Hollywood needs to change its tune

As Hollywood lost another young talent this week, I feel that this is a call for change. Let me say that I never met Brittany Murphy, and that I have no facts to back up what I am about to say. I am not accusing her or her friends or family of anything.

I feel that Hollywood and the media need to stop laying this unreal expectation on its stars regarding body image and mental health. There are speculations that Murphy (along with how many still-living starlets) suffered from anorexia and drug addictions. We live in a culture where young women will literally starve themselves until organs shut down and they die. Others are highly medicated due to a high stress life and lean on pills instead of themselves to cope. Some suffer from both drug abuse and eating disorders.

It angers me so much to see stars in person, and to watch them waste away to nothing. They look like bobble heads, have sunken in eyes, and look miserable. Their clothes is usually hanging off of their skeletal frames. Is this sexy or beautiful? Not to me.

Trust me, on set it can be extremely hard to be around ridiculously thin people all the time. I am not fat or out of shape – I am an athletic, healthy size 2 – and I sometimes feel self-conscious and find myself avoiding the crafty table when on set with that type. It wears on me mentally, I’ll admit. It makes me reevaluate my diet or exercise plans sometimes. However, I cannot even fathom the idea of living on an apple, coffee and cigs a day. I think thats completely crazy. Maybe if I lived in LA I would feel differently, I don’t know.

All I know is that so many talented young stars become mentally and physically sick, and we let it slide or pretend it doesn’t exist. Does anyone remember what Lindsay Lohan looked like in Mean Girls? She was HOT! She now looks like she is slowly dying, is always coked out, and hasn’t made a good movie in YEARS! The poor girl is only in her mid-twenties.

My heart went out to the families of Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson when the past away so prematurely. My heart goes out to the Murphy family too. I am not a doctor, but I am pretty sure that it is extremely rare for a healthy person in the twenties or thirties to die from natural cardiac arrest. Let’s stop pretending its just an “untimely death” and change our tune as a culture. Let’s applaud the men and women who are in fantastic shape. Let’s speak up when we see someone suffering from anorexia or drug addictions. Let’s send the people who are sick into rehab. Let’s set a good example for today’s teenagers, and help them realize that you don’t have to be a size zero (or smaller!) to be beautiful or hot. Let’s stop the madness, and embrace being healthy.

This warped sense of beauty and health is not good for any of us. Let’s find a way to love ourselves and enjoy the opportunities we have. Searching for “perfection” is like searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We will never achieve it, but will kill ourselves or go crazy on the quest.

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~ by Elizabeth on December 22, 2009.

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