When people look at modern-day celebrities and the influence they hold, it can be difficult to truly grasp the impacts these stars have on their audiences.
Whether it is spreading political messages, promoting their newest album or clothing line, there is always going to be a wide range of reactions. It is the harsh reality of being famous.
But with that, a question arises: When does a celebrity’s influence become too powerful to the point where it can harm themselves or their audience? How do these stars balance their own appearance while ensuring their audience does not feel pressured or betrayed by their change?
Two prominent celebrities, Rebel Wilson and Meghan Trainor, have used body positivity in the past to forward their careers. Wilson and Trainor, who have lost more than 30 pounds, respectively, are best known for using their larger figures to influence and inspire the younger generation.
Wilson, who played Fat Amy in the “Pitch Perfect” franchise, would constantly use her weight and appearance to her advantage by making jokes about herself on camera. Wilson also used her presence on and off the big screen to show her fans that loving yourself for who you are is the most important thing. The same can be said about musician Meghan Trainor.
Trainor, an American singer songwriter, rose to stardom after she released her hit single “All About that Bass.” The song, which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100, focused primarily on messages regarding body positivity by telling listeners they are perfect no matter their shape or size. Trainor quickly gained a following and many looked up to her as an idol and spokeswoman for body-sensitive individuals.
It is easy to see why fans of both Wilson and Trainor are confused by their recent weight loss transformations. Of course, these two likely decided to lose weight for personal or health-related reasons, but some fans are not so supportive of this.
Society has created a mindset where both men and women need to be perfect. But for many of Wilson and Trainor’s fans, they look up to them as a means of feeling included. It is rare that Hollywood or the music industry promotes anything other than the size zero hourglass figures. So these two essentially acted as the representation for many.
In seeing them lose such a drastic amount of weight, fans were left feeling betrayed. Wilson and Trainor used their platform to show their audience that it is OK to be different and that conforming to society’s expectations is not necessary, yet they themselves go against those messages. In a way, it seemed almost hypocritical and many fans felt abandoned.
On top of this, both women found their careers in jeopardy. Wilson now no longer has the body, which aided in her obtaining roles that suited her comedy-driven acting style. Moreover, Trainor has seen some spurts of success in her music but has shifted her focus toward movie soundtracks and seasonal releases. She is unfortunately no longer as musically prominent as she once was.
Celebrities need to be aware of their audience and the messages they are promoting to them. Additionally, it is important that they stay true to what they preach and do not conform to the pressures that society can put on them. Celebrities are extremely influential, so whatever they say and do are substantially magnified. As cliché as it sounds, they need to know how to use their power and influence responsibly. Not only can their careers depend on it, but the mental and physical wellbeing of their fans as well.