Octavia Spencer won a SAG Award for Best Supporting Actress last night, so you’d think her Google news search results would be flooded with accolades for her acting. Imagine my surprise, then, when the overwhelming majority of headlines focused not on her performance in The Help, but her weight.
“I am not healthy at this weight,” Spencer told reporters backstage at the awards show, which makes me wonder which reporters were asinine enough to ask her such a sensitive question. She also spoke about a sad truth of Hollywood, namely that “when you reach a certain weight, you are less valuable…It’s a society that tells you you’re no longer valuable at a certain age…Or because of your weight.”
She did manage to insert some levity (and truth) by saying “If more women ate, they would be a lot happier. Let me tell you, I am a lot grumpier when I don’t eat.” But on a night when she’s being honored with a SAG Award—which, need I remind you, is for acting, not fitness—should Spencer really be forced to answer a barrage of questions about something so tangential to her skills as an actress? Reporters didn’t interview the skinny actresses about being skinny, so there’s no reason they should have interviewed Ms. Spencer about being a little bit chubby, let alone made that the takeaway headline about her.
I’m not saying there’s no place for a conversation about women, weight and Hollywood. On the contrary, I think our insane, often unhealthy, standards of beauty for actresses need to be addressed. But focusing solely on Octavia Spencer’s weight on a night that should’ve been about her talent and accomplishments seems a bit out of whack.
For more thoughts on Spencer’s statements about weight, see this post over on our sister site, Blisstree.
(Via The Daily Mail)