Hollywoods grim century of fat-shaming: from Greta Garbo to Chle Grace Moretz

Hollywoods grim century of fat-shaming: from Greta Garbo to Chle Grace Moretz

click photo for more information
Hollywoods grim century of fat-shaming: from Greta Garbo to Chle Grace Moretz
The film industry has a long and unhealthy obsession with the weight of its female stars. The more who speak up like Moretz did this week the more chance there is of change This week, 20-year-old actor Chle Grace Moretz said she had been body-shamed by a male actor on set when she was 15. […]

The film industry has a long and unhealthy obsession with the weight of its female stars. The more who speak up like Moretz did this week the more chance there is of change

This week, 20-year-old actor Chle Grace Moretz said she had been body-shamed by a male actor on set when she was 15. He was her co-star at the time, in his 20s, cast in the role of her love interest, and he said he would never date her in real life, because she was too big. It was a comment that drove her to tears. Moretz is the latest in a string of Hollywood stars who are prepared to be more open about their experiences of sexism in the industry, from Jennifer Lawrence to Emma Watson. Like the late Carrie Fisher, who revealed she was asked to lose weight before appearing in the new Star Wars series, Moretz touches on something particularly troubling: the pressure on women on screen to maintain a body size that may be unrealistic or unhealthy.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new. Silent-film expert Pamela Hutchinson cites the example of Greta Garbo. Louis B Mayer hired her for MGM in 1925, when she was already a success in Europe, with the caveat that In America, we dont like fat women. Garbo ate nothing but spinach for three weeks and then dieted, rigorously, for the rest of her Hollywood career. There were even more extreme measures. An actor called Molly ODay had her excess weight cut away by a surgeon. In 1929, Photoplay magazine explicitly blamed the death of comic actor Katherine Grant on the Hal Roach studios demands for her to lose weight.

Carrie
Carrie Fisher, who said she was told to lose weight before appearing in the new Star Wars films. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/AP

The issue has persisted ever since. Emma Thompson recently said she threatened to quit the 2008 film Brideshead Revisited after a female co-star was asked to lose weight. I said to them, If you speak to her about this again, on any level, I will leave this picture. You are never to do that. Troublingly, Thompson feels the problem is increasing. Its evil whats happening, she continued, and whats going on there, and its getting worse.

While male actors may be asked to lose weight for extreme roles such as Matthew McConaughey playing an Aids patient in Dallas Buyers Club women are routinely asked to slim down simply to play female leads. Ive heard of women on set being openly poked and prodded by male studio executives who discuss their unsuitable size and these actors are tiny in the first place. Jennifer Lawrence has spoken of being considered plus size or fat in Hollywood, while on Twitter, Amanda Seyfried said she had been considered overweight. X-Men: Apocalypse actor Sophie Turner also chimed in recently. There are often times when I have done jobs and theyve told me that I have to lose weight, even when it has nothing to do with the character, she told Porter magazine. It is so fucked up.

This infuriating pressure prompts the question: why? If this is about idealism and adulation, are audiences really asking for this? Actors such as Christina Hendricks and Sofia Vergara, who are curvier than the Hollywood average, have no shortage of admirers.

The feminist campaigner Laura Bates, who started her career as an actor, says this pressure is absolutely rife, both in and outside Hollywood. The pressures on Hollywood women lead to a screen ideal which then heaps more pressure on ordinary women and girls. That Moretz was just 15 when this happened, says Bates, also highlights how body-shaming can impact girls from an incredibly young age. We know that girls are just five when they first start to worry about their size and shape, and that a devastating one-quarter of seven-year-old girls has dieted to lose weight. They are also bombarded with airbrushed, unrealistic media and advertising images that repeatedly send them the message that their bodies are not good enough, that they will be judged by their looks, and that they must conform to a narrow, media-mandated notion of beauty.

Joan Smith, human rights campaigner and author of Misogynies, agrees. Making girls and women feel uncomfortable about their bodies is a way of attacking their confidence. It makes women defensive and inward-looking, and when you feel like that, you lose your sense of having a place in the world. It happens in Hollywood because the stakes money, fame are so high, but it goes far beyond that. At a time when we have a legal right to equality, its a way of restoring the old inequality women are permanently open to scrutiny. Its not always conscious but its nasty and effective.

Bates also points out the massive double standards in Hollywood, saying women are often more pressurised than men. Women who arent Hollywood thin are very rarely cast in mainstream thrillers, sci-fi or fantasy films, and in dramas they usually appear in character roles, often played by older actors. When bigger female characters are the lead in a film, their weight is never incidental, but rather a defining characteristic, such as the role played by Gabourey Sidibe in the 2009 film Precious. Meanwhile, male leads come in all shapes and sizes Jack Black, Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill (now slimmed down) have all appeared frequently in a variety of leading roles, including drama as well as comedy, and stars such as John Travolta, Russell Crowe and Vince Vaughn have been allowed to change physically over the course of their careers.

