I was browsing through different blogs yesterday afternoon being nosey, which is what I do, when on Theybf I noticed there was a post about Jennifer Hudson covering Lucky magazine. Any time a black woman can cover some elite mainstream publication, I’m usually excited for them because it means we’re getting more opportunities and spaces to show our faces. But, as it has been for the past year or two, my excitement for her was immediately deflated when I noticed what the big focus of her interview was: her weight. Again. Oh joy. While they did discuss her fashion sense, the Jennifer Hudson Clothing Collection as well as her upcoming role on the show “Smash” for a hot second, the last chunk of the article was devoted to discussing how she keeps the 80 pounds she lost off. No questions about her plans with music, nothing about her future nuptials, nothing about movies she’s working on in the future, just making healthy margherita pizza, sneaking in chocolate in her Weight Watchers diet daily, and still getting comfortable with “small Jennifer” vs. “big Jennifer.” *sighs*
I thought I was alone in the eye roll I did over the weight loss focus, but it seemed many folks commenting on Theybf (who weren’t being extremely disrespectful) were expressing their disdain for the fact that Hudson was being bombarded about her weight loss for the umpteenth time. Don’t get me wrong, I love JHud, and I’m proud of what she has been able to do when it comes to her weight loss and keeping it off. Trust me, I know it’s not easy. But seriously, have we not been talking about this for years already?
It was in 2010 that Hudson signed on with Weight Watchers and started to shed a great deal of pounds. She dropped about 50 originally and then went on Oprah later and announced that she had gone on to lose about 80. I remember watching her running on the treadmill on the show, talking about how she actually enjoyed jogging thinking, “Wow, it’s amazing how much weight she lost. If she can do it, I ought to get my life together.” But that was in early 2011. It’s almost 2013 and it’s safe to say that she’s gone through the first part of this decade milking the weight loss thing for all it’s worth. She’s put out a book about it, I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down, she’s flipped Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” on its head in numerous Weight Watchers commercials, done numerous TV appearances talking about it, and been asked about it an almost every interview she has done about it, overshadowing a lot of the other great things she has done over the years.
To me, Jennifer Hudson has the type of talent some people would do anything to have. She can sing, she can act, she has a winning attitude and warm personality, a beautiful son, and she’s a very good looking woman. She has so much going for her that it is starting to pain me that the only thing that people in the media like to talk to her about is whether or not she’s a size 0 and what foods she sneaks and eats on her diet. Really? The first five times it was interesting, but at this point, it’s becoming tiresome. The same way it’s tiresome to read an interview about Rihanna where they bring up Chris Brown being forgiven by her and the public. These habitual questions are partly her fault for keeping in close contact with him, but damn, can we move on? Does she not have anything else to talk about or offer?
I understand that any publicity, no matter what people are talking about, is good publicity. It is better for Hudson to be on the cover of a magazine talking about her body than to be somewhere fading into obscurity, but I don’t want someone with such an uplifting story–an axed “American Idol” contestant gets cast in a big movie, wins an Oscar, gets record deal, loses her mother, brother and nephew but overcomes the tragedy, gets engaged, has a son and lives the life–to be turned into the black Carnie Wilson, where the rest of her life the cameras will be on her backside, negatively commenting on any pound she gains if she does or obsessing about whether or not she’s too skinny. Seriously, ain’t nobody got time for that. Hudson has too much to offer the world to focus on one specific thing–the physical, and while I’m all about black women being healthy and working out, it’s time we turn the page in the chapter in this book of Hudson’s life. So, what’s next?