Recently, Marissa Jaret Winokur, the star of the Broadway musical adaptation of Hairspray, showed up to the premiere of Wreck It Ralph having lost sixty pounds. As the Yahoo article repeatedly pointed out, she’s wearing a size 0/2 nowadays. While I think she looks great either way, I also think she looks significantly less happy in the second photo, but hey–paparazzi pictures can be deceiving, so who knows?

However, her weight is really not what makes me sad or happy or whatever about articles regarding her at the moment. Instead, it’s the way it seems that whenever a star hasn’t been around for a while–at least, not in any real sort of spotlight–they suddenly are “revitalized” and get written about as soon as they lose weight. Having been barely in the news the past few years unless you count reality shows and small parts, then suddenly discussed considerably more once she lost weight, Winokur’s history makes me wonder whether or not losing weight wasn’t necessarily a health-related choice so much as a career choice. Obviously, the decision was hers to make regardless of the reasoning, but it would make me sad if it were the latter.

And yet it wouldn’t be surprising, as she certainly would not be the first performer to lose weight for that reason; after all, the entertainment industry makes it nearly impossible to achieve success without being extremely thin. Surpassing that boundary in the first place already set her apart from other people. But the fact of the matter is that women shouldn’t feel like losing weight for the reactions of others in their line of work. The amount of pounds a person has shed shouldn’t be the focus of the publicity surrounding him or her, but the quality of the performances.

Even as a non-entertainment industry person, I have definitely wondered in the past whether losing weight would help my career. Perhaps it would make me more appealing to those who value thinness, which would put me in a better light, right? There’s a pressure to get people to notice you, no matter what your line of work, and a lot of that comes with a pressure to have a certain appearance.

In any case, she looks amazing both before and after. She’s an amazing performer, and that won’t change regardless of any weight fluctuations.

Picture via ETOnline.