If you’ve ever read an article about Melissa McCarthy, there’s a good chance that it’s referenced her weight. It’s thrown in there like a little footnote, with words like ‘plus-size’ or ‘curvy’ and questions about her health, but what it really is is an apology. ‘We know. We’re sorry. We don’t get it either, but somehow this fat person is famous.’
And Melissa McCarthy is over it. As you would be if every time you were promoting a new project you had to defend yourself to your interviewer just for walking in the door. Melissa is currently doing a press tour for her movie Tammy, which comes out July 1st, and yet again, the subject of her weight was at the forefront. Here’s what she said in her interview with People:
“I’ve never felt like I needed to change. I’ve always thought, ‘If you want somebody different, pick somebody else.’ But sure, criticism can sometimes still get to me. Some things are so malicious, they knock the wind out of you.”
But the sad thing is, sometimes the well-meaning comments can be just as damaging as the malicious ones, like a reference to Melissa as being ‘America’s plus-size sweetheart’ that appeared in a recent article:
“It’s like I’m managing to achieve all this success in spite of my affliction [...] Would you ever put that in the headline for a male star?”
No, you wouldn’t. There are plenty of overweight and even obese male stars out there, and they don’t get slapped with any euphemisms like ‘curvy’ to explain away their appearances. They just get written up like any other actor, and no one questions their right to look however they do.
After all, it’s not like her weight is affecting her job — Melissa isn’t a firefighter or a jockey, she’s an actor, and the fact that she’s famous (not to mention hilarious and intelligent) proves she’s better at that particular job than 99.99% of the other people trying to make that career happen.
“In my twenties I used to cry about why I wasn’t thinner or prettier, but I want to add that I also used to cry about things like: ‘I wish my hair would grow faster. I wish I had different shoes…I was an idiot.”
Um, yeah. And so is anyone who’s more eager to talk about Melissa’s body instead of the goddamn delightful things coming out of her mouth. Case closed.