When Bethenny Frankel
posted a photo on Instagram proudly wearing her four-year-old daughter’s PJs, the Skinnygirl faced a massive backlash. But she isn’t the only celebrity who has been accused of promoting an unhealthy body image. Check out these other stars who have been accused of being bad role models.
“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” says Kate Moss who ignited a firestorm by making this comment to WWD.com
in 2009. Just another controversy for the Brit who has been accused of being a bad role model ever since her skinny, waif days during the “heroin chic” ‘90s.
Mrs. Beckham’s skinny frame has caused such alarm that she was even lambasted for gaining too little weight when she was pregnant with her fourth child, Harper. In a 2011 New York Post article about “mommy-rexia” dietician Lisa Cohn criticized Beckham for being super slim, saying that, if true, her “extreme post-baby weight-loss” plan “sends a dangerous message to other women…”
“The accusation that I’m somehow responsible for causing anorexia is beyond hurtful.” That’s what celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe told the Daily Mail in a 2007 interview. Super skinny Zoe has been accused of allegedly influencing Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan and Mischa Barton – her clients at the time – to be scarily thin.
Back in the 1990s there were a group of Hollywood “It” girls who were publicly criticized in the press for being too thin. Jennifer Aniston was among them as she acknowledged in a 1999 interview with W Magazine. The actress said: “Lately, I’ve been reading that I’m too skinny… I guess when I was rounder, I was easier to relate to.”
In a 1998 interview with People Calista Flockhart denied she had an eating disorder. Back then at the height of her Ally McBeal fame, the actress was ridiculed on late night TV and radio talk shows for being scarily skinny. But Flockhart said: “I don’t have a messed-up relationship with food.”
For some reason many parents were outraged by Rihanna’s 2013 “Pour It Up” video, which saw the pop princess grinding and twerking, while half-naked for the camera. Dr. Helen Wright, a former president of the Girls’ School Association in the U.K., said: “Teenagers are impressionable; this video feeds them the same old ugly story of female enslavement, not emancipation or equality.”
In 2013 Heidi was voted the ninth worst celebrity role model for young girls in a survey of parents, collected by an online study. Having ten plastic surgery treatments in one day – as she admitted in 2010 – may explain why she made that list. The wannabe pop singer looks drastically different than she did as a star on The Hills.
When Paula Deen announced she was endorsing a diabetes drug in 2012, fellow TV chef Anthony Bourdain blew his top. He had previously criticized the Southerner for being “the worst, most dangerous person to America” for whipping up fat and sugar-laden dishes. So when Deen revealed she had Type 2 diabetes and was the new face of the drug Victoza, he tweeted: “Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.”
In 2006, Joanna Coles admitted to being “dazed and confused – and disappointed” by Ashlee Simpson’s decision to have a nose job. The then-editor of Marie Claire had to face her readers’ outrage after cover girl Simpson preached “chapter and verse about how crucial it is to love yourself as you are” and then promptly had plastic surgery.
Back in 2002, Geri Halliwell was chosen to be a judge on the British TV show, Popstars: The Rivals. By then the emaciated singer looked nothing like her buxom, Ginger Spice alter ego. Deanne Jade, the then Principal of the National Centre for Eating Disorders, complained saying: “Young people see someone like Geri and feel pressured…to have a shape like hers.”
In June 2013, Miley Cyrus was named the worst celebrity role model for girls, beating Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian and Amanda Bynes for the title. Sixty-eight percent of the 2,407 parents surveyed for the online study blamed the singer’s “inability to make positive life choices,” her “lack of talent” and “sexualized” appearance.
Keira Knightley has been so turned off by allegations that she is “anorexic” and a bad role model for young girls that she says she would discourage her future children from becoming actors. In an interview with Elle U.K. the star said: “[Teenage] years should be done privately.” The actress has denied any claims that she has suffered from the eating disorder.
When it comes to bad role models for impressionable young girls, Barbie is the queen bee. The little plastic handful with the incredibly thin waist and oversized boobs sets an impossibly high standard for future image-conscious teens.