Hiding behind the mask of anonymity, people feel free to say the ugliest things. Nowhere is this more evident than in the comments posted at usmagazine.com, the Internet arm of US magazine. Occasionally I’m interested in how other readers respond to a story or poll and read their comments. Quite often there are vitriolic rants, usually aimed at people who are incredibly beautiful and/or incredibly successful, such as Angelina Jolie, and one wonders if jealousy isn’t a factor.
Today there is a poll about Jessica Simpson. It seems that she wore a dress recently that she had worn last year, and usmagazine.com asks, ungrammatically, “Does Jessica Simpson Look Better Today or a Year Ago?” Paired with the article/poll are two pictures of Simpson, one taken in April 2009, the other in August 2010.
In the 2009 shot, Simpson looks terribly thin. In the 2010 shot, she actually has thighs. The recent picture shows a somewhat heavier Simpson, but what the reader notices is that the picture is very unflattering. The surprise comes from those who responded to the poll.
One reader noted that Simpson could fit in the same dress, so she couldn’t have gained that much weight. Many defended Simpson and advised US to back off. As expected, there were some ugly comments about Simpson. However, it’s satisfying to read the number of respondents who take usmagazine.com to task for posing the question. One, identified as “Sheesh,” wrote, “I also think it’s pathetic US mag is basically asking does she look better fat in this dress or anorexic?” “Love you Jess!” wrote, “I agree…disgusting poll. Whoever posted this poll should be ashamed of themselves, downright shameless!” “Maria” posted, “disgusting poll!! leave her alone!!!. The media is ‘worried’ about anorexic actresses. LEAVE. HER. ALONE.”
Thank you, fellow celeb-followers. For several years, the media has expressed concerns over the health of models and actresses who starve themselves. The hypocrisy is overwhelming. Their interest in their subjects’ health is non-existent.
For the media, the question is “What sells?” If someone gains weight, it’s a story. If someone is anorexic it’s a story. I am actually proud of the folks who condemned Us for this poll. It ranks up there with polls asking which celeb child wears an outfit better. It’s nice to see that some things are just too shallow and demeaning for public consumption.
By the way, I hate the dress. Orange is just not Jess’s color—or anyone else’s.