Rebel Wilson And Melissa McCarthy Made A (Probably Fake) Pact To Stay Fat

2013 MTV Movie Awards - Show

Rebel Wilson and Melissa McCarthy have apparently entered into a pact promising not to lose any weight, according to an anonymous source who probably gleaned this information from seeing them high five one time.

Radar Online has a quote that we all need to take with a grain of salt:

“Neither one of them is trying to lose weight and they’ve formed this little support group to keep each other from falling into the skinny Hollywood trap. Obviously, they could both snap their fingers and lose the weight because of the resources they have available to them — which could include everything from personal trainers to Lap Band surgery — but right now they’re agreeing with each other that they have to hold the line and provide a positive image for overweight girls everywhere. There will be plenty of time for dieting years from now, but Rebel and Melissa are determined to stay at their current sizes for now”

Okay…cool? Look, it’s unlikely that this is real, but if it is, I hate it. No person owes anyone his or her body for any reason, and this assigns false significance to body size and type. Just a couple of hours ago, I wrote about Jessica Simpson and her big announcement about her post baby weight loss, and if this is real, I don’t think this is too much better. It’s not just assigning value to skinniness that’s a problem–the issue is putting to much significance in any size. While there’s no problem with celebrating bodies at any size, trapping them into a box and saying they can never change is problematic. Putting such a high value on something as arbitrary as weight is how we got into this body image mess that is our society in the first place.

Of course, my criticism here isn’t really aimed at McCarthy or Wilson–they’re excellent role models and do significant good in terms of publicizing their own somewhat radical self acceptance. They’re beautiful women who should feel free to stay exactly as they are, and I wish we didn’t live in a culture that created the idea that it’s revolutionary and pact-worthy to not want to lose weight.

Photo: Getty Images

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    • Lindsey Conklin

      I agree though, there’s just too much emphasis on body image/weight.

    • http://MsBehaved.Com/ Bianca James

      It kills me when beautiful fat actresses succumb to the pressure to lose weight though. And they seem to be notoriously rewarded for it, too. (Toni Collette, Minnie Driver, etc.) You can’t just say that body size doesn’t matter. That’s like saying that race doesn’t matter, gender doesn’t matter. It does matter, and it’s huge. Choosing not to lose weight is an act of rebellion.

    • A

      Why is the fact that being fat is unhealthy never part of the conversation? Shaming people or being rude to them because of their size is never okay, of course, and I do support body acceptance to an extent – no one should ever feel like they have to hate themselves for their size. But it’s simply a medical fact that being overweight is unhealthy. So overweight celebrities who lose weight *should* be congratulated for taking steps to become healthier. (Not that being a healthy weight necessarily means you’re 100% healthy either, but it’s a big step in the right direction.) And a “pact” like this – which I agree is likely fake – is insidious and harmful for more reasons than just the fact that no one owes anyone else their body, which is a very important point on its own. It’s also harmful because it’s a pact to stay unhealthy. It’s like a pact to keep smoking even though society pressures you to quit.

      • Andrea Smith

        It’s always part of the conversation. In every discussion, on every website, someone brings up the health aspect of fat. On every website discussing this unlikely pact, someone has pointed out the implications of obesity on health. But here’s the thing… it’s no one’s business but theirs and their doctors what impact their weight has or doesn’t have on their health. It’s not even contagious. You’re not going to catch the fat or the diabetes or the heart disease that we all know every fat person MUST have, which is more than I can say for the cold my co-workers insist on coming to work with. Someone else’s fat isn’t anything like someone else’s smoking habit, which can make everyone around them unhealthy too. Society has a reason to pressure you to quit smoking, because second hand smoke is dangerous to everyone. Society doesn’t get to pressure you to change your body because it makes people uncomfortable. Let’s be honest here, a few fat actresses are not going to lead a revolution that makes skinny girls want to pack on the pounds. At most it will help overweight girls learn to accept their bodies as they are. No one, not even the fat kid, is going to forget that losing weight would improve their health, make them look more like the commonly accepted ideal of sexy, and at least slow the bullying that I promise you they encounter at school.

      • A

        Actually, studies have shown that fat can be “contagious,” in that if you spend lots of time with overweight people you are likely to gain weight as well (I assume because you’re likely to share meals and develop similar eating habits, as well as have it be normalized). But I see what you’re saying about how everyone knows it’s unhealthy. I just don’t understand why a lot of times in feminist circles we praise actresses like Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson (both of whom I absolutely love as entertainers, they are gorgeous and hilarious) simply for daring to be overweight. Yes, it’s unfortunate that their weight likely holds them back from getting certain parts, etc., but it’s a visually driven industry – most thin or medium-size women aren’t “pretty enough” to get those parts, either. I find it deeply problematic to treat weight as a shorthand for “unrealistic cultural beauty expectations,” both because it’s only part of the picture and because it is deeply tied to health. I just think that if we’re going to accept entertainers as role models, we need to keep health in mind as part of that.