Dear Carnie Wilson, I am a Bad and Unsympathetic Person.

By | June 10, 2008

Carnie Wilson is annoyed that other folks are overly concerned with her body (specifically, her recent weight gain). She says it hurts to have everything she puts in her mouth scrutinized. To have her exercise routines chronicled and, ostensibly, mocked. Privacy, y’all!

This here is my open letter to Carnie Wilson.

Dear Carnie Wilson,

I really didn’t want to see your internal organs.

I feel like that implies a level of intimacy that you and I simply don’t share. Though I admit a passing curiosity to see my own innards (heaven knows that when I had my gallbladder removed, I asked if there would be a recording of the laparoscopy that I could, y’know, watch after the fact – and yes, my surgeon DID look at me with unrestrained horror when I asked), I can’t say that yours were next on my list. Hell, I don’t think anyone’s digestive tract was next on my list. Call me prudish, but I prefer other people’s intestines to remain a dim mystery to me; on some level, I know they’re in that person’s body, but I really avoid thinking about them all that much.

Now, I can’t say for certain what your reasoning was. Maybe, possibly, you’d had numerous people coming up to you, saying, “Please, please Carnie, have abdominal surgery and broadcast it live on the internet! We want to see your upper gastrointestinal tract! Pleeeeeease!” I mean, it could have happened.

I doubt it, though.

You made your choices. You got typecast primarily as a fat girl who got thin, and you chose to embrace all the trappings of the Weight Loss Success Story, up to and including the almost-inevitable nude spread in Playboy, the cultural equivalent of screaming “MY BODY IS MUNDANE AND ACCEPTABLE AND WORTHY OF EXTENSIVE AIRBRUSHING!” (and which, frankly, would have been way more interesting if you’d done it while Still Fat – the thought of allll the heads that would have exploded at that centerfold, it makes me chuckle with glee).

I’m not saying you asked for it. I don’t mind telling you that it’s tempting, but I am resisting the powerful urge to go there. I’m trying not to be an asshole about this.

I am also resisting the urge to say that you can’t make your body and your weight everybody’s business when it’s working out as you planned, and then get all righteous complaining about same when the attention being paid is not to your impressive slenderness but to your apparent weight gain. I am resisting saying that you can’t hold yourself up – or allow yourself to be held up – as the literal WLS “poster child” and then cry foul when the media sinks their teeth into you for getting fat again.


What I am really saying is that no, really, your body and your weight is really nobody’s business. It’s really nobody’s fucking business. Stop sharing. Damn. Your choices to be so visible about your weight loss efforts have – no argument, no debate! – had consequences that have been far-reaching, touching on not only how the media covers all the other famous people who’ve had WLS, but ultimately having a profound and negative cultural effect on what Being Fat is like for the rest of us. (Not unlike how that interview you did with Radiance magazine back in 1996 had a profound and positive cultural effect on me, back in the day.) Intentionally or not, your actions made the fat bodies and/or digestive rearrangements of a zillion people into public property. Just. Stop.

Certainly, you owe me nothing. You don’t owe anybody any explanation for any of your choices. And I don’t really expect that. I do, however, get to speak up about this shit when it pisses me off. I expect you’re a bright lady, probably, but – although this is likely as much the fault of the media as it is yours – I’m sick to death of only knowing you these days insofar as how much weight you’ve gained/lost.

And finally? You really do look better fat.

See, there’s the last nail in the coffin holding my lost objectivity on this little matter.


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