It seems like Rebel Wilson is doing pretty well onscreen, too – while she called herself “Fat Amy” is the recent teen film Pitch Perfect, she was also surrounded by throngs of adoring men. And while lots of people have questioned Megan Fox’s inclusion on the recent cover of Vanity Fair, no one questioned Melissa McCarthy’s.
Admittedly, they put her in a weak costume, but all the costumes on the Vanity Fair cover seem kind of weird. I don’t even really know exactly what’s going on there.
It seems pretty clear that, if you are a woman who is slightly overweight, you can still have a career. And not just a career where you’re the butt of jokes (which is a big difference from 20 years ago where a show like Rosanne would be driven largely by making fun of the woman’s appearance). A great career, and one in which, if you are in films, you are portrayed as being desirable and worthy of love.
I do realize that there are people who think that:
“Its undeniable that when we stand a skinny, athletic or even average sized female next to a larger (even if less healthy, overweight or obese) female, that unless we live outside of this stigma, we as Americans will assume that the heavier person is funnier, smarter, nicer, and less sexually promiscuous, all because she is not as thin or physically fit than the girl next to her.
Right, yes, that’s actually very deniable, because that woman is a crazy person. I’m not saying that we live in this woman’s bizarre notion of the world. But I do think that gaining weight does not mean that you can’t be in the public eye. Moreover, for really the first time, it means you can be in the public eye without being an object of ridicule, or having your entire plotline revolve around your weight.
In the recent past, even women as accomplished as Oprah were remembered as much for battling with their weight as their other accomplishments (how many diets was Oprah on? It seems uncountable). Today, it’s okay for women to say that they’re not really interested in hitting the gym, because you can still be a protagonist without hitting the gym.
And that’s fantastic. I mean, we’re not there yet, but maybe we’re entering an age where we can all relax a bit and start eating actual ice cream instead of frozen yogurt.
Picture via The Mindy Project, Vanity Fair