Jessica Simpson and her Weight Watchers deal — she will become the latest celebrity spokesperson for the company — has become big news in recent days. Just weeks after the May 1 birth of her first baby, Maxwell Drew the entertainer and fashion mogul is embarking on a weight loss journey.
The People magazine cover story complete has exclusive baby pictures of her newborn and puts the emphasis on her desire to lose weight; she is quoted as saying:
“I think anybody who’s gone through a pregnancy, after they have the baby, it’s like, ‘I need to do something about this,’ ” she tells PEOPLE, in its latest cover story. “For me, I really want to do something that is a lifestyle, because in the past, I’ve been known to yo-yo diet.”
Given the importance of weight loss and weight management and pursuing it in a healthy manner one can only wish her well especially as she has often been the brunt of criticism of her weight in the past few years, which for anyone can be a painful experience to cope with.
At the same time, the business of celebrity weight loss and endorsements of same is indeed an industry unto itself. CNN Money reports at length on the financial aspects of her new deal with Weight Watchers as their latest celebrity spokesperson. It’s a role in which others before her — notably Jennifer Hudson — have excelled.
A spokesman from Weight Watchers declined to comment on the financial side of the deal, but ABC News reported that the weight loss company offered Simpson $3 million.
The arrangement will allow the public to follow Simpson as she sheds weight from her pregnancy and adopts what Weight Watchers calls a “strong focus on healthy eating, behavioral change, activity and support.”
[…] The success of [Jennifer] Hudson’s campaign may explain why the company upped its marketing spending last quarter to $130 million, up 36% from a year earlier. That dug into its earnings, which dropped 25%, to around $55 million.
We can expect to see some commercials featuring Jessica Simpson. But rather impatiently a cover story in a competing tabloid claims Simpson has already lost 20 pounds and claims to have her diet and exercise tips.
To paraphrase, not all that glitters is weight loss. As part of the episode entitled Losing It: The Big Fat Money Pit, ABC News 20/20 did an excellent investigative story on these celebrity spokesperson endorsements; you can see the video below. I also recommend Bruce Bradley’s excellent article on how the weight loss industry is an offshoot of the food industry and uses many of the same tactics of persuasion to achieve their ends; you can see it here. Yes, we do have a public health crisis with the tragic human toll of obesity and the many complications which can leave people debilitated and/or at risk of loss of life, and as many reports come out it seems no end in sight. At best seeing inspiring stories of weight loss whether celebrity or ‘ordinary person’ can remind us we don’t have to wait till public health officials figure out what is the solution; it is within our power to opt out of a system that perpetuates diet and weight loss confusion and find what works.
Let us know what you think of Jessica Simpson’s Weight Watcher’s deal. Does it encourage you to join the program or not or otherwise inspire you in your efforts?
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