It’s unfortunate that plus-size actresses must feel obligated to address their weight, like it’s something they can never get away from. Consider Melissa McCarthy‘s recent interview with Good Housekeeping: Why she should have to talk about her body in a housekeeping magazine is beyond us, but she rises to the occasion. In fact, you can literally witness her conflicting emotions, as she struggles with her desire to be skinnier but also to not give a quote in a national magazine that her daughters will obsess over when they inevitably Google their mom.
Melissa starts off by hitting the nail on the head: “Sometimes I wish I were just magically a size six and I never had to give [my weight] a single thought,” she says. Of course, as we learned from Marissa Jaret Winokur‘s 60-pound slimdown last week, even a Hollywood actress who’s a size 2 will be forever confronted with people skinnier than her.
Melissa’s next quote reveals that her true priority isn’t hitting a goal weight, but being a good role model for her daughters Vivian, 5, and Georgette, 2: “But I am weirdly healthy, so I don’t beat myself up about it—it wouldn’t help, and I don’t want to pass that on to my girls.” She explains that she plays tennis and does Pilates, and that she and husband Ben Falcone make sure to encourage healthy eating at home.
That’s the key word here: healthy. As much as body image experts try to emphasize that healthy doesn’t always mean skinny, people still seem to conflate the two. And just as plus-size actresses are forced to address their weight in seemingly every interview, they also can’t escape from the necessary sponsorships and affiliations—as a Weight Watchers spokesperson, or in Melissa’s case, designing a plus-size clothing line.
That’s why interviews like this one are so valuable. Melissa doesn’t pretend like it doesn’t matter to be the cultural norm; to deny it would make her sound disingenuous. But what’s more important to her is the life she’s leading. She tells the magazine (and by extension, her kids), “You just have to say, ‘It’s pretty damn good. I am right here at the moment and I’m OK with it. I’ve got other things to think about.’”
Of course, the great thing about Melissa is that we know she’s already teaching her daughters these affirmations now. By the time they do look up their famous mom online, they’ll hopefully have already internalized this self-confidence.
[via The Daily Mail]