Home Celeb Watch Fit Chick Watch: Why and How Jordin Sparks Lost 50lbs and Who’s Mad About It

Fit Chick Watch: Why and How Jordin Sparks Lost 50lbs and Who’s Mad About It

by Erika Nicole Kendall

So… Of course, platinum recording artist and American Idol alum Jordin Sparks has been working hard all year, toning it up and getting fit, as you’ll recall from the following photos she posted to her twitter account:

Both photos courtesy of FreddyO. Click to view more.

and the following photo which, really, is quite new to me:

Photos courtesy of FreddyO. Click to view more.

…but nothing surprised me more than seeing Miss Sparks on the cover of Shape magazine, looking all kinds of awesome!

On the inside, Jordin talks about her decision to be more fit:

“I just wanted to be healthy. It was just before my 21st birthday. I had walking pneumonia, couldn’t breathe and felt totally fatigued. I remember thinking, ‘I’m in my prime. I should be happy and fit.’ That was the moment when I decided that changes needed to be made.  I knew I had a long road ahead of me.  I was barely working out, and my diet was a mess. I had to address when, what, and how much I was eating.”

When asked for her secret, she gives it to you straight:

“There is no secret,” the 22-year-old Sparkle actress told Us at the event. “It’s just eating better and working out! It’s definitely a daily thing.”

Okay, so… what do those workouts look like? Jordin told Us Weekly:

Among her favorite ways to get her sweat on: high-energy dance classes like Zumba. “My mom’s best friend is a Zumba instructor and I loved it,” she gushed. “I started with walking then went to jogging and then Zumba. I started [working with a trainer] and we did 30 minutes of circuit training so I didn’t feel like I needed to be in the gym for two hours.”

In addition to intense cardio sculpting sessions, Sparks had to makeover her diet as well. “I stop now when I’m full,” she admitted. “I love food and I love to eat. My thing was, do I really need seconds or do I want it just because it tastes good?”

But, believe it or not, not everyone is happy for Jordin and her new figure. From The Stir:

I always thought Jordin Sparks was an amazing role model. Not just because of that amazing voice or even her generally squeaky clean image. She was also a great example of a Hollywood success story that wasn’t stick thin.

Well, so much for that. On the August cover of Shape Magazine, Sparks flaunts her new physique after a jaw-dropping 50-pound weight loss. Don’t get me wrong, she looks AMAZING. But the sad fact is, she was one of the few plus-size stars girls could look up to.

[…]I can’t say I am totally surprised by her dramatic slim down. Newly thin stars often say they dropped the weight for health reasons, but we all know there is intense pressure to be thin in show business, regardless of how “plump and proud” they claimed to be. Case in point, Jennifer Hudson may have won an Oscar when she was still a big girl, but her career really skyrocketed after she lost 80 pounds. Now you can’t turn on the TV without hearing her sing the praises of being thin in a Weight Watchers commercial.

It’s great that Sparks is healthy and happy, I just wish young girls had more plus-size stars to look up to along with all those size 0s out there.

I hate to tell ol’ girl, but using Jennifer Hudson as an example of this is a pretty bad idea. Winning an Oscar is pretty much the pinnacle of an actress’ career. The only way to go up from there is to win another, a feat Hudson hasn’t reached and (no shade) hasn’t even had a role that comes close to putting her in the running, yet. Not sure if she was struggling to find another woman of color to compare Sparks too, but still. Flaws abound. Just say you feel entitled to have a “big girl representative” in the media, and be done with it. If you find yourself being mad that the celebrity you’d attached yourself to has changed their body for [what they believe to be] the better, ask yourself why you’re so attached to a celebrity that you’re getting mad and penning essays about a celebrity who doesn’t know you. Jeez.

What do you think?

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Karen July 26, 2012 - 11:17 AM

This is a big part of our weight issue in the black female community. For some reason, we (meaning as a whole) feel like we should be proud of our “thickness” even when our thickness is 50 or more pounds overweight and our health is suffering and we are dying of weight related illnesses. Why can’t someone who is healthy and fit be a role model as well. Jordan doesn’t look stick thin, she looks fit and that is what we should strive to be. I hate this “I should be black, fat and happy” stereotype that is lingering in our community. Why do I have to embrace that? Why can’t I want to be fit, healthy and able to enjoy my life? LOL Rant over!

Dionne July 26, 2012 - 12:26 PM

I couldnt have said it better Karen. And did they ever think people want to FEEL better. Being over weight is hard on your knees, can cause sleep apnea, and acid reflux. Most of the time those symptoms get better when you lose a few extra pounds. And I agree Jordin doesn’t look stick thin to me. She looks Great!

Daphnee July 26, 2012 - 7:28 PM

I agree with Karen and Dionne. We have to take a hatd look at patterns of our behavior and lifestyle choices. Fat is not healthy, it’s as simple as that. Jesi, you’re on to something. We should be happy and able to be proud of ourselves no matter our weight. But I experience this too. As soon as I gain weight I feel more sluggish and all sorts of things start feeling wrong. Jordin Sparks is a better “her” when she’s proactive about her health. She’s advertizing doing it the right way too! She is the role model girls should look up to.

