Tag Archives: Katherine Heigl

Celebs and Food: Genuine or PR?

18 Feb

The New York Times recently ran an article about actresses stuffing their faces with greasy food during interviews, and how journalists write about this in descriptive detail. A number of possible reasons for the food talk were brought up.

Interviews are typically being conducted over meals, as starlets give less time to reporters. Whereas a reporter used to spend a few days shadowing a subject, getting real insights into what makes them tick, now they’re limited to an hour, where most of what happens is chowing down.

Another possible cause of the food focus is that actresses simply like to talk about their culinary obsessions. I hate to be cynical, but I can’t help but think that actresses go on and on about their comfort food indulgences to shield any eating disorder speculation. So that the reader will say, “Oh, I guess she really does eat.” It shows an unrealistic view of the star’s diet, even if they may be eating something caloric in the interview setting.

“We would all appreciate it if you had an interview with an actress who says: ‘You know what? It’s my job to be a certain size, and it takes a lot of work for me to do so. I tend to eat very healthy, small portions, but once in a while I splurge,’ I would like to hear that. That it’s not easy.”

-Anna Holmes, founding editor of Jezebel (via New York Times)

I believe that the media is largely at fault. Yes, celebs might push talk about food, but did the reporter start it by asking the question? In the end, writers are completely in control of what they print. The general format of magazine profiles nowadays is a lede talking about meeting the celebrity for food and what they ordered, followed by questions. As if there was rarely anything more interesting about the subject than where the writer met them and what they ingested. I’m sure the writer could come up with something more thrilling than that to begin with.

Why are we so obsessed with celebrities eating? We like to think that food is the great equalizer. That if Katherine Heigl eats a Big Mac, maybe we’re not so different from her after all. Maybe we can look like her, too. In one way, this is good for the girls who idolize these women, since it might help them to not fear food and avoid eating disorders. But it’s up to reporters to cut through the PR and get the truth out of the actresses, that for them fatty food is just a treat.

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