hires a nanny named Tully to help and the comedy-drama spins from there.

Oddly, Theron gained the weight to play a normal suburban mom. Even 30 pounds heavier, she could hardly be characterized as “plus-sized.”

Although she wore a loose fitting gown, she still looked fit and toned.

The unintended upshot was pretty clear. Any woman who is less than Hollywood model-thin needs to worry about being “fat.”

The movie and fashion industries have been criticized repeatedly about fostering unrealistic body images of girls and women in movies, in ads and on top fashion runways.

 Charlize Theron was honored for her work on AIDS/HIV prevention at the amfAR's Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for amfAR)

Charlize Theron was honored for her work on AIDS/HIV prevention at the amfAR’s Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for amfAR)

The problem occurs because teens and young women develop negative body images. They develop a distorted perception of their shape to the point that the can only see flaws in their body, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, a non-profit group that supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders.

Teens, or even adults, who suffer from disorders are convinced that their body size or shape is a sign of personal failure, according to the group.

The syndrome causes sufferers to feel ashamed, self-conscious and anxious about themselves. In extreme case, it can lead to anorexia or bulimia.

About 20 million people, men and women, around the country suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life. It could range from anorexia and bulimia to binge eating, according to medical references.

Whatever complaint people have about their appearance, likely stems from looking at celebrities or fashion models in movies, magazines and advertising.

Celebrity Health & Fitness celebrates good health and physical fitness. It’s reported on numerous occasions about the health and beauty tops of actresses and models.

But they frequently work with professional trainers and expert dietitians and devote hours and hours in a gym to develop their body shape.

In her own movie career, Theron, 41, has gained and lost weight to play roles that range from a deranged serial killer to a tough road warrior in the “Mad Max” film series.

On top of that, she has devoted considerable time promoting the importance of AIDs/HIV prevention, for which she was honored.

But talking about “being fat,” when she’s far from it, in front of a large audience–even if joking–plays into the misconception that women need to be thin to be beautiful.

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