This article about Hairspray star Marissa Jaret Winokur‘s drastic weight loss makes me really sad in two very different ways. Firstly, I get this knee-jerk reaction whenever curvy stars drop a lot of weight because I automatically think that they were forced into it. And then I feel like an asshole because maybe they always wanted to be skinnier but didn’t have the means or incentive, and here I am “forcing” them to stay curvy forever.
Then I read the actual article and am now upset for a whole different reason. Winokur lost 60 pounds, going from a size 14 to a size 2, and still doesn’t consider herself a skinny actress. “I definitely have moments where I’ll go to an audition or a meeting and girls are just so much skinnier,” she told the New York Daily News matter-of-factly. “I’m still in Hollywood. I still will be considered a chubby actress.” That is thanks, of course, to the fact that size 00 is probably the norm in the industry, but of course no one admits to that. How ridiculous is that, that a size 2 woman still feels insecure about getting a job?
Winokur added that she doesn’t feel safe at her new weight, and that she still keeps clothes from her old size: “I know it’s horrible, but here’s the thing… My fear is, what do you do? I have jeans that fit me great and what if I gain it back? I need those jeans.” That’s a very normal thing that I imagine plenty of women do, but hearing an actress say so is jarring.
Especially when you consider that this is a grown woman. I had a brain fart and thought this article was about 22-year-old Nikki Blonsky, who took over the role of Tracy Turnblad in the Hairspray movie musical after Winokur originated it on Broadway. But Winokur is 39, and it’s heartbreaking that she still endures this insecurity.