62-year-old Jennifer Grey, who is often in the news whether for hair loss or plastic surgery, is now voicing against the diet culture and the dangers it carries with itself.
In Grey’s latest film, named Lifetime’s Starving for Salvation, she has portrayed a controversial weight loss guru who made dieting religious through his best-selling books, workshop, and lately a church that claims to help people lose weight via faith. It is through this project that she takes the liberty of talking about the potential dangers of diet culture.
“I think the world is very simplistic and very rigid in the way we assess people’s value, and to me, it is the crime of all crimes,” she said on Today With Hoda and Jenna. “Because our whole culture has kind of normalized this idea that we’re supposed to be a certain weight, size, shape. We’re supposed to look a certain way. And the fact is, all it does is really reinforce the feeling of being not enough, which is so human in our culture, sadly. It is epidemic.”
“For me, the voice of Gwen Shamblin is the voice of anorexia. It’s the shaming, rigid voice that says you are not lovable unless you are thin. And God doesn’t love you,” she said.
In another interview with Today.com, Jennifer Grey said that Shamblin “didn’t admit that she was deeply anorexic, and deeply harming the people who she was supposed to be helping.”
Shamblin founded The Weigh Down Workshop in 1989 which promoted a restricted diet and was later followed by thousands of churches in the country. In the year 1999, in Brentwood, TN, she founded the Remnant Fellowship Church. She and a group of church leaders died in a private airplane crash. Grey hopes that the “terrifyingly serious” nature of eating disorders. “I didn’t want it to be normalizing it,” she said. “I wanted people to see the extremity of her story and how wrong-headed, how insane her theories were. So that, if somebody is suffering from some version of an eating disorder, whether it’s overeating or bulimia or anorexia or just even being too restrictive, they might be able to see themselves as an early stage of [Shamblin’s experience] and be able to get help.”