Hollywood A “F$%#ed Up” Industry Responsible for Dangerous Diets

The most recent A-list star to reveal details of a dangerous diet for the sake of an on-screen character is newlywed Anne Hathaway. She graces the cover of Vogue for their December issue opening up about losing 25 pounds for her role as Fantine in ‘Les Miserables’, 16 of those she lost in a mere 3 weeks of surviving on 500 calories a day. The character (SPOILER ALERT!) who is a prostitute dies in the story so Anne had to look emaciated and bone thin. She survived on two small handfuls of oatmeal a day and while the film is getting early oscar rumors, I feel there is a dangerous trend amongst Hollywood that is being overlooked.

The call for actors to sacrifice their health and well being for a role is taking it too far in my eyes. I applaud Anne for her incredible acting and singing skills, but to read that she suffered lingering and emotional physical effects after filming wrapped makes me very concerned.

“I was in such a state of deprivation—physical and emotional. When I got home, I couldn’t react to the chaos of the world without being overwhelmed,” she says. “It took me weeks till I felt like myself again.”

A few years ago it was the film Black Swan which had actresses Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman losing a lot of weight. At only 5’3″ Portman lost 20 pounds from her already very thin frame and worked out 5-8 hours a day on less food. She told US Magazine in 2010 she should do it again… Really?!?

Mila Kunis’ body weight got to a low of 95 pounds on her 5’2″ frame. While she says on screen it looked good, in real life she looked disgusting and told eonline.com her body has never been the same since. She even goes as far as blaming weight loss for roles like this as the reason the industry is so “f#$%ed up”.

The well known case of Renee Zellweger who had to put on 30 pounds for both Bridget Jones Diary movies is no exception. This extreme yo-yo dieting for the sake of a role in a film has had lasting consequences and even made the actress panic about doing it again for the third installment. There are dangerous long term effects of quick weight fluctuations. A significant increase in weight can increase the risk of serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Renee has spoken about having a nutritionist help her with the weight gain so as to not put her body under so much stress and do it in an healthy manner this time.

My question to Hollywood is: Why is it ok for actors and actresses to suffer long term bodily effects just for the sake of a gold metal statue or verbal accolades? Who takes responsibility for the aftermath of what they have to go through physically and emotionally? Why aren’t there more industry heavy weights willing to take a stand and put certain regulations in place that protect the health and well being of young actresses?

It pains me to think these are the role models and examples being touted by media. While I am not complaining about Hathaway, Portman, Kunis etc themselves, I want them and the rest of the industry to know that this is being filtered down to the rest of the impressionable society and creating unhealthy and unrealistic notions of body image.

If you agree with the sentiments in this article then please voice your comments and concerns below. If you disagree I want to hear from you too and why.



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