Is it really news when a mother spends a day at the beach with her toddler son and husband?
Apparently so when the mother in question is Canadian songbird Alanis Morissette and she appears considerably heavier than most people remember her.
Photos of the Grammy-winning singer taken on a Hawaiian beach over the weekend were making the rounds on the usual entertainment sites on Monday morning. Morisette, 38, is wearing no makeup in the photos and appears perfectly content as she watches her two-year-old son Ever playing in the sand. Most of the sites also featured photos of Morissette cuddling with her husband Mario "MC Souleye" Treadway during their resort vacation.
The unspoken message behind the photos: Morissette is a bigger girl now and seemingly fine with it, at least according to the message emblazoned across the bottom of her swimsuit: Self Love. People magazine declared that Morissette was making a "statement."
Other online outlets were less kind. The celebrity website the Superficial ran the entire series of swimsuit photographs, referring to them as a "counterargument to Miley Cyrus being No. 1 on the Maxim Hot 100."
The British media outlet Daily Mail stayed true to its tabloid roots with an extended report making references to the singer's "curvy figure" and dug back into its archives to cite reports of Morissette gaining weight following her 2007 breakup with actor Ryan Reynolds. Odds are she's over him by now.
But in each instance, the subtext behind the photos was painfully apparent: Morissette has gained weight, period.
And even though she seems happy and healthy and now embracing the joys of motherhood, her decision to appear in public in anything less revealing than a tarpaulin is somehow an affront to those who remember her as the skinny Canuck singer who released Jagged Little Pill in 1995.
Certainly all celebrities are open to intrusive public scrutiny, but was there any real news value to running the pictures of Morissette in her swimsuit in the first place?