I was just watching the new show with William Shatner, "$...! My Dad Says" (and speaking of which, anyone else notice the set of Bill's house looks strangely like that of Charlie Sheen's in "Two and a Half Men"?). I first noticed this portliness of Bill Shatner during "Boston Legal" (which I loved dearly, as well as "Night Court", "Murphy Brown", "Alley McBeal", see a sophistication level growing here?).
Shatner, is slightly portly, don't you think? It got me to thinking, why do I feel that way, why do I care; who else do I felt that way about? And the answers starting to come to me and I wondered if anyone else felt that way, or if I was the only one to have people point, laugh hysterically and shout, "Oh, shallow One! You are the worst!"
I feel this way because these people are cultural icons to me. I resent their changing. I see them as statues in my memories. Not as people, which they are, and have a full right to being how ever they want to live their life now. Still....
So, do I feel that way about John Candy, John Belusi, Jack Black, Jason Alexander? No. Why? I didn't grow up with them. Its the actors I was introduced to when they were thin, then they got success, and their belt size (or dress size) increased with their success (but really perhaps, their loss of success).
I feel that way because I grew up with Bill Shatner, Capt. Kirk, kicking ass all over the Galaxy. Then I see him growing old and plump and hey, I don't want to think that these types of people from my past grow old, fat and lazy, though honestly, hopefully, happy too.
Steven Seagal, I know him as Take Sensei, as I'm an Aikido advocate. Anyone remember him in "Above the Law"? A groundbreaking film in a way. The hero in that film was pretty skinny actually and he didn't drop his gun when a bad guy said, "Drop your gun." No, he shot the bastard, like any self respecting hero would do, not a make believe TV hero. I loved that, reality in film. It almost ended that putting the gun down behavior in TV and film, which, as a martial artist myself, I always thought was simply bad screenwriting.
Now Take Sensei (Steven Seagal) has a (fairly) new show, as he's been a cop in New Orleans for twenty years (no for real), called: "Steven Seagal Lawman". He's still an "action hero" in movies, how he pays the bills, he says. If you are in that situation, really, you need to keep the weight off. Bust your tail at a gym at least a few times a week, and Get a Personal Trainer.
Kirstie Alley. First time I saw her was in "Runaway" with Tom Selleck (now, there's a guy that stayed in shape and is looking great on his new show, "Blue Bloods"). She was thin and beautiful. Now she has a show called "Fat Actress", not only losing the battle of the bulge, but embracing it and giving it a big wet kiss. Okay, in a way, I do applaud that. But in the other way, I cringe as a bit of exercise and she'd be in shape again.
There are plenty of other actors and I'm sure you can think of a few yourself. When you are in the public eye, especially, when you achieved the status of "cultural icon", then you have a responsibility to yourself and your public to maintain your status. That isn't a bad thing, because anything that forces us to stay in shape, to stay healthy, really isn't a bad thing at all. And in the end, perhaps, I really only want to see them looking healthy.
What gets me about these people is that they are making good money. A Hell of a lot more than I am. And I can stay in shape. So, hey, people, get a personal trainer for goodness sake!