Rant: American Big Fat Idol

One of the most lovely theories behind the popular show American Idol is that a normal kid with an amazing voice just hasn't, for whatever reason, been exposed to the Hollywood media machine, so the media machine goes out and finds them. However, the most disheartening facet of the show is that they take a pretty normal, moderately well-adjusted kid and then throw them to the wolves. Hey, whaddya expect, it's Hollywood, right?

A member of this season's Top 12, Carly Smithson nee Hennessey (she of the lovely voice, amazing eyes and lilting Irish accent) has been down the media hype road before; in fact, she was MCA Records' chosen one a few years ago, set up like a kept woman to put together a carefully generated pop album that didn't do so well. During this time in captivity, Red3 points out, this wisp of a girl posted some self-hate talk on her refrigerator, ostensibly to remind herself that she doesn't deserve to eat because she is fat. Except, she's not. Not by a long shot.

...this was an exceptionally thin young woman. Indeed, she'd spent years in modeling and performing up to that point, too. This is still how she saw herself, though. As not good enough. Not pretty enough. Not thin enough. You know, I realize that this is really messed up, but I also can't blame Carly. Look, Kelly Clarkson goes to a beach and suddenly there are 50 blog posts talking about whale sightings. Jordin Sparks wins last season's Idol and Meme Roth loses her @#$% and harbingers a coming fat apocalypse. Plus-size Frenchie Davis gets disqualified when some naked pictures surface while other traditionally attractive contestants and their similar indiscretions are given a pass. Are we really shocked that the fame merry-go-round throws our self-esteem and body issues into hyperdrive? I don't know what the answer is, but clearly it's time to reinstate the Kelly Clarkson Is Not Fat campaign.

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