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As part of her promotional tour for her upcoming album “The Light of the Sun”, Jill Scott held a private show last night at the club, Dominion NYC.

Stars including Ellen Pompeo, Taraji P. Henson, Macy Gray, Reggie Bush, Brandy and Swizz Beatz were in attendance for the private event where the singer gave a sampling of the material that will be released in Jill’s first album with her new label Warner Brothers.

But even with all the A-listers that came out for Jill’s show, it was the words, not the notes, that came out of the soultress’ mouth that is getting attention.

According to Page Six, Jill, who has recently lost over 60 pounds, says she had a less than expected motivation that kept her going through her weight loss journey. Sources at last nights events say Jill was overheard saying:

“I’m just trying to fit into a catsuit like Vanessa del Rio, the porn star.”

Upon embarking on a risky Google search (try “Vanessa del Rio, wikipedia” if you’re looking to keep your job and keep it PG), I found a picture of del Rio. Now retired, the half Cuban, half Puerto Rican porn star has appeared in over 100 pornographic films and on television shows such as NYPD Blue, where she played herself. She made a cameo in Junior M.A.F.I.A’s “Get Money” music video as well.

Besides sending me on a hunt through porno past, Jill’s reference to del Rio made me ask myself: are body role models good motivation?

It is interesting that Jill chose a porn star, someone whose body and sensuality is directly connected to her notoriety, as her body role model. It makes me think of how many women of color who I’ve overheard throwing around lines like “I’m trying to get a Vida Guerra booty” or “Melissa Ford thighs” as ways to articulate the kind of shape they aspire to have.

As someone who has come a long way on my own weight loss journey, I know that admiring a figure is a popular motivating tool many women use. Whether it is a celebrity’s very public figure or even just the girl on four treadmills over, having a body role model can often put a fire under is to get in shape. But are our emulation choices a healthy trend?

Can we ever truly separate our body role models from our cultural ones? Can we put a woman’s body on a pedestal without also revering her claim to fame?


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