Hilary Duff is the latest star to admit she was, at one point, too skinny. She tells Health: "I got pretty skinny when I was between 17 and 19. I regret it because I don't think I was happy then." It's great that Duff has realized this (even if it does seem like the domain of Captain Obvious) but there are a few things we're still hung up on.
Duff credits husband, Mike Comrie, for helping her love her bod. "It really helps to have a partner that loves everything about you and makes you feel really beautiful." In our ideal feminist utopia, of course, we'd love every woman to have a hard diamond of sparkling self-esteem, regardless of what the paramours in her life say. But we'll take what we can get.
And not to parse this quote too closely, but is Duff saying she wouldn't have regretted being "pretty skinny" if she had been happy?
Which brings us to this: Even when stars start coming down to earth and admitting to the rest of us how freakishly thin they look, the conversation is still dwelling on women's bodies in a negative way. It's doubtful Duff's quote would have made such a splash if she'd just said, "I feel smoking hot, thanks." It's not that she feels good about her body that's news. It's that once she looked too skinny and now feels "regret" about it.
We can all probably agree there's entirely too much attention paid to women's bodies in general. Most of the internet chatter is about women being "scary skinny" or "too curvy," without a whole lot of healthy images of role models in between. But what sucks most of all is that we can't sustain a conversation about women's body images that moves in a positive direction.
So what do we make of all this? We're glad stars are admitting they look or have in the past looked too skinny. Most of them were too thin and lots of them continue to be. It would be lovely if we could see a hell of a lot more variety in terms of shape and size. But should we be talking about our own and other women's bodies so much, one way or the other? Probably not. One thing's for sure: The conversation would be a hell of a lot more if weren't such a self-loathing downer.