Did Clarissa really need to explain it all in this case?

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People magazine must think the public can’t get enough of C-listers losing weight. See their latest cover and Melissa Joan Hart, who went from being an obviously fat and unlovable and “horrifying” walrus to 113 pounds. Now she’s showing off her bikini body, and I’d guess getting paid pretty nicely for it, too.

Does People want to let everyone know they can look like this? Because they totally can, as long as they hire a trainer and nutritionist like she did. And presumably she doesn’t have a steady day job, so just quit your job, ladies, and you’ll be golden. She has two young kids, but realized “I didn’t have to be heavy just because I have kids.”

No, you don’t. You also don’t have to appear on the cover of People and make those who don’t have the time or money to get in shape like you did feel like crap. Although I really can’t blame you, because while you seem like a nice enough person, your career isn’t exactly on fire nowadays. You may have even known of that insatiable appetite that tabloids seem to have for weight-loss stories when you started this. Maybe this could be a career-break: Hey everyone! Hire me because of how I look in this bikini! And whaddya know, her bikini-wearing capabilities are the most-read story on People.com this week.

Reclaiming her slim figure took Hart 14 months of hard work. “It didn’t happen by magic – it was as hard for me as it would be for anyone else,” she says. The fact that it took a little longer doesn’t bother her. “I didn’t want to take any time away from spending it with my sons,” she explains.

See, that actually seems like a down-to-earth and quite reasonable thing to say. Which is surprising, since nothing about most of these cover stories is reasonable. But I suppose the magazines knows what sells. And it’s not like the magazines going to start regularly noting that the person in question was PAID to lose weight, and that being thin is a prerequisite for their job as an entertainer. It’s a burden to be expected to always be “bikini-ready,” but it also allows you to hire trainers, nutritionists and such. Sometimes I wish I could do that. But I can’t. Most people can’t. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We do what we can, and try not to beat ourselves up about it. But because of the way culture celebrates the skinny and implies that pudgy people are lazy bums, it’s not always easy.

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