Nicole July 26, 2012 - 4:06 PM

Karen you hit the nail on the head. Jordin Sparks looks great and I’m happy that she is choosing to live instead of being unhealthy. I’m tired of the stereotypes. As black women we can love our curves in smaller, healthier portions. I want to be fit, fabolous and happy 🙂

Tonia July 29, 2012 - 8:54 AM

Hitting the LIKE button

Def December 23, 2012 - 1:38 AM

For real, Karen! With the media + industry encouraging women use cosmetics, Spanx, wigs, hairpieces to shroud the underlying nemesis of their beauty – failed fitness! -women need to recognize, you can’t paint and dress your way out of a physical train wreck forever – sooner or later your chickens come home to roost – sooner or later it WILL affect your health. So Jordin + Jennifer are not victims of the entertainment industry- they are beneficiaries in that they have gained added incentive and found the self discipline they needed to live to the fullest and maximize success in their careers. It ain’t easy- food cravings are hard to deny -like drugs + sex (lol) but if you really want to look good – and feel good, ladies, get with the program!

Shawna November 23, 2013 - 2:12 AM

Thank Youuuuuuuu Karen.. i agreeeee

Yuu Ri October 15, 2014 - 7:59 AM

One of the reasons I hate being a black eurooean female in America. Everything goes back to being black. Who said anything about staying fat? Embrace your figure just means that. Lose weight? Be healthy? Sure. But why look like Angelina Jolie (all skinny, no meat, no curves, thin as a skeleton) when you can look like Beyonce or Shakira for that matter? (Healthy, fitted yet with curves). I used to weight 120lbs. Now am at 130 after having kids. I look thicker and used to hate it because I was comparing myself to before. But weirdly enough people would telk me that I look great. Would ask me what kind of work out I do to get those hips (weren’t like that before) or those legs. I told the truth NOTHING. I embraced my new curvier body. That’s me Im black not surprised it happened but I never thought of losing those extra 10lbs. I just thought skinner would be better and it is not. Just saying…once you embrace yourself and stop trying to look like photoshoped people life gets better. And please stop turning everything into a racial argument. That makes no sense.

Erika Nicole Kendall October 15, 2014 - 12:56 PM

“One of the reasons I hate being a black eurooean female in America. Everything goes back to being black.”

It is okay to accept that, as a “black eurooean in America” that you are missing something that is culturally specific to black Americans, and since you are missing that “thing,” whatever it may be, that you should stay silent. Like, that’s a fully acceptable response.

It’s not about “turning everything into a racial argument.” It’s about acknowledging that different cultures have different ‘standards’ that they try to impose on their women, and those women have to challenge that at all the myriad angles from which they’re targeted.

It’s okay to say that your cultural experiences are different as a black European, and so you can’t relate. Displaying empathy for your fellow women of color, your fellow black women, would allow that. Coming from a condescending angle results in the comment you left. You should do some soul searching as to why you felt that so necessary.

Jesi July 26, 2012 - 11:22 AM

This is my first time commenting – and I LOVE your site by the way. It’s really encouraged me to get my diet and life in order 🙂 Anyway, I get what the author of The Stir is getting at. There is an intense pressure to be thin in Hollywood. That’s no secret.

But I believe you should love yourself regardless of your size. I’m not saying someone should embrace an unhealthy lifestyle of poor eating and obesity, but you shouldn’t walk around with low self esteem just because you’re a size 20 either.

To see other celebrities being confident in their fuller figures can be inspiring for young plus size girls. And I think the fact that Jordin was confident in her larger state and then took the steps to get healthier is even more inspirational. She didn’t beat herself up because she was larger. She remained confident throughout it all. That, to me, makes her an even better role model and worthy of celebrating not putting down.

CurvyCEO July 26, 2012 - 1:33 PM

^^^Totally agree with the points above. I must admit that as an obese woman, it is important to see plus-size role models just as an affirmation that there are others out there in the world like you. Otherwise, it only reinforces the message that you are, fundamentally, wrong and shouldn’t exist. Your body already takes a beating from the weak knees and shortness of breath. Even if you are on a path to pursuing better health, having those visual reminders of people who are overweight and accepting of themselves can be a powerful tool. A friend of mine who is disabled said that there is a similar issue in the disability community – of never seeing people with disabilities in movies or on tv and that contributing to negative body image within the disabilities community.

Finally, on a slightly off-topic note, I just wanted to share this hilarious (and, I think, on point) analysis of Jennifer Hudson’s weight loss and her public persona – http://www.dirtyprettythangs.com/2012/01/08/fat-girl-fairytales-the-amazing-transformation-of-jennifer-hudson/

Karen December 5, 2013 - 8:45 AM

You can’t compare being overweight to having a disability. We can change our bodies. Someone who is disabled cannot.

Erika Nicole Kendall December 5, 2013 - 5:21 PM

“We can change our bodies. Someone who is disabled cannot.”

While I may agree that the comparison is unnecessary, I do have to say that this isn’t always accurate. Furthermore, the fact that this isn’t always accurate coupled with the fact that you cannot tell, based on looking at a person, whether or not THEIR particular condition is easily changeable or not… should compel us to stop saying this and stop attempting to judge people based on their looks as to whether their condition is a matter of “laziness”/”the willingness to ‘change our bodies'” or not.

Annette December 10, 2013 - 7:25 AM

Well I am not able to do any exercise it causes spasms and inflammation which is painful. I do light 5 second stretches. I wanted changing and substituting my diet cause I didn’t feel right. I kept a food dairy if it upset my stomach I substituted it. Got rid of diary due to constipation. Tomato sauce cause of reflux, meat, chicken. Got rid of gluten products cause of bloating and digestion. Trial and error lost weight without doing any workouts. I eat fiber, fresh fruits and veges, nuts, soy, legumes, certain grains and make it tasty. The weight came off and my body naturally tighten. I do aqua therapy now and then. Made sure I sleep at least 7 hours a day. Rested and relax my brain and mind. People are surprised at how much weight I lost I did it cause I was in a lot of pain. Now it’s a way of life and I don’t feel deprived.

