I like Carrie Underwood. I think she has a clear and powerful voice. She also seems to conduct herself in a decent manner. Yet, this seemingly sweet, country girl from Oklahoma is not immune to the pressures that Hollywood, and society in general, place on the importance of looking thin and beautiful.
Something just didn’t sit right with me when I read this article from People which touches upon Carrie’s thoughts about her appearance and using sweets as a means of comfort. The full article about Carrie Underwood is featured in this month’s issue of InStyle.
In my opinion, her focus on analyzing her body and needing to stay thin seems to be playing games with an obsession and even an eating disorder. And eating disorders never play nicely. Emotional eating may be a problem for her as she speaks about turning to ice cream when experiencing sadness and hurt.
Now, I don’t think there is anything wrong with thinking about improving one’s body and counting calories. In fact, I believe this can be very helpful to losing weight and improving health. However, I believe it turns into a problem when thoughts about such things become obsessions. Obsessions interfere with simply living and enjoying life. Obsessions about body weight and calories open doors to other problems, like eating disorders.
Riches, fame, talent, and beauty do not exempt one from the pressures to stay thin (and may even encourage it), whether those pressures are external (coming from others/society) or internal (created in your mind). I bet Carrie is feeling these pressures, and her celebrity status most likely intensifies them.
Here’s some food for thought: Does Carrie’s simply being a woman in the spotlight increase her pressure to remain thin? Will beauty according to Hollywood standards help her earn more money than by her talents alone? Does this apply to women in other professions? And what about the guys? Do they have it easier with appearance expectations?