CF.Wife asked in News & EventsMedia & Journalism · 1 decade ago

Why is it okay for the media to criticize Jessica Simpson for her weight gain ... ?

... but Michael Phelps lost all his endorsement deals because someone took a picture of him with a bong?

Michael Phelps is said to be setting a bad example to young people by being caught (in the privacy of his own home) smoking marijuana, yet the media (and not only entertainment media - even the New York Times!) is allowed to openly rip on Jessica Simpson for putting on 20 lbs and being a healthy and normal size? By doing this, the media is HUGELY setting a bad example for young women around the world, saying that being curvy means you are "fat" and unattractive to men.

What is your opinion on this?


I totally agree. Our society is strange that we go to hockey games to see a fight and weddings to see someone get left at the alter. I know it's what sells the magazines, but I just think it's so hypocritical. They should take responsibility for the message they are sending young women.

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's nothing new it's been happening for so long and it isn't okay. Even though we all have the freedom of choice the media should take some type of ethical responsibility for the standards set in our society. As long as people keep watching and as long as we keep buying it seems it's not going to stop. There are many disturbing psycho-social factors that can be directly correlated to the way media portrays BOTH men and women. In more recent times this is happening a lot more with men too.

    I think the fact it seems "ok" for the media to criticize Jessica Simpson and any woman for that matter in the public eye for her weight gain, is just because it has been happening for so long it is more socially acceptable BUT that doesn't make it right! (The use of thin and highly sexualized women imagery)

    What is disturbing is how they criticize her one minute then play the righteous by publicly persecuting Mr. Phelps for what he did, that is just twisted.(I am not saying what Phelps did is ok, it's personally i feel none of my business).

    The media takes on the role of a "judge" in my opinion and takes no ethical responsibility for the social issues that arise as a result of what is showed to the public for the purpose of profit, business, and mass consumerism. The fact that the mass media is profiting off of such things is absolutely disgusting. I guess the default assumption is that we all have choices and we don't have to "buy" BUT that doesn't make it right.

    Like my parents taught me "just because you can, doesn't mean you should".

    The critics of size in the media are simultaneously promoting the sexualization of women whether they know it or not. By portraying men and women in a sexual way (often times the purpose of portraying women "thin" or commenting on when then "gain weight" is because women are for the most part suppose to be used as highly sexualized imagery to sell products in main stream media) they hope to attract the eye of the consumer and the money in our wallets.

    As for the men they are more and more portrayed as being "buff" or extremely well fit, not just thin but "ripped" and this is as equally bad and although I haven't done a research project on the men's angle I can guarantee there are probably a number of issues that can be directly correlated to the way men are being portrayed in more recent times by the mass media. This actually would be a great research project I think.

    I did a huge research project on the highly sexualized imagery used of women in mass media. Some of the results I found were pretty disturbing. Here are links to some sources I used that you might find interesting, this is not a complete list but some interesting ones.

    Interesting Read/Sources:

    American Psychological Association:


    Media Awareness:


    Thin, sexy women and strong, muscular men: Gendered Objects in Advertising:

    Great Read here!

    Marketing Madness: A Survival Guide for a Consumer Society

    Chapter 4 section 1: The Iron Maiden: How Advertising Portrays Women

    Just thought if anyone wanted to read more about this I would put these links out there since I had them readily available. I think you raise an interesting point.

    Best Wishes

  • condon
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    She's made her residing by way of finding the way she has as much as her voice, so this way of element isn't a ask your self. income slightly and it somewhat is guaranteed to ensue. She knew it would ensue... Does that make it precise? No. honest? No. Is the media being overly harsh? No - they are doing what they are predicted to do. Make slightly challenge right into a mountain and shop pumping it till the standard public is so sick of it they draw back. Then, they locate yet another action picture star to %. on. final week, Britney. This week Jessica. next week....?

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