Candice W. July 26, 2012 - 11:26 AM

Good for her! She looks wonderful and she’s happy. That’s all that should matter in the long run with this. Jordin took the steps to take care of herself and I can’t believe someone would really make those comments about her…It almost sounds selfish in a way.

Atr July 26, 2012 - 11:37 AM

Why can’t she be a role model for these girls because she took control and got healthy? Shouldn’t that be what they look up to? Whether you’re famous or just a regular person people prefer you being overweight/obese, unfit and (un)happy. So sad. V

lexdiamonz July 26, 2012 - 11:41 AM

I too am trying to get healthier and lose weight and be more fit and am ASTOUNDED by the people around me including family who are telling me I am acting brand new or they liked me better when I was fact because I didn’t act “bougie” and stuck up ALL because I say no thank you to their greasy chicken.. it’s heartbreaking sometimes when you try to change for the better and people want to see you at your worse…….

lexdiamonz July 26, 2012 - 11:42 AM

I meant *worst*

lexdiamonz July 26, 2012 - 11:43 AM

and *fat*… sorry IPHONE issues LOL

Nell July 26, 2012 - 12:32 PM

I see nothing wrong with being fit I think Jordan looks great..do what works for you and don’t worry about others. whatever reasons you have for losing weight or being comfortable with your current size are you’re reasons and should not have to be defended or debated.

curlsz July 26, 2012 - 12:39 PM

there is a scene in the movie “mirror has two faces” it’s after Streisand has lost a lot of weight – the heavy friend is angry and sad b/c they aren’t two heavy women anymore, now she’s solo in the obese department. I think those that are angry or feel betrayed by things like this are simply insecure b/c their own issues are brought to light and now they no longer have a celebrity spokesperson in their camp – it’s like she’s not in their boat anymore and so they’re upset.

I’ve always liked Jordan, I’m glad she got healthy however she looks as the result!

binks July 26, 2012 - 8:35 PM


Denise July 26, 2012 - 12:47 PM

Really?! We should be glad for her. Weight issues are a struggle for A LOT of people. Applaud those who find a way to lose it (properly) and get/stay fit! I think that’s a better role model than someone who is sickly (her own assertion). Whether she did it for career, or man, she did it and she did it the right way. Kudos Ms. Sparks!

Cheryl Lemus July 26, 2012 - 12:56 PM

I love that you posted this blog. It very much relates to blog I just posted regarding the controversy over Kate Upton and the history behind what it means to skinny. The title is The Skinny Fat Girl and I think you all would enjoy it. I’m glad I found this blog. I am going to read it more often!


Karen July 26, 2012 - 1:23 PM

Lexdiamonz, I totally understand. As I’ve been working on this journey and losing weight, one of my BFF’s (i thought) told me he wanted his fat friend back. It hurt me to my heart to hear that.

Tonia July 29, 2012 - 8:59 AM

I have put in a lot of work and made changes this summer in my diet and exercise. My husband has been nothing but complimentary and is now encouraged and has joined me. I’m excited to have inspired him.

Jame (@jameane) July 26, 2012 - 2:05 PM

I am happy when I hear about people adopting healthy habits and feeling better.

What I do worry about, is when healthy is mistaken for having a socially acceptable body.

Jordin Sparks sounds like she did things the right way and made significant lifestyle changes, and this makes her a positive role model for everyone.

I don’t see the same level of criticism about Blake Lively who fully admits she doesn’t exercise and has crappy eating habits. It is perfectly fine that she lives an unhealthy lifestyle, because she has a socially acceptable body type.

Where is Monique’s praise for getting stronger and more active? Probably missing because “she doesn’t look healthy.” I see it here, but not in many other places.

How about Sarah Robles, the Olympic Powerlifter? She is definitely fit and strong. Why don’t we hear about her workout routine? Oh she is plus sized, it is irrelevant.

Erika Nicole Kendall July 26, 2012 - 2:14 PM

First, thank you for giving me my credit. I personally am keeping an eye on Mo’Nique because I was one of her largest critics, and am really happy to see this evolution in her thinking and approach toward fitness. She is someone I’d LOVE to be wrong about.

As far as Blake, Sarah, and any other… we need to be clear about what society wants. It certainly isn’t “to be fit,” and we’ve got to understand that.

…that doesn’t equate to accepting it as right.

I’m more than willing to give shine to these women… IF I SEE IT. So. That means y’all need to send me this stuff! I’ll absolutely post it and promote it and we can just as easily create a movement toward being fit women with no priority on or preference of size, but you’ve got to send it to me. I only see so much. My nose is buried deep in my certification training materials. LOL

Erica July 26, 2012 - 3:06 PM

Keep your nose in your certification manuals E! When you complete your certification I’m driving down from lower Manhattan and I will be one of your first training clients. Great post: people are crazy. Jordin is amazing and I give her kudos. When I lost my weight 6 years ago, family, colleagues and “friends” said the dumbest things. I still occasionally have to give people the side eye when they say stupid things. After all these years, my Mom is still a saboteur – smuggling pineapple upside down cake in my freezer when she visited me for my birthday 2 weeks ago. I don’t even like pineapple upside down cake (lol). I love her, but threw the cake in the garbage. My point is the drama never ends. You just have to keep on motivating yourself. My mantra is “I am a force to be reckoned with” and I keep it moving! Good luck with your studies Erika!

