Barbra Streisand’s Ozempic Comment to Melissa McCarthy Prompts a Conversation – Generic English

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As the drugs have grown in popularity, so too has the pressure for public figures to disclose whether they’re using them. Some have made an event out of revealing they take medication — perhaps none more notably than Oprah Winfrey, who announced in People magazine that she was taking a weight loss drug and “done with the shaming.” She later hosted a prime-time special devoted to weight stigma and the new medications. Elon Musk was one of the earliest proponents, writing on Twitter in 2022 after being asked how he had become so “fit, ripped & healthy” that he was taking another drug, Wegovy.

Some experts worry that fixating on who is and is not taking the drugs can transmit a damaging message about bodies and weight. “It should not be something that people necessarily have to hide,” said Dr. Melanie Jay, director of the N.Y.U. Langone Comprehensive Program on Obesity. “But it’s also none of anyone’s business.”

The exchange may have taken off because it “breaks still-evolving etiquette about Ozempic, weight loss and diet,” said Dr. Adrienne Bitar, a lecturer in American studies at Cornell University and the author of the book “Diet and the Disease of Civilization.” Publicly wondering whether a person takes Ozempic might read like a kind of insult, she added, given the stigma that surrounds taking medication to lose weight.

Ms. Streisand’s comment was most likely innocuous, said Kate Manne, an associate professor of philosophy at Cornell University and the author of the book “Unshrinking: How to Face Fatphobia.” But even so, it signals a kind of “surveillance” of Ms. McCarthy’s body, she said.

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