On Monday, the actress Melissa McCarthy posted a photograph to Instagram during which she was sporting a tiered, sea-foam-green robe at a gala she had attended alongside the director Adam Shankman. Although the picture itself didn’t trigger a lot of a stir, one remark — which occurred to be from the entertainer Barbra Streisand — did. It learn, partly, “Did you’re taking Ozempic?”

Screenshots of the remark started circulating quickly after, with many viewers criticizing Ms. Streisand for inquiring publicly whether or not one other superstar was taking a weight-loss remedy. (Others puzzled if Ms. Streisand realized the remark had been posted the place others may see it.) The remark has since been deleted.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ms. Streisand addressed the pushback. She had gone on Instagram to see images of flowers she had obtained for her birthday, she wrote in a post on her Instagram and X accounts. “Beneath them was a photograph of my pal Melissa McCarthy who I sang with on my Encore album,” Ms. Streisand wrote. “She seemed improbable! I simply wished to pay her a praise. I forgot the world is studying!”

Ozempic is a part of a comparatively new class of medicines, utilized in treating diabetes and weight problems, which have surged in recognition lately. Whereas it’s permitted by the Meals and Drug Administration just for diabetes, folks have more and more been utilizing Ozempic off-label to drop a few pounds. Researchers are investigating whether or not these medicines can deal with a variety of different circumstances, together with sleep apnea, alcohol use dysfunction and persistent kidney illness.

Because the medication have grown in recognition, so too has the strain for public figures to reveal whether or not they’re utilizing them. Some have made an occasion out of unveiling they take remedy — maybe none extra notably than Oprah Winfrey, who introduced in Folks journal that she was taking a weight reduction drug and “accomplished with the shaming.” She later hosted a prime-time special dedicated to weight stigma and the brand new medicines. Elon Musk was one of many earliest proponents, writing on Twitter in 2022 after being requested how he had grow to be so “match, ripped & wholesome” that he was taking one other drug, Wegovy.

Some consultants fear that fixating on who’s and isn’t taking the medication can transmit a dangerous message about our bodies and weight. “It shouldn’t be one thing that individuals essentially have to cover,” stated Dr. Melanie Jay, director of the N.Y.U. Langone Complete Program on Weight problems. “However it’s additionally none of anybody’s enterprise.”

The alternate could have taken off as a result of it “breaks still-evolving etiquette about Ozempic, weight reduction and food regimen,” stated Dr. Adrienne Bitar, a lecturer in American research at Cornell College and the creator of the guide “Eating regimen and the Illness of Civilization.” Publicly questioning whether or not an individual takes Ozempic may learn like a form of insult, she added, given the stigma that surrounds taking remedy to drop a few pounds.

Ms. Streisand’s remark was most certainly innocuous, stated Kate Manne, an affiliate professor of philosophy at Cornell College and the creator of the guide “Unshrinking: The right way to Face Fatphobia.” Besides, it indicators a form of “surveillance” of Ms. McCarthy’s physique, she stated.

“Most likely she didn’t imply something by it,” Dr. Manne stated. “However that doesn’t imply it’s not dangerous.”

Ms. McCarthy, for her half, doesn’t appear troubled. Asked by TMZ on Tuesday whether or not the remark had crossed a line, Ms. McCarthy replied, “I believe Barbra is a treasure, and I like her,” earlier than waving the reporter away.

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