Jame (@jameane) July 26, 2012 - 7:29 PM

I just end up getting so annoyed when some celebrity loses weight and people are like “OMG they look so healthy now!” As if weight = health . There are so many ways to be and look healthy, as you are well aware, and we have decided to use “healthy” as a euphemism for “socially acceptable thinness.”

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you are on “team curvy,” “team skinny,” or “team fit.” We should all be on “team healthy” and work on eating well and staying active, no matter what our bodies look like in the end.

Pam July 26, 2012 - 7:37 PM

Congratulations Erika!

First, I’ve lost and gained enough weight to recognize a hater when I see one. Jordin Sparks looks fantastic, and is a better role model for the Chunky Chick Crew now than when she belonged to it. I may be in the minority here, but I don’t think that we need any more glammed up Big Girls to tell the rest of us Big Girls (and I am among that number), that we are fine, sexy, and beautiful and that we don’t need to get the health piece together. We do, and that means eating right and working out. I’ve had middle school students with type 2 diabetes, but they looked good! Sixth and seventh graders over 200 lbs, but those clothes were fresh and Mama kept the hair done. I work in an “Urban” school in Atlanta and just about everyone is overweight. Administrators, faculty, staff and students. Everyone has hypertension. Many have diabetes. I might be the only adult without high blood lipid numbers. Jordin is an example of how an adult should look. She’s healthy and fit and doesn’t have rolls marching up her back. I say, “Go ahead Jordin. Keep it up.”

You keep it up too, Erika.

Cheryl Lemus July 26, 2012 - 2:11 PM

Oh and a friend of mine just posted a great article, (Big and) Black is Beautiful: Body Image and Expanded Beauty Ideals in the African American Community, 1945-1968, that you all might find interesting: http://www.essaysinhistory.com/articles/2012/160

Shamira July 26, 2012 - 4:02 PM

I think it’s great that she did this for herself. I have been getting the same thing from a few people but it’s about my goals. I think some plus size women just want to have a reason to stay the way they are instead of putting in the hard work it takes to be a better person. Change is the biggest fear most people have.

Erika July 26, 2012 - 4:08 PM

I think Jordan looks awesome and she’s a testament that it can be done.

Often when we ( I fully include myself) see celebrities, or even people in our daily lives that are thinner we often think they have ALWAYS been that way. Jordan shows that you even if you’ve been at a higher weight, you can get healthy, and I appreciate that.

Most of my friends are naturally thinner ( and always have been) , so it’s been discouraging at times for me to fight so hard to maintain a healthy weight ( I’m definitely on the thicker side). However, Jordan, Jennifer, and a host of other celebrities have helped me remember that with hard work it is possible.

As for the “big girl reps”, I do think it’s important to have positive “big girl” role models, but being that positive role model means loving yourself, taking care of health.

Kellie Price would be a good example, she changed her eating habits, works out and lost some weight, however she is still plus sized.

Telese July 26, 2012 - 4:16 PM

I think Jordin looks amazing and I’m glad she is happy however, I understand from where the author is coming. I know just in my own life I have had many friends and family lose huge amounts of weight and honestly I seem to be stuck in a pattern of consistently “starting over”. I think part of my getting discouraged is the feeling of failure I have from years of poor self image and falling off the wagon while everyone else is not only on it but racing down the hill on it. I think you have to be ok with who you are before you can succeed or move forward. So you need to see you aren’t the bottom of the barrel sometimes to find a beginning. Having a role model that shows you you aren’t the only one struggling can be really motivational, especially when you’re packing up meals and waking up at 5am to workout and you feel like it’s super hard for you because you don’t have a trainer and a chef to get you to a size zero

Annette July 26, 2012 - 4:56 PM

Jennifer got a lot of attention and most of it was for being Weight Watchers representative. Yet when it came to movie parts, or success with her new album that didn’t occur. Kinda surprised she didn’t blow us out of the water with a her new music..also now that she was noted to be a size zero I thought Hollywood would be breaking her door down. It has definitely put her name out there and in the public. I hope she will be able to take advantage of it in terms of more movie rolls and great songs for her next album.

The entertainment business is about the visual image. Jordon is talented, nothing wrong with being healthy and watching what you eat and how much you do. Also working out helps a lot to keep you balanced.

Erika Nicole Kendall July 27, 2012 - 8:31 AM

But mama, J-Hud had [I think] a Grammy, a Golden Globe AND an Oscar BEFORE the weight loss.

Like, where do you go from there? WEIGHT WATCHERS? No shade to her because I’m sure she’s getting that money, but that’s not a step UP, IMO.

Jewell July 28, 2012 - 5:23 PM

Amen sister! LOL!!

Toi July 26, 2012 - 5:30 PM

My thought is that the author shouldn’t feel like Jordin Sparks is no longer a plus size role model because she got on track and lost weight. Maybe Jordin wasn’t happy with herself and wanted to change. Some plus size woman do not embrace being big and want to lose weight, for health and self esteem reasons. If anything, Jordin’s weight loss journey serves as inspiration to people looking to be healthier and more fit. It’s not Jordin Spark’s responsibility to stay in an unhealthy state to appease the attitudes of others.

Karen December 5, 2013 - 8:48 AM

Exactly! She’s a fab plus size role model because she shows what a person can accomplish through hard work and determination. I don’t think a role model us someone who maintains unhealthy habits.

