Zoe Saldana’s weight was used as the cover line for June’s Allure magazine that the ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ appears on, sparking controversy that the unusual choice of words will negatively impact young girls who already suffer from Hollywood’s unrealistic body expectations. The cover reads “Zoe Saldana: 115 Pounds of Grit and Heartache,” but many argue that broadcasting the very thin star’s weight was unnecessary, if not degrading.
Allure‘s decision to focus almost entirely on Saldana’s weight as the cover message is especially disturbing given the fact that the number is dangerously low, and considered underweight by Body Mass Index standards. In recent years medical professionals have attempted to move away from emphasizing pounds in favor of BMI because the measurement is based on body fat in relation to height. At 5-foot-7 and 115 pounds, Saldana’s BMI measures in at 18, which is classified as underweight, and therefore unhealthy.
Saldana posed nude in the issue, putting her 115 pound body on full-display, along with a script tattoo that covers her ribs. Her naked body revealed a few jutting bones, but the magazine’s decision to include multiple revealing photos seemed to be an attempt to celebrate Saldana’s body as healthy, despite the fact she is underweight.
Ironically, Saldana discusses a slew of feminist topics ranging from raising a child with a woman to the discrimination that females face “in a man’s world.”
“It’s hard enough to be a woman on this earth. So to be an American or black or Latina, it’s arbitrary compared to our battles as women,” Saldana said, exuding girl-power. Yet, Saldana’s 115 weight declaration does little to empower women, particularly young girls who are easily impressionable and develop eating disorders as a result of the pressure to be thin.