The Hollywood Weight Spate

14 07 2006

I was watching the CNN and Insider news feeds on Yahoo! this morning. The first one read: “Chubby Actors Charm Hollywood.” It appears that flabby men are now the IT boys. I noticed in this news flash that there was nothing about chubby actresses charming Hollywood—I guess that age-old double standard still holds true: men can look as jacked-up as they want (fat, balding, fleshy, you name it!), and still be sexy, but women must be thin and beautiful at all times. The reporters put an “average man” spin on it, but I don’t consider Jack Black, Kevin James (“King of Queens”), Vince Vaughn or Tom Hanks, average. They get paid millions of dollars to be thin or fat, according to whatever role they’re playing, and because they make millions, they can get any chick (fat or skinny) that they want! It will be noteworthy when I see a news feed headline that reads: “Monique is New Leading Lady—Big Girls Wow the Big Screen!”

I went on to the next feed, “ThinSpiration,” about how teens are looking to Hollywood starlets to gauge weight acceptance and how thin they should be. Scratching my head, I asked, Why? Grown women who want to look like pre-pubescent boys are not an accurate gauge for pre-pubescent girls—and if I was the mother of one, I’d tell her so! Then the next feed asked the question, “Are Actresses Too Thin?” To which my response was, “Duh?!.” This feed talked about certain starlets like Kiera Knightly and Kate Bosworth who have been accused of being anorexic, but deny it. Are they supposed to say, “Oh yes, I live off of soup, and purge twice a day—but it’s all for my career, dahling!”

So I pondered this weight spate reporting as I drove to my sedentary job. Fat actors are IN, but actresses still have to be skinny, unless the role calls for weight gain. Renee Zellweger and Charlize Theron, notwithstanding, there are very few ladies who want to pack on the pounds for that, hence the number of movies where actors and actresses are now donning fat suits—just kill me now. But, if you’re an actress, and you’re too skinny, then you’re criticized for being a poor role model to young women. It appears that these actresses not only struggle with anorexia, but schizophrenia as well! You truly couldn’t pay me enough to go through that.

Hollywood role models for Zaftig girls are few and far between, and it seems the powers that be want to keep it that way. I’m sure the green lighters think, “Who wants to make it with a fat chick? I don’t.” Boy, are they wrong, and it would be nice if they hopped on the Clue Bus. Being a plus-sized babe myself, I’ve had my share of rejections, but also acceptance and desire for being big and beautiful, and I know more than a few women who are never lacking a man or men, despite their dress size. But let the silver screen, network and cable tell it, this is not the case. Save for Bridgette Jones, true love only happens to size-zero women. The few plus-size role models we do have are either tough-talkers or laugh factories. There was Camryn Manheim, then Star Jones—but she gave up her fat crown (along with her sanity) when she got married. I even think Camryn might have dropped some weight after having Milo, but I haven’t been interested enough to delve into this observation. Years ago, Hollywood was touting Sara Rue (of the now cancelled, “Less Than Perfect”) as the plus-sized role model for being the lead in a hit TV-series and actually clocking in at, gasp! A size 10! Then she decided to take a feather from Star Jones’ cap, and lost weight. Now she looks like the rest of her too skinny peers, and can share in the anorexia/schizophrenia that marks their existence.

So all we have left are Rosie O’Donnell (yawn), Delta Burke (who doesn’t have much of a screen career to speak of), Monique (you go girl!—gettin’ there, but still mainly a laugh factory), and Liz Taylor?! Do kill me now!

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