Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Oscars, Part I: A plea to all Hollywood starlets

192 pounds
As I'm sure you all know, the Oscars were Sunday.

It was a great day for women because Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman in history to take home the Academy Award for Best Director. And her film—The Hurt Locker—also won the Best Picture award.

I also felt like the narrative of the evening focused on strong women—Sandra Bullock, Mo'nique, Meryl Streep, Gabby Sidibe, and Bigelow to name a few—and that those women thankfully had bodies of all sizes.

But before the actual ceremony began, I found myself cringing during the Red Carpet show.

At first I wasn't sure why the Red Carpet didn't have as much appeal for me as it normally does, but after the first sixty minutes or so, I put it together: many, many of the women who walked it looked too thin to me. To the point that they almost looked as if they were sickly.

I've made it a point on this blog NOT to criticize skinny women or name names about women who I think look like they are at an unhealthy weight, and I think I'll stick with that decision because it doesn't really help anyone to attack the way certain women look—whether they be too small or too big. I've always said that the point of this blog is too help people accept themselves they way they are, and calling someone anorexic-looking doesn't really serve that purpose, does it? After all, it's just as easy to be naturally thin as it is to be naturally curvy.

But I do want to make a plea to the actresses and celebrities of our time, and that plea is this:

Please be true to your bodies! Please accept your body at the weight it should be rather than giving into the weight everyone else tells you it needs to be! We need you to do this for us! We really, really do!

My husband always says he believes that after we stop growing, people settle in at a certain weight, and that that weight is often where we are supposed to be.

And, for the most part, I agree with him.

It's the same principle as aging gracefully—meaning, accepting the fact that at the age of forty, you shouldn't have the same body you had when you were twenty. We don't expect our faces to look the same as we age (at least most of us don't), so why do people expect their bodies to look the same?

And when I see people—and by people, I mean, celebrities since I don't know ANY regular people who have this problem—who are my age but weigh the same or less than they did when they weren't even old enough to drink, it scares me. There is no doubt that there are some really young celebrities out there who are pushing the thin thing too far, but there are also plenty of middle-aged superstars who are simply way too skinny.

To be honest, I find that extreme gauntness actually ages women dramatically, making them appear much less attractive than they would with just five or ten more pounds on their body. Let's face it, at some point—maybe around the age of thirty-five—women no longer look healthy being the same weight they were when they were eighteen.

Don't get me wrong, I get it.

I get why they do it.

I get that the pressure—pressure from the media, pressure from casting agents, directors and producers—to be whippet thin in Hollywood is completely insane and insanely unfair.

I've even witnessed evidence of that insanity this week. Since the Oscars I've heard one fashion commentator say something like Kate Winslet (see picture above) "has always been bigger" and another point out that Molly Ringwald (pictured below) is "not a size 0."

I mean, why is it necessary for us to talk about Ringwald not being a size zero? Is that really supposed to be some kind of freaking ideal?

And in what universe could either of these women be called "bigger"?! That is complete crap! If anything, they look pretty darn thin to me. Maybe what these critics meant to say is that they don't look anorexic or unhealthy, and it scares me to think that not looking anorexic translates to "bigger" on the Red Carpet.

So, yes, I get it, but I'm begging all of you Hollywood types out there: Do not give in to this bullshit! Let your body be the size it wants to be!

If nothing else works, look at Meryl Streep, the most successful actor in history, and recognize that you don't have to be super skinny to be huge.

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