Lauren Dee July 26, 2012 - 8:20 PM

I have always been a fan of Jordin. In fact, 70 lbs ago, people used to tell me we resembled one another–all way down to the little nose piercing. I’m older than she is so technically she looks like me! But that’s neither here nor there 😉 It’s unfortunate that folks think her weightloss was caused by pressures of Hollywood society and the media. I know what it feels like to finally have enough and realize that you don’t have to be overweight even if it is ‘cute on you.’ and initially it begins as a weight thing, but once you realize it has to become a lifestyle-then you’re all in. You’re conscious on what you’re eating and how much. You’re out there being active, working out, doing yard work, playing ball with your kids. You’ve incorporated it into your daily life. And yea, you still have to make conscious decisions to stay on top of your game. But trust, when you make those changes, your body will naturally find where it’s supposed to be! At a sz 16/18, all I wanted was to fit a 9 or 10. I got there and blew by it so fast, I didnt even realize my clothes didn’t fit! Went from buying 10s to 6s?? Part of me is still in disbelief…

Whole point is, once you make making healthy choices and being active a part of your life, you become healthy in stature and physique!!! We not tryna get all skinny on you! We are just loving our new healthy life and the lil benefits we get for our commitment….I’m working on abs now. And I’m more interested in how much weight I can squat, bench and dip than what’s comin up on the scale.

You get it, Jordin!! And every other girl out there loving the benefits of living their healthy life! You owe it to yourself to be healthy. LD

Lynaya July 26, 2012 - 9:59 PM

There are more Youtube videos of black women discussing clothes, hair and makeup, than fitness. Fitness is not a focus of society in general, and certainly not our community. Overweight people feel good to see someone who looks like them in the media. There’s nothing wrong with that. I can understand the writers disappointment at “losing” someone who looks more like her in the media. However, I don’t think it’s right to go after J. Hud or Jordin for becoming healthier. The view that being overweight is okay needs to stop altogether. “Thick” and “fat” are NOT synonyms.

xaria July 26, 2012 - 10:08 PM

if anything, i feel like Jordin is an even better role model for ppl than before, and that is because she took control and ownership of her body. She realized that something needed to change, and it was affecting her health. I believe that Jordin’s intentions isn’t to become some stick skinny chick-i mean, even after 50lbs she still has some curves-but to become healthy. who can fault her for that? praise to her for becoming healthy, doing it in the BEST way, and not BSing about how she did it.

Sakinah July 27, 2012 - 2:20 AM

The facts that she has are a bit off. In actuality. Jennifer Hudson GAINED weight for her role in Dream Girls. So one could say that the weight gain is what catapulted her career. She wasn’t that size to begin with and you can see the difference when you look at her on American Idol. She has since lost weight for health and possibly for the Hollywood standard. Who knows. But it’s true she hasn’t had any role that has been anywhere near the caliber of the one that she won the Oscar for. And while she may be the ideal poster child for Weight Watchers and that puts her on our television sets everyday. I can’t remember the a role in the past year that I know her for just as well or more for.

Toni July 27, 2012 - 9:55 PM

Is it me or does she look really thin. I understand that being overweight is unhealthy but so it being underweight. I wish her the best either way. It would be nice to see women how are healthy and not super thin. I just don’t think it’s attractive or healthy looking. I’m more interested in being strong, healthy and at a healthy weight. skinny don’t automatically mean healthy.

Sakeenah July 27, 2012 - 10:52 PM

I must say that Jordin looks great! I think that the fact that she decided to eat healthy and change her lifestyle keeps her at status the role model status, because she is telling and showing that if she can you. Also, I want to share that i have always battled my weight but i had a happy childhood. When i was in high school i lost weight (from size 22 down to a 9/10) and I hated myself and gained too much unwanted attention. It was when I gained weight (size 14) i began to love myself. I say this to say, that I am my happiest being plus sized, and if I am happy in my skin then what others perception accepted weight doesnt matter to me. Whats important, is my happiness and that I maintain my healthy lifestyle. I actually prefer to be at a sized 14-16. (my goal size and a healthy BMI/weight for me)

VNikol July 28, 2012 - 9:14 AM

My only problem with celebs like Jordin, Jennifer, Raven & Monique is the initial denial factor when they were heavy which I feel is the misleading issue for those that see them as “role models”. We all know & witnessed how often Monique praised her larger size & how confident she felt at that weight. I’ve watched interviews where J-Hud, Jordin & Raven preached acceptance & happiness with their (former) size and stated they were healthy, happy & naturally that size & “will never be” (per J-Hud) a size 6, 4, 2 etc. And now look!

I commend anyone for doing something good for their body & health. Let’s face it, positive change is hard – period. But I take issue with celebs who lose weight & forget everything they ever said about body image in an effort to encourage young girls that look up to them.

In J-Hud’s case, she went on about her size (former) & loving her “curves” & accepting her body & that she’d NEVER be a size 4 or 6. She was Jennifer Hudson from AI who went on to win an Oscar, yet the media never really pursued her for any mag covers. Now she’s in WW commercials, standing next to her former self, singing in an “eat-your-heart-out” manner, shrinking more with every appearance & popping up on every mag cover that lines the shelves.

Did her talent become anymore advanced? No. Her body got smaller & despite how much the word “health” gets tossed around, the real deal is she’s now more acceptable by mainstream media and finally worthy of its interest, garnering mag covers and interviews alike. It’s like the chubby plain jane in every 80’s movie or after-school special who becomes the hot girl post-makeover and suddenly the prom date of the quarterback leaving all her old fellow plain-jane friends behind.

