DWTS Champion Breaking the Mold?

photoI was reading Star Magazine the other day and came across an article about the recent Dancing With the Stars Champion, Amber Riley. The article was titled “DWTS Champ Amber Riley Breaking the Mold: The Glee Star strikes a blow as the hit show’s first full-figured female victor.” I was a bit disheartened by some of the things I read in the article. It begins with describing the “slim and sexy celebrities” that won the show in past seasons and that everything has changed this year with the winner Amber Riley. It creates a sharp contrast between Amber and the other female winners. The article then goes on to call Amber “pleasantly plump” and an “average female”, as if Amber is somehow a step down from the “slim and sexy” celebrities described earlier. Amber Riley is an immensely talented singer, performer, actress and entertainer. By no means is she more average than any other celebrity because she has more weight on her. Of course I am aware of the pressure of size and shape especially for celebrities in the spotlight, but I was still put back a little by the ever-present mistreatment and judgement of people of different sizes.

In a recent article found on Yahoo, Victoria Miller talks about the side ways comments she received throughout the season.

But throughout the season, the actress had to deal with remarks from some viewers about her size. “There were a couple [comments], like, ‘She danced well — for her size,'” Riley told In Touch. “I don’t want people to think that! I just want to dance well … I don’t think it should be an anomaly for a person my size to be able to dance or have confidence. Everybody should have confidence.”

I am happy that viewers of the show can know that the competition is open to all people of all backgrounds and body types. Amber Riley is an exception, not because of her weight or race but because of her talent and glowing personality. That is what we should be pointing out in articles like these. Here is a video of her finale performance and we can all see that her size is irrelevant and that she can move better than most people of any size.

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2 thoughts on “DWTS Champion Breaking the Mold?

  1. Ive been thinking about weight related discrimination or as I (and a few others) used to call it “Sizism”. In general, I think that it is a hard topic to com to conclusions with. My discussion with myself ended on what some might call “extreme”. However, I think it is just as valid as anything else. I realized that my weight and my health are not issues that affect me the most. For instance, if I die, I’m dead. No matter ow obvious it seems it takes some getting used in a world where I have been convinced that everything I needed to do was for my own good. Whereas, I realized that keeping healthy was usually justified by the idea of staying alive or living long. However, if I die,those who love me will suffer more loss than I will. Then I also thought the state is benefiting from my life and my health because it needs healthy people who are alive and well to fulfill their responsibilities at home, in the church, in the schools and at work.

    This is not to say that we should all quit the gym and live with mr McDonalds. Honestly, i don’t think i will stop trying to live a healthy lifestyle but I’m more motivated now that i fully understand how I’m doing it for the people I love. It is more like an unveiling of the process through behind the achievement i feel by going to the gym and the failure I suffer with when I miss a workout. Yes, endorphins still have a role to play in this but that is not my argument. My finding is only an understanding of the way keeping fit and staying healthy works out for everyone else more than it even works out for us in the long run. Think about it, when you’re fit, your partner benefits from having people envy him/her and praise you , or your family gets to keep you around for a long time, and your office does not have to suffer through staff loss. At least, think about it.

    Thanks for your post.

  2. I agree that it’s frustrating that every time someone looks different from everyone else, it’s ridiculous the extent to which people can’t look past that. We act as if we’re commemorating that person as the “first woman/person of color/person of a different size” to do blank, but most of the time it ends up sounding as if the person is being criticized or we’re creating an even starker dichotomy between the “norm” and the person who has just broken the mold.

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