We're a nation obsessed with thinness (yet ironically obese) and celebrity weight wars are a favorite fixation. When an actress slims down too much, we race to label her anorexic, but God forbid she gains five pounds or we'll take a picture of her bottom and magnify her cellulite on the cover of a magazine.
The following five women know the cover of a tabloid all too well, and the accompanying headline usually reads something like, "Actress Packs on Pounds" or "Starlet Suddenly Skinny."
We're not talking about celebrities who pack on the pounds or whittle their waistlines for a movie role but about those who (despite fame and fortune) just can't seem to keep their weight in check.
Think you've heard it all when it comes to celebrity weight wars? Read on for our top five celebrity yo-yo dieters ...
No. 5: Jennifer Love Hewitt
OK, so this lovely actress was never really that big, but her weight wars have certainly been public nonetheless.
In her youth, Love was the celebrity that every girl wanted to be and every guy wanted to be with. She managed to keep a slim (albeit curvy) figure over the years, but more recent less-than-flattering tabloid photos of Love in her swimsuit revealed that this "Ghost Whisperer" had become more than pleasantly plump.
In response, Love claimed to be proud of her curves, but (not surprisingly) the unflattering photos were followed a few months later by a cover shot in which she had nixed the flab (with a headline that promised to divulge how she'd lost 20 pounds).
While she's not the first celeb to fluctuate in weight, with that naturally curvy frame, we wouldn't be surprised if Love continues to struggle with the scale.
No. 4: Janet Jackson
Her late brother may have been the king of pop, but Janet Jackson is the undisputed queen of yo-yo dieting.
Despite a successful career, this pop star/actress has had her ups and downs (on the scale that is). One minute she's sporting rock-hard abs on tour and the next day her frumpalicious frame is consuming the cover of a tabloid. A plus-size Janet even appeared on the big screen in the 1996 comedy "The Nutty Professor."
According to interviews, Jackson has struggled with her weight since age 10, when television producers asked her to drop pounds for a role. More recently, Janet packed on the pounds for a movie role (supposedly), but the project fell through.
Amazingly, Janet always manages to drop the weight (reportedly thanks to a strict diet of lean protein and veggies), but she doesn't seem to know how to keep it off.
No. 3: Carnie Wilson
Carnie Wilson has made a career out of being a fat celebrity. Since her initial fame and fortune as part of the 1980s rock trio Wilson Phillips, Carnie has been best known for her struggles with the scale.
In 1999, Carnie topped the scale at more than 300 pounds before undergoing a very public gastric bypass surgery. An initial success (she lost more than 150 pounds), Carnie's weight has fluctuated ever since, exacerbated by two pregnancies. In 2006, she joined the cast of "Celebrity Fit Club" and shed some pounds, but the diet didn't stick and she's now eating her way back to her presurgery weight.
Carnie might be ridiculed for her weight issues, but without them, she might not have a career at all. Her most recent jobs include hosting "The Newlywed Game" on GSN and starring in her own reality series called "Carnie Wilson Unstapled."
No. 2: Kirstie Alley
Best known for her role on the TV show "Cheers," in her heyday Kirstie Alley also had one hot little figure.
Don't believe us? Check out "A Bunny's Tale" (1984), in which she goes undercover as a Playboy bunny. Kirstie's character may have been just trying to get the scoop, but with that body, we wouldn't question whether she belonged in Hugh's mansion.
Since the 1980s, Kirstie's weight has fluctuated more times than we can count. Recently she became a spokeswoman for Jennie Craig and reportedly lost 70 pounds on the diet program. However, her new TV series, "Kirstie Alley's Big Life" (emphasis on BIG), clearly showed that she wasn't able to keep it off.
This isn't the first time that Kirstie's ballooning weight has been the butt of the joke. In 2005 (before the diet contract) she starred in a satirical "reality" show called "Fat Actress."
No. 1: Oprah Winfrey
She may be one of the wealthiest celebrities and the most successful woman in daytime television, but Oprah's many accomplishments and charitable acts are often overshadowed by her ever-fluctuating waistline.
Over the years, Oprah has ballooned from average to obese, and then whittled her way down to slim and trim, only to gain it all back again.
This former daytime diva has been very open about her struggles with food and weight, frequently talking about her experiences on her show and in her magazine. No doubt she's helped hundreds or even thousands of Americans trim down, thanks to the diet secrets she's shared, but on a personal level she just can't seem to win the battle.
Whether you feel pity or disdain for these celebrity yo-yo dieters, we're quite certain this won't be the last you hear about their weight wars.
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