There are a lot of parallels between "Glee's" Amber Riley and Dreamgirl Jennifer Hudson. Both ladies are belters with powerful pipes. Both unsuccessfully auditioned for "American Idol" at one point. Both gave moving performances of "I Will Always Love You" in tribute to Whitney Houston.
And now, Amber seems to be following Jennifer on the weight-loss path. This month at the NAACP Image Awards, pundits noticed that she's been looking slimmer.
Amber's motives for weight-loss are health-related. In July, she had to see a doctor because of chronic stomach pains. This motivated her decision to lose weight. The former Troubletone has cut fast food out of her diet, and has been sticking to a healthy diet and exercise routine. As she explains, "I decided I was going to make a change and eat healthier."
Meanwhile, Jennifer credits her son, David Daniel Otuna Jr., as the inspiration for her weight loss. As she explained, "Motherhood brought tremendous responsibilities -- but none greater than the obligation I felt to get healthy and be there for my son. David deserved to have a mama who could run after him without getting winded or getting tired, to have a role model who could teach him to make healthy food choices."
Amber has been on the weight-loss path for seven months, and has dropped two dress sizes. Meanwhile, Jennifer began seriously losing weight after her son was born in 2009. She has lost a whopping 80 pounds.
How This Affects Their Careers
It's too early to tell what kind of impact weight loss would have on Amber's career. However, we're already beginning to see her character Mercedes take a different direction. In seasons 1 and 2, Mercedes was pigeon-holed as the plus-sized diva whose only story lines consisted of body image issues and competing with Rachel (Lea Michele) for solos.
This season, we're seeing some refreshing depth to her character in her story line with Sam (Chord Overstreet), her involvement in the "God Squad," and songs that showcase the softer side of her voice.
As for Jennifer, I think the weight loss had both positive and negative implications. On the plus side, she became a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers and has become a positive role model for those who are struggling to lose weight.
On the other hand, anytime a celebrity loses weight, there will always be some backlash. Many fans who supported her in her early career, liked her because she didn't fit the skinny Hollywood stereotype. And because the weight-loss was so dramatic, some detractors suggested that she had gotten surgery.
Still, Jennifer's voice and talent are so strong that her career would have been successful with or without the weight loss. If she's happy and healthy, that's all that matters.
Do you see Amber following a similar career path to Jennifer? Are you happy about her commitment to healthy diet and exercise? Will this weight loss impact her career?
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- Jennifer Hudson
- Amber Riley
- weight loss