Thursday, April 15, 2010

Why I love the guys at Project Rungay

196 pounds
I make it a point on this blog NOT to criticize women who I feel are too thin.

As I've mentioned before, I think that would be counter-productive since it won't make curvy women feel any better about their bodies if we make thin women feel bad about theirs. And, let's face it, going off on any woman's body just seems wrong.

But I came across something the other day that I do want to share, something that in some ways falls into the category of discussing—or even dissing—the body of a thin celebrity.

I read this "something" on one of my favorite websites—Project Rungay, a blog run by two amazing and insightful gay men named Tom and Lorenzo, a.k.a. TLo.

Though these comments may seem a little mean at first, there is something really important that's being said underneath the surface cattiness.

In response to Demi Moore's claim (in the cover story pictured above) that she finds it frustrating that most of the roles in Hollywood are for women who are between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five, TLo said this:

"You know, we don't deny that there is sexism in the entertainment industry and rarely does the industry have any place for women over 40. But we look at these pictures and think 'You know, you might be up for more roles if you didn't look like, oh, say... a CRAZY STARVING PERSON?' It's the same thing with Nicole Kidman. There's a certain class of Hollywood women who have dieted and surgically altered themselves to the point where they really don't look like people. Not healthy people, anyway. There's a reason that the leading actresses in the over-45 category are women like Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren. Because they smartly realized a long time ago that the ingenue parts were gone forever and there was no use going after something they were never going to get again."

Obviously, it's the second half of their comments that really interests me. I've long been a fan of both Streep and Mirren and am always wowed by their amazing bodies, especially Streep's which is incredibly real.

But it never occurred to me until I read TLo's response to Moore that maybe one of the reasons that these two get so much work in Hollywood is precisely because they do look so real. (The same could be said of Emma Thompson or even America Ferrera.) I said in my post-Oscar post that I don't think women over thirty-five look attractive when they're still super skinner, and Streep's and Mirren's success may just prove that I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Maybe the truth is that we DON'T want to see women on the big screen who look like they're starving. Maybe we really DO want women who look more like us—sure, perfect, beautiful versions of us, but still us.

But if that's the case, then why the hell don't more people in Hollywood and in the media get it??? Why do we still have so many celebrities who look plain old hungry?

I don't know the answer to this question, but I do know this. . . I'm not giving up this fight until the women in the movies look a lot more like me.