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It’s a sad fact, but female celebrities pay a ‘fat tax’

Christina Aguilera claims she was told her weight gain would ‘cost people their jobs’. Do female celebrities really have to pay a fat tax asks Periwinkle Jones…

By Periwinkle Jones 01/10/2012 17:40

Christina Aguilera (GUS RUELAS, Newscom, RTR)

Christina Aguilera – the girl with the unspellable name, has spoken out about her weight gain. So far, so blah, but unlike the regular ‘woe is me’ tales of how hellish life is when you can’t have burgers (Hollywood producers, please note: If you’re willing to pay me £5million to dress in someone else’s clothes and play around for a bit, I’d happily give up burgers, Mars Bars and a kidney) she’s revealed a very interesting insight into Celebville: being fat costs money.

"Christina’s people believed that her worth lay in her tight and toned body"

After gaining 15lbs during her Stripped tour Christina’s label called an emergency meeting, and told her that her weight would cost people their jobs:

 

“Basically, they told me I would affect a lot of people if I gained weight - the production, musical directors,” she told Billboard.

 

“People I toured with would also miss out if I gained weight because I would sell no records or tickets for my shows.”

 

Despite being able to shatter glass with her high notes, Christina’s people believed that her worth lay in her tight and toned body. Namely, pounds gained translated into £s lost.

 

And they were right. For some reason, female celebrity weight-gain makes us mere mortals really angry.

"when a star gains weight you don’t sympathise, you feel like she’s being lazy"

Read my opening paragraph for a start: we all know that weight management is a lot more complex than simply skipping the chips and getting off the tube a few stops early, especially to maintain that lollipop-like ‘ideal’, but when a star gains weight you don’t sympathise, you feel like she’s being lazy. “If I had her money I’d be the size of a toothpick,” you think. “If I stood sideways you wouldn’t be able to see me.  I’d blow away in a breeze. My thighs would be used to crack walnuts.”

 

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the comments section of any news site which has published this story and read the venomous comments left (mostly by) other women.

"weight bears no relation to their ability to do their job"

This attitude has also spilled over in to the real world: a 2010 study by the University of Florida found that very thin women – ones who weigh 25lbs less than average - earn $15,572 a year more than their heavier co-parts. Women who weigh 25lbs more than average earn $13,847 a year less.

 

By why should weight be used to measure performance? Christina would sound the same whip-thin or whale-wide, so why does it matter if she can fit in those tiny chaps? The same goes for ‘Big Jen’ from accounts: unless someone is stepping out every five minutes for a chocolate finger break, their weight bears no relation to their ability to do their job. 


But the reality is, while it shouldn't be true in this day and age celebrity weight-gain gets our backs up. And I'm not really sure why.


Do you think female celebrities owe it to use to be thin and beautiful? Is too much emphasis put on looks rather than ability? Let us know what you think by joining the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #socialvoices.

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