Who would have predicted that the biggest star at this yearâ??s Oscars would be a limb that would spark a gargantuan debate about being underweight?

Not everyone knows Angelina Jolieâ??s dress at the Oscars this year was created by Versace, but just about everyone (not living under a rock in a pre-21st century cave) knows she wore a dress with a thigh-high slit exposing a leg that to some was viewed as â??highly tonedâ?? but to others â??dangerously underweightâ??.

The pose that started it all

When Angelina took to the stage to present the award for Best Adapted Screenplay, she settled into her red carpet stance – one that will not soon be forgotten. As soon as Jim Rash accepted his Oscar for The Descendants, he immediately mimicked her stance creating an internet buzz with â??3 399 tweets per minuteâ? about her appearance, according to the Oscarâ??s Twitter feed.

Before the evening was up, Angelinaâ??s leg had its own Twitter account (@AngiesRightLeg), a buzfeed slideshow (Legbombing) with an associated Pinterest board and a Tumblr site called â??Angeline Jolieâ??ingâ??.

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The weight debate

Before long the lighthearted humour turned into a weight debate, with everyone throwing in their two cents. Some took the humour route, with Trevor Noah bringing it into his comedy act by posting on his Twitter account, â??If the camera adds 20 pounds then that means some of these actresses weigh zero? #Oscarsâ? and â??Angelina Jolie must take a break from third world countries and feed herself for a change. #Oscarsâ?.

Singer Bonnie McKee said, â??Dear Angelina Jolie… Eat something. #Oscarsâ?

Others took a more serious approach by linking Angelinaâ??s appearance to eating disorders. Dr Drew, who IMDb lists as â??One of the most listened to doctors in Americaâ? spoke up on The View, stating simply that â??she is malnourishedâ? and that he felt he had â??an obligation to speak upâ?.

Bill Oâ??Reilly, a political commentator (hardly an authority on weight) asked, â??Is it just me or is she looking mighty slim these days? Emaciated even? I was kind of taken aback. Look at the arms on her.â?

Do we have the right to judge?

Amelia McDonell-Parry from The Frisky doesnâ??t think so. She calls everyoneâ??s â??concernâ?? a â??a poor excuse for passing judgement about the health of someone [they] donâ??t even knowâ?. She thinks that â??Snarking on Angelinaâ??s thinness … tells naturally thin people they are unattractive and unhealthy-looking [and] even more bothersome… is that comments about how Jolie should â??eat a cheeseburgerâ?? make light of the difficulty people with anorexia have with the seemingly simple task of eating.â?

Eating disorder awareness

Although I am partial to agree with McDonell-Parry, judgement is a drawback of celebrity status. There is so much focus on Angelinaâ??s weight because, whether you like it or not, she is a role model for some women and is put on a global pedestal. What message is she putting out there?

Interestingly enough Dr Drew also mentioned on The View, â??There were reports that she was doing it to make a statement about the kids in Africa that she was working with who didnâ??t have a chance to eat.â? This most certainly would be an interesting way to do that. 

This however isnâ??t the first time Angelinaâ??s weight has made the headlines: in 2007 she defended these reports, very justifiably, by saying â??I have always been lean, and this year I lost my mum and I’ve gone through a lot. Instead of people saying I look like a person dealing with something emotionally, they assume it’s because I want to fit into skinny jeans.â?

Stand up

Whatever her motivation, we shouldnâ??t be looking at Angelina as an ideal of beauty or quite frankly anyone an ideal of beauty. Whether youâ??re curvy or skinny, embrace it because the weight debate is always going to be out there. 

Just like Adele stood up for her weight after Karl Lagerfeld called her â??too fatâ? by saying, â??I’ve never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that.â? At the end of the day, Angelina Jolie does own a mirror, one would assume, she knew how she looked and she stood up for her weight by sticking her (toned or tooth picked?) gam out of her Versace dress. OWN your look.

Need help? If youâ??re suffering from an eating disorder, read more from the National Eating Disorder Association.

 

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