Star Jones Reynolds, the View, and a Hope for a Better Future

Star Jones Reynolds gets the boot from the daily celebrity butt-kissing festival known for some reason as The View, as if the views forwarded by these ladies were anything even remotely close to their actual personal views instead of merely being ideologically sound propaganda meant to ensure repeat visits from ratings-grabbing celebs. Supposedly the reason Star Jones is no longer capable of sharing her “view” is, at least according to host/producer Baba Wawa, that the audience was turned off by Star’s dramatic weight loss and her shilling for products during her nuptials.

Barbara Walters is probably being honest. For a change. After all, I must say that the gastrically bypassed Star Jones Reynolds does look significantly different from the pre-weight loss one. In fact, the first time I saw her I didn’t know who she was. Upon the realization that this skeletal creature was the same Star Jones who’d been regularly making TV appearances since the OJ Simpson jury nullification exhibition was disturbing. Why would anyone do this to themselves, I asked no one in particular. I couldn’t help but wonder if she actually thought she looked better. Or even just good.

I have the same response whenever I see Michael Jackson. Or just about anyone who has undergone some sort of surgical procedure to “improve” their appearance. The most recent candidate to my list of “what the hell were they thinking” is Linda Evans. You remember Linda Evans, don’t you? The Ursula Andress and Bo Derek lookalike who came between those two in the twisted world of John Derek and the Clones? You know, the pretty young thing who played the Audra, the daughter of the Barkley family on The Big Valley? And who played the pretty younger wife of John Forsyth on Dynasty? Have you see her lately? To paraphrase a line from Raging Bull: She ain’t pretty no more. Linda Evans apparently suffered a plastic surgery nightmare. How do I know it was a nightmare? Because of this: Joan Collins looks younger than Linda Evans and Joan Collins is almost ten years older!

Plastic surgery. Gastric bypass surgery. Collagen injections. Breast enlargement. Why do people-and I’m certainly not limiting these things to women only-do them? Is there really anyone out there who thinks Star Jones Reynolds actually looks better now than when she did before the surgery? Apparently many loyal viewers of The View don’t. Who can blame them? Star Jones, who used to be an attractive woman despite not being able to fit inside a size 2 dress, now may very well be able to fit inside a size 1 dress, yet she is no longer attractive. Like Michael Jackson, Linda Evans-Priscilla Presley-Jones now bears the signature of the knife. These people look not so much human as alien. There is just something bizarre and disfigured about them; ironic considering they all made the choices they made in order to either become or remain attractive.

I’m sure there are millions of people who find Star Jones Reynolds prettier and sexier now than when she was heavier. And that’s sad. It’s sad that we have come to associate being overweight with unattractive and skinny with pretty. Call me crazy, but I happen to think Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot was far more of a hottie than any of these undernourished starlets dancing in their panties on the screen today. And call me crazy if you wish, but I always thought Star Jones was one of the prettier talking heads to show up and discuss the issues of the day. (She was certainly more of a hottie when she was over 200 pounds than that 90 pound disgrace Ann Coulter!)

It is my fervent hope and desire that the firing of Star Jones Reynolds ultimately comes to be looked back upon as a decisive moment in the world of television. After all, we all know that actresses and news personalities in the past have been fired or “given other opportunities” when they gained weight; the brouhaha surrounding Star Jones must surely be the first time in recent television history when a woman was fired for losing weight. Wouldn’t that be a terrific trend? No, I don’t mean the firing of women because they lose weight-ideally, the only reason Star Jones Reynolds should have been fired was for shilling her wedding accoutrements, but, of course, we all know that isn’t realistic. What would be a terrific trend is if suddenly cadaverousness wasn’t associated with attractiveness.

Do a simple search on the internet and you will find many stories that allege that certain actresses were not hired for parts based on their weight. Alex Kingston alleges that she wasn’t hired on Desperate Housewives due to her having a figure more curvaceous than the other actresses. Is it true? Well, a cursory glance at the Housewives themselves reveals a cast that isn’t exactly going to be accused of overeating. What’s even worse is that Alex Kingston is herself not exactly open to the same charge.

In the end it doesn’t matter one whit whether Star Jones Reynolds is on The View or not; who will really notice the difference? But one cannot help but notice the difference between the heavier and more attractive Star and the thinner and more bizarre looking Star. Why did she do it? What did she hope to gain? By giving in to the ideological demands that women on television be ridiculously thin, Star Jones not only put her very life in danger, but she forever changed her body. She contributed to the image debasement that is sending ten year old girls on diets every day. And finally she lost a job.

Truly, one can only hope that something positive comes from this. One can only hope that the audience disenchantment with an unrealistic idea of beauty as portrayed by an unrealistic looking human being will lead to a renaissance on television in which women of all sizes can be deemed attractive based on something other than their ability to fit into supersmall sizes.

And then we’ll work on the issue of attractiveness not even being an issue on which the hiring of women is based.

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