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You Can Call a Man Fat But You Canít Fat-Shame Him
New York Magazine ^ | 4/16/14 | Kat Stoeffel

Posted on 04/18/2014 3:18:32 PM PDT by nickcarraway

When a male contact sent me a 14-slide New York Post slideshow of paparazzi beach photos Leonardo DiCaprio under the headline “The Great Fatsby?” I felt a pang of empathy unprecedented in my relations with A-list actors. Poor Leo, of all people: carelessly frolicking in the Bora Bora surf, his hair in a man-bun and a 22-year-old in his arms, without the faintest idea that his body would soon be served up for our evaluation. He was oblivious to his appearance, yes, but even so, his body hardly seemed to qualify as fat. No question mark!

“I look like that,” my friend said. He was actually a little bit hurt, I think.

For women, this is a familiar experience, of course. How many times have I read earnest reports that impossibly, exquisitely sculpted women like Jennifer Aniston were looking a little round lately (possibly preggers?) and contemplating how I compared. But even though the tabloid sport of body-snarking has gone co-ed in recent years, it’s still somehow impossible to fat-shame a man, especially a rich and powerful one.

Back in 2010, when tabloids were tittering at photos of a suddenly less-than-Spartan Gerard Butler, Brian Moylan predicted that, finally, “male celebrities will be held to the same impossible body standards as their female counterparts.” If only. Instead, Butler and DiCaprio’s minor weight fluctuations have come to represent a distinctly male freedom not to care about their appearances. In DiCaprio’s case, it is mirrored in other aspects of his self-presentation: cargo shorts, goatee, one now famous Coachella high kick. This is off-duty Leo, whose look does not hinder his ability to later credibly portray J. Edgar Hoover.

If being in shape is part of an actor’s job, only men truly get to take a vacation. While women stay thin for the fashion magazine covers they will need to appear on in order to promote the movie, Esquire waxes poetic about Vince Vaughn’s “great golden acreage,” which, Chris Jones noted, has “probably been kissed by Jennifer Aniston.”

“The man doesn't just occupy airspace,” Jones wrote, “he fills it.”

Less literary outlets have not been so appreciative of the physiques of aging heartthrobs — the Keanu Reeveses and Val Kilmers of the world. But there’s still something waggish and unbarbed about the remarks, as if their unflattering photographs were merely an occasion for tabloid writers to offload some puns. “What isn’t Gilbert Grape eating?” TMZ wondered of “Leolardo DiFlabrio.”

At any rate, none of these men later break their silence about the emotional suffering the media scrutiny had caused them, as female celebrities so often do — albeit after they’ve quietly lost the weight, either with canyon hikes and lean protein or a name-brand program they’re now promoting. For famous women, weight gain is still on some level a moral failure, sometimes offset by the moral victory of childbirth.

In fact, the more tabloids comment on men and women’s weight in equal measure, the more they underscore the shame gap between them. On DiCaprio, extra pounds are incidental to his identity, no more or less damning than the hideous graphic T-shirts and newsboy caps he wears. For women like, say, Jessica Simpson, being photographed at a higher weight is so humiliating and intimate, it necessitates an emotional “weight loss journey,” to be sensitively discussed on a talk show couch later. (I think this is related to the phenomenon of men using social media to hold them publicly accountable to their diet and exercise plans, while my female friends maintain secret Fitblrs and diet Pinterest boards.)

Maybe increasing male body scrutiny will eventually cause men to share women’s body shame. I would rather women aspired to the utter shamelessness of Jason Trawick, a C-list celebrity and ex of Britney Spears. When TMZ mocked him for gaining weight on pizza and Popeye's, he tweeted back a slovenly, bare-belly selfie. “Thanks @tmz I needed this,” he wrote. “Started by diet/workout program today. C u in a month!”


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; TV/Movies; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: fatman

1 posted on 04/18/2014 3:18:32 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
Fat Man
2 posted on 04/18/2014 3:26:55 PM PDT by TigersEye (Stupid is a Progressive disease.)
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To: nickcarraway

That’s bunk. Look at Christie. Christie may have joked along but it went straight to his heart—he tried to hide it but you could see it in his face. Christie is still a jackarse though.


3 posted on 04/18/2014 3:29:07 PM PDT by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheelbarrow)
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To: TigersEye

Awesome! Another of my favorite bands referenced here. What a great FReeeping night that been with the Iron Maiden and Little Joe Cook threads, and now this (albeit by segue). I’m not much interested in celebrities, but I will admit to having a thing for Jack Nicholson because he has always been pretty awesome. DiCaprio has been in a few very respectable movies as well.


4 posted on 04/18/2014 3:35:08 PM PDT by lefty-lie-spy (Stay metal. For the Horde \m/("_")\m/ - via iPhone from Tokyo.)
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To: lefty-lie-spy

I didn’t pay much attention to DiCaprio until I saw the movie about the South African diamond. (don’t recall the name) Good movie and he was excellent in it.