Celebs never think about the message they send to the youth with stuff like that. It’s not like they’re holding up their cholesterol or blood pressure results in those commercials, showing how drastically reduced the number. No, they’re all dolled up in a figure hugging dress showcasing their new shape. Not exactly selling health but definitely delivering confusion to the scores of young girls/women impacted.

Annette July 28, 2012 - 1:06 PM

Looking back when did becoming “thick” with a big behind become the norm. I don’t remember it like this when I was growing up. Granted I am older, in the sixties, a healthy but slim figure was the norm and acceptable. You didn’t see a lot of obese or “fat” black people. Over eating in my family was a sin lol. Usually it was older black women who were working so many jobs having to take on too much that were heavy with so many burdens. These ladies did for everyone else but themselves and it showed.

Not sure why Jordon decided to do it but I hope she is eating healthy and moving her body. I don’t care if you are healthy or fat eating unhealthy and not exercising will take a toll on your body. Some people just have a heart attack and pass away, some have cancer, heart disease, diabetics, high blood pressure, and loose their limbs. Eating healthy and exercising gives you energy it wards off stress and dis-ease. Of course one of the benefits is weight loss. As Chaka Khan will tell you it’s about her health..and Aretha Franklin will attest to it scared her to do something about it. You get away with it when you are younger but the extra weight wears away at your joints, contribute to circulation issues. I just hope she is able to stick with it as a lifestyle change no matter what her motivation is.

Jewell July 28, 2012 - 5:18 PM

There is nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself it you are thick – nor should you feel bad if you decide to lose weight because you want to look a certain way…ect. Your choice. I do get how someone would want a thicker female celebrity to look up to – because the reality is that we come in all shapes and sizes – and we are ALL beautiful. America needs to consistently be reminded of that. Also, I am getting rather tired of folks always assigning larger people banners like “unhealthy”, “lazy”, “eats bad”, ect. – especially since I know plenty of thin people who eat like garbage, have loads of health problems, and are couch potatoes. They just happen to have genetics on their side – so their bad habits are not readily apparent. On the other had, I know healthy, active, 200+ people who are energetic and fun. I know that weight can cause problems – but so can stress, risky sexual behaviors, and other bad life choices. Basically, for those who are pointing fingers at their robust neighbors…if you are not perfect in every way – go…sit..down. The bottom line, is we all need to start eating fresher, moving a bit more, de-stressing, making better choices in career and relationships, and loving yourself right…where..you…are. If those things happen, good health will manifest (no matter if you are thick, thin, or in between).

Dominique July 28, 2012 - 7:01 PM

Well said. The Stir is often full of catty and negative vibes. Sparks looked great before the weight loss and she looks great now. She can be that role model that shows big girls they can turn it around at any time to be healthy. Now that is powerful.

CWard July 29, 2012 - 8:50 AM

ARE YOU SERIOUS!!! Did you really say you want more Plus Size model for girls to look up too. This country is fat as hell and our folks are dying at the age 40/50 due to weight issue… and you fixed your mouth to say young girls need more plus size folks. You are off your rocker. How about we need more healthy African American women to look up to. Chaka Khan, Jennfier Hudson, Janet Jackson all these diva have not lost their status as role models for you singers just b/c they decide to take control of their health and love them selves by getting the fried chicken fat off their butts. This article is whack!!!

Erika Nicole Kendall July 29, 2012 - 9:12 AM

“… and you fixed your mouth to say young girls need more plus size folks.”

Actually, no, I didn’t.

BBCath July 30, 2012 - 8:41 AM

I think the issue with The Stir is it goes like this:
-Celebrity is overweight
-Celebrity says “I’m proud of my curves”
-Celebrity loses weight
-Celebrity poses in a bikini on the cover of a magazine talking about being “healthy”.

Do you see the issue? You can’t be plus-size and talk about how proud you are then lose weight and pose in a bikini. At that point, is it really about health, or about being able to pose in a bikini? It appears that it’s about looks and being accepted in Hollywood. Now, with JHud, she didn’t pose in a bikini, but all the WW commercials are daunting.

But, I can’t hate on either one of them. I am on my weightloss journey and I would give almost anything to be their size.

Erika Nicole Kendall July 30, 2012 - 3:55 PM

So, let me get this right.

If you proclaim that you are proud of your curves, that means that you can’t or shouldn’t lose weight? If, for no other reason, because you want to do so?

Does that somehow invalidate the fact that she might’ve been a supporter of (or, hell, still be a supporter of) women loving themselves and their figures no matter the size?

The fact that she CAN pose in a bikini and chose to do so doesn’t inherently invalidate the fact that she was happy with her former size or that she supports the self-love movement.

BBCath July 31, 2012 - 9:09 AM

Nobody said anything about all-of-that. I’m saying it appears to some that by her first being proud of her curves and then losing weight makes it appear to her plus-size-and-proud fans that she really wasn’t all that proud. That’s all I’m saying. She never stated that she had any health problems, so it appears that the whole weight loss was for vanity purposes. The getting healthy schtick was for the her plus-size-and-proud fans so she won’t alienate them.

Appearance is everything in Hollywood. (That’s why I called the healthy line a “schtick.” I’m not saying that it’s not a valid reason.)

