Monday, August 20, 2007

By the Light of the Star(s) . . .

So Star Jones is officially back on television. Her new show debuts today at 3:00 PM ET on CourtTV. A lot has been said of Mrs. Jones-Reynolds over the years. Some good, some bad, a lot of it based on people knowing very little about her and making assumptions about her accordingly.

Since leaving The View in May of 2006, Star has largely retreated from the spotlight and as her limelight got smaller, so did she. Many whispered she had surgery - many whispered that with more free time she was finally able to focus on her and her health.

Rosie O'Donnell was probably the first to publicly speculate AND challenge her on live televisoin that she had undergone Gastric Bypass surgery to help her lose weight. Star denied it. She kept losing weight and losing weight and losing weight and she denied, denied, denied the surgery.

Then, a few weeks ago, with NO surprise to any of us that have battled weight our entire lives . . . low and behold . . . Star admits she DID have Gastric Bypass and that the reason she's been "quiet" about it (note that she doesn't admit to lying, repeatedly, about it just that she's not really talked about it) is because she was not sure how she would be treated.


Now, let me be very clear about this. I seem to be in the minority camp of people who are all too proud fthat they made this decision and have had this surgey and accepted all the risks and rewards that can come from it. At support group the other night, the group seemed sort of split on if it was anyone's business and if it was relevant and if how much weight you had lost should be a topic of conversation and even if showing your scars was acceptable. For me - every bit of it is okay. I'm unafraid. BUT I certainly respect the privacy and the right to not talk about the surgery to any one that wants to keep it between them and the medical staff that got them through.

I'm fine with John and Jane Doe keeping their surgery a secret. Do your thing!

I can NOT, however, understand why Star Jones would deny the whole thing ONLY to turn it in to a publicity stunt when it served her purposes.

If she was afraid of perception . . . why then did she expose herself to it?

Here is why I single her out - she's "famous" - she is a "celebrity" - to a number of people in this world who watched her on The View and how gleefully looked at pictures of her wedding and who are excited she is back on TV she is a "hero" or someone they "admire."

I suspect many of her fans are themselves overweight women who have struggled and see her success as proof that if you work hard enough you can be anything you want to be in this world. Sure, I get that. BUT what a disservice it is to those same women who have supported her for years and cheered for her, etc. to have them maybe feel defeated or otherwise unable to win their weight battles on their own.

Forget her fans . . . what a disservice to the medicine and the science of gastric bypass that someone who can be seen as such a success story to distance themselves from the medicine in such a public way - as though it is shameful or wrong to need the help of modern medicine to lose the weight and (knock on wood) keep it off.

People like Star Jones who will accept the help of surgery and then deny it until it suits their own publicity to confirm it are exactly why there is still such a stigma about the surgery and about our battle with obesity and about what "kinds" of people need the surgery to succeed.

Star clearly needed the surgery to succeed in losing weight . . . I'm sure she hopes the surgery might help her new show succeed too.

I wish her all the best in her weight struggle and with the show and I welcome her to the minority camp of proud GBers!

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