5 posted on 04/18/2014 3:38:44 PM PDT by TigersEye (Stupid is a Progressive disease.)
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To: nickcarraway

From the photo...Leo looks like he’s doing A’OK.


6 posted on 04/18/2014 3:39:02 PM PDT by moovova
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To: TigersEye

Good grief. He looks fine.


7 posted on 04/18/2014 3:42:30 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: trisham

I hadn’t even looked before. Yeah, he does.


8 posted on 04/18/2014 3:44:33 PM PDT by TigersEye (Stupid is a Progressive disease.)
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To: trisham

Except for looking like his shorts are about to drop off. Reminds me of my 10-year-old at the pool. “Say no to crack, James!”


9 posted on 04/18/2014 3:48:54 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Entropy is high. Wear a hat! And carry an umbrella.)
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To: TigersEye

I know he is a brain-dead libtard, but I did like him in “The Aviator”. And he was very good in “The Wolf of Wall Street”, if not completely over the top in a debauched movie.


10 posted on 04/18/2014 3:57:06 PM PDT by rlmorel ("A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral." A. Hamilton)
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To: Tax-chick

I didn’t really notice his shorts, but to me he looks like a healthy, fairly fit, normal male. To me that’s much more appealing than a perfect looking, overly groomed, metrosexual male.


11 posted on 04/18/2014 3:57:37 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: rlmorel

I haven’t seen those. I’ll keep my eyes open for them.


12 posted on 04/18/2014 3:59:43 PM PDT by TigersEye (Stupid is a Progressive disease.)
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To: nickcarraway

I didn’t notice a guy in the pic? That’s one smoking hot babe though.


13 posted on 04/18/2014 4:01:39 PM PDT by PilotDave (No, really, you just can't make this stuff up!!!)
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To: TigersEye

Awesome! Another of my favorite bands referenced here. What a great FReeeping night that been with the Iron Maiden and Little Joe Cook threads, and now this (albeit by segue). I’m not much interested in celebrities, but I will admit to having a thing for Jack Nicholson because he has always been pretty awesome. DiCaprio has been in a few very respectable movies as well.


14 posted on 04/18/2014 4:15:27 PM PDT by lefty-lie-spy (Stay metal. For the Horde \m/("_")\m/ - via iPhone from Tokyo.)
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To: lefty-lie-spy

Oops, double post due to iPhone browser “back” button user error. My apologies.


15 posted on 04/18/2014 4:17:19 PM PDT by lefty-lie-spy (Stay metal. For the Horde \m/("_")\m/ - via iPhone from Tokyo.)
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To: nickcarraway
"his hair in a man-bun "

WTH is a "man-bun"?

16 posted on 04/18/2014 5:14:22 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization).)
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To: nickcarraway

Leonardo DiCaprio really packed on some delicious pounds while filming Django Unchained, because director Quentin Tarantino did something brilliant: he brought in top chefs to make the very best period cuisine, especially desserts, which the actors ate while speaking their dialogue.

If you know this, almost every scene in the movie, DiCaprio is eating some sweet or other (his character’s name was Calvin Candie), and you can see the expression on his and the other actors faces as they bite into some incredibly tasty pastry or world-class confection.

“Okay, I need you to act terrified of Candie, while sitting across from him while eating the tastiest food you have ever eaten in your life.”

Acting is not always easy.


17 posted on 04/18/2014 5:53:56 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (WoT News: Rantburg.com)
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To: nickcarraway

He doesn’t look fat, but he girl he’s with looks like she needs to eat quite a bit more. She’s pretty anorexic.

Is that skinny shaming? Granted, I see a “fat” female celebrity and think, “Finally, she looks like an actual woman with some curves.”


18 posted on 04/18/2014 6:05:37 PM PDT by MediaMole
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To: nickcarraway

What a load of crap. Ever hear women talk about other women? I have. A few weeks ago, my wife and one of her daughters subjected a very attractive (in my opinion) female weather announcer to a torrent of abuse about her hair. The next week her other daughter lit into a female tv person about her appearance. I have one sister who is notorious for saying catty things about other women who many times were within earshot. My wife says nasty things about other women’s clothes, hair, voice, or body shape. Women criticize other women all the time.


19 posted on 04/18/2014 8:50:51 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: lefty-lie-spy

Looking back at my pings, this thread just reminded me of the Anti Nowhere League Metallica cover of “So What!?” I say let Leo get a bit dumpy. We all do, and we bounce back whenever the hell we feel like it.


20 posted on 04/19/2014 11:08:31 AM PDT by lefty-lie-spy (Stay metal. For the Horde \m/("_")\m/ - via iPhone from Tokyo.)
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