Wasting our life on pop culture blogs and gossip sites, so you don't have to.
In case you didn't hear, Jessica Simpson is totally preggers. However, instead of spending her time going nuts in Baby Gap and concocting a seriously foolish name, like a normal celebrity mama, she's got more pressing matters on her mind. Such as which diet company to sign a multi-million endorsement package with.
Yep, as Page Six reports, the blooming mama-to-be has just signed an estimated $3 million with Weight Watchers, so she can publicly shed the baby lard she hasn't even put on yet. "The deal is in place, and after having her baby, she'll start with Weight Watchers to lose her baby weight," whispered Page Six's "source".
Celebrities hopping into bed with the diet industry is nothing new, of course. Ever since a size 12 Oprah Winfrey wheeled a cart filled with 67 pounds of animal flesh onstage to celebrate her hard-won weight loss, stars have known there's money to be made by spilling your guts about your overspilling gut.
However, this just might be the first time a contract has been signed before the fat has landed. It's undeniably creepy, and it's worth delving a little deeper into this thoroughly modern money-spinner. In her excellent book, Celebrity, Inc: How Famous People Make Money, veteran entertainment journalist Jo Piazza describes how our obsession with celebrity, and our obsession with fatness and thinness, have collided to make marketing gold. "At the heart of the diet industry's marketing are endorsement deals worth $500,000 to $2 million a year for celebrities willing to publicly lose weight," Piazza says. "In the celebrity market, excess pounds become dollars quicker than donuts become unwanted inches."
As Piazza explains, the endorsement is built with an up-front fee, a yearly contract, and incentive riders. Endorsement fees vary from a poor $700,000 to the $2 million paid to Sarah Ferguson, one of the most high profile names to ever jump on the "Watch me get thin" bandwagon. Piazza cites the example of Jennifer Hudson, who signed up for a new marketing campaign with Weight Watchers in April 2010. The company experienced a 2% spike in gross profits right after signing her. Hudson lost 60 pounds of unwanted flesh, and Piazza calculates that "based on Hudson's multimillion-dollar deal, it earned her approximately $33,000 per pound." This was no exceptional case; in fact, this is the average figure per pound.
The celebrity gets a wad of cash, increased exposure and a 'hot new bod' they just can't wait to tell the weekly magazines about. The diet industry fat cats get fatter. It's a win-win situation. The only loser is our soul.
Sinead O'Connor Reaches Third Base
In slightly more uplifting news, Sinead O'Connor married a very nice-looking young man in a crazy Las Vegas ceremony. The pics are impressive enough, but what really blew the internet's mind was this announcement on her website:
"Dear friends... amongst whom I include whomever may be reading this with a view to writing about the glorious marriage. Am blogging this cus media people are naturally seeking me. On sunday I will put up blog on whole day. Too glorious for words. For now though, as you will appreciate, it's a bit of a 'Can't. Talk. Cock. In. Mouth'. Situation."
There's really nothing to add other than: Congratulations!
Meryl Makes Vogue
And, just in case you missed it: Meryl Streep is on the January cover of Vogue, prompting a bunch of headlines helpfully pointing out her age: 62.