Monday, April 2, 2012

Does Losing Weight Mean Losing Sensitivity?

(This is a post I wrote a few weeks ago and submitted to Good Men Project but never got a yeah or nah on whether it would go up or not. Here goes.)

(Author's Note: This post is in no way meant to attack Jamie Reidy or anyone that may agree with his commentary on what Billy Crystal said about Jonah Hill. This is meant to show that its not too hard to imagine someone not being flattered by it. And while we can see that Jonah was not totally pleased with the remarks, I'm not trying to say this is how he felt about them. Only offering a different view on how Hill may have felt.)

A few days ago Jamie Reidy wrote a letter to Jonah Hill over his reaction to comments that Billy Crystal made about his weight loss during the Oscar Awards last week. In this letter it seemed that Jamie was coming from an angle of, “Why you gotta act all mad about it for?” Honestly I don't think its all that difficult to see why Jonah would be “all mad about it”. I want to look at a few parts of that letter as I explain.
Mr. Crystal didn’t link you to NBC’s hit show “The Biggest Loser.” He didn’t reference the Biblical story of Jonah and the whale. All he did was gently kid you about one of Hollywood’s most noticeable disappearing acts since Cuba Gooding’s career.

Its not always about the intensity of the joke. Sure Crystal's comments may not have been interpreted as being overtly offensive but that doesn't really excuse them. With my own body image issues I know it would bother me a lot if someone told me there will be cupcakes after the show right after saying I've lost weight. He didn't say something like, “I'm kind of hoping he doesn't win. I don't know if Oscars come in plus size.” but I can understand Jonah not being happy about being offered comfort food right after having his weight brought up.
Dude, why drop a baby seal’s worth of poundage if you don’t want people to acknowledge it? Wasn’t that the point of all the effort and sacrifice, so that people would take notice? You’re young, wealthy and not in danger of diabetes; what are you so uptight about?

He may have dropped that baby seal's worth of poundage for something other than the pleasing of other people. It's entirely possible that Jonah did it for his own well being. Also sometimes the desire to put in effort and sacrifice to shed pounds isn't about getting other people to notice you, sometimes its about getting other people to stop noticing you. When you've been figuratively (maybe even literally) compared to the elephant in the room its not uncommon to want to be the fly that no one notices.
I’m sure the producers of your upcoming movie “21 Jump Street” loved the free publicity their star received. You should have, too.
Speaking of your being a movie star and all, that reminds me: why were you seated so close to the stage? Oh, that’s right, you got nominated in a film that got nominated for Best Picture. You’re a damn fine thespian whose eye-opening turn in “Moneyball” stunned Hollywood. So, Mr. Ack-tor, act! Pretend you’re cool with it.

He's not a producer on that movie. He's the guy that got his weight commented on in front of thousands in attendance and millions across the world. Is getting some free press about an upcoming project supposed to be some sort of payment for being embarrassed like that? Is getting insulted supposed to be a tradeoff for being able to put “Appeared in the Oscar Nominated film 'Moneyball'” on his resume?

To bring my point home I just want to say that nearly everyone has their sore spots and it just might be that weight is one for Jonah Hill. And being a legendary comedic actor doesn't give Billy Crystal a free pass to strike at that spot.