Jackie O Henderson has kicked off 2023 by asking her followers to join her in losing weight. Yes, that is still seen as a worthy New Year’s resolution. Forget following your dreams – try counting calories instead.
When I came across Henderson’s post, it just made me sad. Here’s one of the most powerful women in Australian media, and her big plan for 2023 isn’t world domination, but is instead weight-focused. Depressing.
Henderson, an ambassador for Weight Watchers, took to Instagram to post a photo of herself in a red swimsuit and revealed she is feeling her best.
She wrote: “If one of your goals is to lose weight, feel healthier and more confident this year, then join me on the Weight Watchers Program”.
Henderson has been open about her weight-loss journey since she became a WW ambassador. In 2022 she revealed that she lost 10kg on the program, but then fell off the wagon and gained the weight back – not exactly a glowing recommendation for dieting, is it?
During an appearance on Sunrise, Henderson told Natalie Barr: “I think when you lose weight you go, ‘Oh jeez, I’m never doing that. I’m not going to get back to that again’. Because starting is the hardest part – starting is the most depressing part. Because you think, ‘why did I let myself put that weight back on again?’” she said.
Henderson’s Instagram post hit me in the guts because it reminded me how problematic it is when celebrities start having weight loss conversations with their followers. There are so many important things to be discussing. Surely weight isn’t one of them? I’d personally like to know when intern Pete will graduate to junior producer.
Plus, when you look at someone like Henderson, who is so likeable, fun, powerful and interesting, I know she could be starting much more entertaining conversations on Instagram than dull ones about weight. I have never once had a conversation about weight loss with anyone and walked away thinking, “Wow that was a really fun chat!”
It reminded me of sitting around the table when I was a kid and all the intelligent, clever, funny women in my family were listing weight loss as a goal for the New Year. As if the idea of being a smaller size in jeans was the most exciting thing that could happen to them in the upcoming year.
Sadly, Henderson’s discussion of weight loss enforces the idea that it is a worthy goal when in my opinion, it shouldn’t be. Yes, being healthier should be a goal, but surely we’ve reached the point in 2023 when we can recognise weight and health aren’t completely connected. You can lose weight and be unhealthy. You can gain weight and be healthy.
Still, I don’t judge Henderson for this choice – when you’re a woman in the public eye, your body is constantly scrutinised. Don’t believe me? Last year Jackie O and her on-air partner Kyle Sandilands were inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame during the Australian Commercial Radio Awards.
When Sandilands and Henderson got up and made a speech, Sandilands joked: “I thought Jackie was my best mate, but there’s obviously going to be no sex there because she’s stacked on the kilos.”
Yes, that is seriously what he said. Maybe it is irrelevant because you shouldn’t make fun of someone’s looks no matter what, but Henderson looked gorgeous that night. Like a cross between Barbie and Lara Bingle.
Henderson bringing up weight on Instagram bothered me because I hate how weight can make women feel good or bad, even women as powerful and fabulous as Henderson.
However, here’s the heartening truth: No matter how much weight Henderson gains or sheds in 2023, it will remain the least interesting thing about her.