As a side note, posing in a bikini screams “look at how thin I am” to SOME. Nothing about health – she didn’t have to pose in a bikini to show off her weight loss (see JHud). But, IMO, that has a lot to do with her youth. What young lady doesn’t want to look sexy in a bikini?

Erika Nicole Kendall July 31, 2012 - 9:23 AM

“She never stated that she had any health problems”

…quoting Jordin:

“I just wanted to be healthy. It was just before my 21st birthday. I had walking pneumonia, couldn’t breathe and felt totally fatigued. I remember thinking, ‘I’m in my prime. I should be happy and fit.’”

Should she have said “Sure, I’ve got walking pneumonia and am often fatigued, but I still love my curves?” I would’ve roasted her. The same way I roast anyone else who experiences physical problems and still can’t see the forest for the trees. (read: Black women and hair, Black women and booty woes, etc.)

Was she supposed to have a note from a physician? What is this? Grade school?

“Nobody said anything about all-of-that.”


“I’m saying it appears to some that by her first being proud of her curves and then losing weight makes it appear to her plus-size-and-proud fans that she really wasn’t all that proud.”

…sounds an awful lot like the affirmative of the question I asked, which was:

“If you proclaim that you are proud of your curves, that means that you can’t or shouldn’t lose weight? If, for no other reason, because you want to do so?”

Why wasn’t she proud? Because she lost the weight? You can’t be happy with yourself and still want to make changes?

I mean, I already find this attachment to stranger danger celebrities and what they do to be weird. But… you don’t have enough information to judge beyond the information you already have, which is the girl had issues, decided to rectify them by shaking her tush in a Zumba class, and now she’s in a bikini on a Shape magazine cover.

Did posing in a bikini and going on the Today Show about it scream “look at how thin I am” when Gabi Gregg did it? Again, with all the projecting.

Am I in the Twilight Zone or what?

KrysN July 23, 2013 - 2:54 PM

Some people decide that they want to be healthier and with that choice and committment the weight starts coming off. Before I lost 45 lbs 5 yrs ago, I had TOTALLY accepted that this might be my weight forever. However, I looked at my family and saw diabetes, heart disease, heavy breathing and said to myself, “Alright fine, this may be my weight, I’ll make it look good but I at least want to be healthy.” I made the decision to workout and find healthier meals. I didn’t step on a scale for 2 months and didn’t realize that I was losing weight but I. FELT. GREAT! I did all that work, and made a lifestyle change (that I’ve held onto..I only gained weight back to carry my daughter).

Once my clothes started falling off, I didn’t stop in an effort to hold onto my curves; they weren’t worth more than me not feeling tired all the time and WANTING to get out and try new things. I wasn’t going to hide it to make anyone else feel good either. I still get comments about being thin or wasting away, but I also get comments about looking great. All that can get confusing. What matters most is that I feel good and that I KNOW I can do anything. I also know that I have increased my chances of living a long life and still be active enough to run around with my grandkids one day (preferably more than 25 yrs from now).

kamea July 30, 2012 - 9:53 AM

I agree with Lynana about black women prefer to be thick or fat and out of shape mantra. Its to the point where if you go to some health professionals about getting fit and healthy they automatically think you are not serious because you are black. Then if you want to be smaller than a size 9 then you are crazy. I would rather be smaller so when I decide to have kids I will not be over 160 pounds when I am done. Jordin Sparks inspires me that I could lose the thirty two pounds that I would like to get rid of.

Staci B November 10, 2012 - 4:09 PM

She had walking pneumonia. Do they want her to die so that she remains a role model to young girls? I repeat, WALKING PNEUMONIA….!!

Def December 23, 2012 - 1:41 AM

that (freddyo) Jordin pic is stone -photoshopped :-p!

Kimmie February 12, 2013 - 9:10 AM

It’s so insulting that women think that they need a “body role model” to endorse their unhealthy lifestyle. Truth is that being overweight can lead to early death and illnesses that make you feel like you are dying your entire life! Why must one person take on the responsibility of supporting an unhealthy, depressed lifestyle and ruin their career? Is it okay for Jordan to be passed up on duets, movies, and lead a poorer life just so that she can be a positive role model for people leading the same unhealthy lifestyle.
She should be a role model for changing her body through exercise and proper eating habits not, because she declined to grow as a person. Americans are fat in general, but the stereotype is that African American women are fatter! When I see a black woman taking care of her body, I’m gad that she made a conscious decision not to be a stereotype.

Stefanie February 15, 2013 - 11:22 PM

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t..that’s how you feel sometimes when you decide to change your life.
None of us know why Jordin did what she did – we just have to believe her. She wanted to get healthy…good for her. I used to be heavier and thought it was ok to be that way. I looked at all the fat on my midsection and while I didn’t like it, I was still proud of me. I was blind. Anyway, Jordin may have went to the doctor and the doctor told her ‘if you keep down this path..’ Or you know, maybe she just WANTED to wear a bikini and feel good about it. So?????? Whay does it matter to you? That’s between her and God. Me personally, I think she looks good. She appears healthy. She appeared healthy at her heavier weight too; but our bodies just aren’t meant to carry a lot of unnecessary fat…point, blank period. I don’t care if you are thick and all of that jazz. If you are 5’5, weight 175,, got a big butt but you are 30-40% body fat, thinking about it, that is 52.5-70 pounds of FAT!!! Now where is the healthy in that. For some of us, it takes something to bring us out of our ignorance. Some people do lose the weight for outer appearance or due to society standards, but we shouldn’t look up to someone so much that we expect them to stay just the way they are so we can feel better about ourselves, come on now!

