From time to time, industry observers will discuss the weight of Southern Gospel performers in various blogs and forums. This typically takes the form of a complaint that a good number of Southern Gospel’s marquee performers are overweight, some dramatically so.
This is not ideal, but the alternative is worse.
In other genres of music, including some other Christian genres, record deals with major labels are determined as much (and, I suspect, sometimes more) by a singer’s appearance than by their vocal abilities. Top artists wear clothing to publicity and photo shoots (and all too often to concerts) that is form-fitting and revealing, meant to emphasize their appearance. The singers backed by big promotional budgets are often teens and twenty-somethings in peak appearance, never minding the fact that they won’t peak vocally for years. Contemporary labels today would turn down George Younce, Vestal Goodman, and Bill Gaither for recording contracts, no matter their voices, because they aren’t skinny 25-year-olds.
That, of course is the other extreme. A happy medium is undoubtedly possible, but until then, I for one would rather my favorite singers spend more time with vocal coaches than with attractiveness consultants.