Queen Latifah, now a diabetes spokesperson, has joined Jenny Craig and hopes to lose 5-10% of her body weight.
Her reason for doing so: “I am taking the first step to improving my health by announcing my goal to lose 5-10% of my body weight with Jenny Craig. My hope is to help educate people and motivate others to take their first step to have a positive impact on their health. By losing just 7% of your body weight, and increasing weekly activity, you can lower the risk of developing type II diabetes by 58%.”
The Back In Skinny Jeans blog asks its readers if they find it disappointing that Queen Latifah, who has always spoken about how proud she is of her full figure, is now promoting a weight loss program. So what do you think, inspiring or disappointing? Will people see this as a let down or will they be motivated to lose weight? Here’s how I see it.
Queen Latifah is a new spokesperson for a Type 2 diabetes campaign. Her Grandmother had Type 2 diabetes whom Queen Latifah watched become sick and fragile from this disease. According to Queen Latifah, her Grandmother “lost her leg, part of her sight, and eventually her life.” Obviously, Latifah’s personal connection is a motivation for becoming a spokesperson. And as a spokesperson for diabetes, she needs to state the risks of dying from diabetes among the overweight. Yet, on the flip side, Queen Latifah is a full-sized woman and a gorgeous one at that. She sets the perfect example that larger women can be beautiful, successful, and accepted. She has publicly stated she is proud of her body, and she should be. But being both beautiful and content with our size does not protect us from illnesses which we acquire due to the excess fat we are carrying. Being content does not make us exempt from bad health and/or an early death. Queen Latifah is in the spot light. She is admired by many and looked up to. She reminds us all that fuller women should be accepted for their size. Yet, for her to be standing in front of her peers and claiming there is nothing wrong with excess weight can be quite dangerous.
While I am grateful that Queen Latifah’s image tells young women to be happy no matter what their size, I think it is a good thing that she is now telling them to take control of their health. She is not claiming that women need to be a size 6. She has learned from a bad experience, and she wants to pass that knowledge on to others before it is too late for them. I applaud her for that.