Adanna March 7, 2013 - 4:27 PM

I really dont know what is wrong with some people. A young lady has made the decision to adopt a healthier lifestyle and some are mad that she no longer ‘represents’ big girls. They should take a page out of her book because lets face it, there aint nothing good or healthy about carting around 50+ extra pounds. And all those ladies saying she’s now stick thin, she isnt. Fact is all these huge woman calling themselves thick, Miss Sparks is now what you would call thick, before she was obese…she looks perfect in imo and should maintain her lifestyle. And no i’m not hating, i’m just sick of the mindset in the black community that its ok to be fat, its ok to be big…when we are already at an increased risk of diabetes, highblood pressure etc. At 5’8 and 165 lbs i felt so weighed down, out of breath from simple walks etc that i decided to get healthy. I changed my lifestyle and lost 20 lbs (still not a stick). I’m feeling much better about myself and all my medical stats are great. The point is do not look to another (especially a celeb) to validate how you feel about urself, get healthy for you.

KrysN July 23, 2013 - 1:13 PM

The backlash seems to happen every time a starlet (especially one of color loses weight). The same happened with Kimberly Locke, America Ferrera, and even Monique. Many of them never even got stick thin, they got healthier, period. I think we need someone to help validate where we are in life, so having that one or two stars helps. But, what we also seem to forget is that each of them are people too, not just role models. Whatever their reasons, it’s their body, their life and their health on the line and no one else’s.

I wish that more of us could turn it into motivation instead. This goes back to one of the previous posts on how losing weight turned you into a feminist, Erika; if you wait on everyone else to be happy with how you look, you’d change your definition of what’s right for you everyday.

Erika Nicole Kendall July 23, 2013 - 4:00 PM

Word. Excellent point.

Taysha R July 23, 2013 - 6:10 PM

I can see both sides of the coin here as when I was larger it was nice to have female role models who I could look up. It wasn’t so much about being healthy as even when I was larger I was deemed healthy by Doctors, its about seeing your shape in the world. I give kudos to both gals though I am bias toward Jordin since I was actually in the WW commercials immediately preceding JHud so I lovingly joke she stole my gig 😉 I still long to see larger gals knowing that somewhere in this world there is a chubby little girl (like I was) wondering where she fits in…

Shelly August 7, 2013 - 3:03 PM

First off let’s start by saying congrats to Jordin on her major weight loss! I’d like to say ” Health” more than anything is the MOST important beyond being able to uphold an image for others. Moreover, I truly Beleive artist today are dying to be “accepted” not exactly “healthy”. They go through major surgeries such as tummy tucks, breast implants, Botox, Skin bleaching, Nose jobs etc., just to fit into society’s box which has nothing to do with health but “IMAGE” Which are severely unhealthy and can also lead to serious health delimas. No matter what skin you’re in Love who you are! I was a whopper growing up until i reached highschool. Honestly, looking at the music videos and magazines made me feel as though I wasn’t important or beautiful because I wasn’t light skinned, have a slim waste, and wasn’t eating salads for dinner . Eventually came from weighing 169 to 130 for my 5’3 frame and I lost the weight because I wanted to be ” normal” proportioned just like everyone else. And of course I felt beautiful. . Because for once I was happy and I felt as beautiful as I was on the inside. Educating ourselves is the beginning to knowledge in learning who we really are and what’s important in life. A heavy weight woman deserves just as much recognition as someone who’s on the slimmer side. Generally, we should be valued by our character, morals, and honors not by who looks the most fit or beautiful. After all it’s quality not quantity.

Danielle W December 5, 2013 - 8:40 AM

I’m happy she accomplished a goal. She looks amazing. The lady that’s let down clearly accepts obesity as a norm. I think girls should have role models of all body types, but when those role models show them that they can transform, shouldn’t that be motivation? Shouldn’t that say, “If there’s something you aren’t comfortable with in yourself, you could change it.” Or “Personal evolution is a possibility.” Sparks isn’t a twig. She’s got lovely muscle tone and curves. That’s a healthy looking lady.
It’s all in how you look at things. I simply think that lady commenting about a let down was looking at the wrong aspects of this. Have a nice day guys 🙂

christine December 5, 2013 - 10:54 AM

Adjusts bullet proof vest lol..So many people equate healthy aka thin with “white girls”. When I’m in the gym I’m usually the only black woman in there, especially on the free weight side. You have the occasional sprinkling of sisters on the bikes and the steppers but that’s about it. Like alot of women, I lost weight for ME (and my knees) I wasn’t trying to fit into the mold that society said was beautiful. I never had or will have a big butt or hips, even at size 16, and I’m ok with that. My knees are grateful that I’ve lost weight. I never set out to be a certain size, just get healthy. A size 10 was never my goal, 5 miles on the treadmill..a year ago I would told you to go somewhere lol. Now I guess my goal is to do those 5 miles in an hour instead of 68 minutes.

Lena December 8, 2013 - 3:05 PM

I don’t mind people losing weight, but it does seem suspicious that everyone in the public eye always gets skinny. I don’t mean healthy, I mean skinny. It ties into fat discrimination and the fact that people don’t respect overweight people so celebrities feel like they have to adhere to these ridiculous standards. And I do want female celebrities that don’t adhere to beauty standards and don’t feel like they have to look a certain way. I’m just tired of everyone looking the same way. Because that’s not humanity, that’s just an unattainable dream, and it’s not even fun anymore.

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