Gabourey
Gabourey Sidibe, star of 2009 film Precious. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Comedy seems more welcoming of female actors such as Melissa McCarthy, though many of her lead roles have been in films made by her own production company, and others such as Rebel Wilson are usually relegated to the funny best friend role. Amy Schumer has something resembling an average body shape watching 2015s Trainwreck, I remember being startled to see someone who looked more like me and my friends on the big screen. I thought, perhaps, this signalled a cultural shift, but since then Ive mostly been reviewing romcoms with stick-thin heroines perhaps the kind that Moretzs cruel co-star was comparing her with. And sadly, his kind of body shaming isnt confined to Hollywood far from it.

Actor, comedian and writer Arabella Weir thinks Moretz should name and shame the man in question. The problems, as expressed by this particular guy, she says, are all his, not hers and her BMI. To allow comments about ones size to cause one pain is to validate them. Name, shame and circulate as widely as possible all comments of this nature and let their authors attempt to justify them theyre in the wrong, the subject never is. Until women refuse to be categorised by their size, and that includes naming the person, then well always be seen as participating somehow in the myth that thin equals good.

There is hope on the Hollywood horizon: the Sundance hit Patti Cake$ (out on 1 September) is a joyous celebration of a female rapper (Danielle Macdonald) that shows her character suffering from body shaming while she challenges expectations of what a performer should look like. While the story tackles the subject of her weight, its as much about her character and her career aspirations. Moretz herself is in an upcoming body-positive take on Snow White, although she spoke out after its poster seemed to body-shame her character. Also in animation, last years Disney teen Moana had a more realistic shape and this is in a genre previously well known for its preposterous female figures.

But animation is one thing, living, breathing actors another. Hollywood has the power to change things by showcasing a far greater diversity of womens body types, shapes and skin colours, rather than reinforcing suffocating stereotypes and impossible standards, says Bates. It has an opportunity to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Shes right. We need more female actors to speak out and for Hollywood to listen.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/aug/11/hollywoods-grim-century-of-fat-shaming-from-greta-garbo-to-chloe-grace-moretz

Why Anxiety Is The Plague Of The Modern World

click photo for more information
Why Anxiety Is The Plague Of The Modern World
Anxiety is feeling like a swarm of rats is eating your soul. Depression is feeling like it’s already been eaten. Raise your hand if you spend your time cycling between both. Hey, me too! High five. Sorry my hand is wet — I sweat when I get nervous, and that caused me to drop my […]

Mental health isn’t a fashion trend

click photo for more information
Mental health isn’t a fashion trend
Read more: http://imgur.com/gallery/j26RR

Youve been sitting on the toilet wrong your whole life. This is how to do it right.

click photo for more information
Youve been sitting on the toilet wrong your whole life. This is how to do it right.
We come up with all kinds of reasons why our stomachs feel upset or our digestion is out of whack. But, come to find out, it could all be a matter of improper toilet seat positioning. We take it for granted that we are just supposed to plop right down on the circular porselin commode […]

The results of the latest study about vaccines and autism are in, and they’re not surprising.

click photo for more information
The results of the latest study about vaccines and autism are in, and they’re not surprising.
Here’s the thing about science. Science! Photo from “Maniac”/Wikimedia Commons. It has a mind of its own. And sometimes, it won’t do what you want it to do. At least one anti-vaccine group recently learned this the hard way. Beginning in 2003, SafeMinds, a group that attributes the majority of new cases of autism to […]

This Guy Went Blind Because He Made A Simple Mistake Many People Make Every Night

click photo for more information
This Guy Went Blind Because He Made A Simple Mistake Many People Make Every Night
Contacts have been replacing glasses as the preferred eyewear for those with blurry vision for year. T he CDC is now estimating that over 30 million people worldwide utilize the little things. Some people even wear them for the cosmetic effects they can bring to the table, such as cats eyes, or the full black […]

This Comic Perfectly Explains Why Anxiety & Depression Are So Difficult To Fight

click photo for more information
This Comic Perfectly Explains Why Anxiety & Depression Are So Difficult To Fight
We all experience anxiety and depression at one point or another, but some of us experience these feelings chronically. It can be difficult for those who don’t suffer from these chronic disorders to understand those who do, so they can sometimes say some fairly insensitive things; “Why don’t you just get over it?” or “What […]

New poll shows Trump being thrashed by Bernie, Biden in 2020, edged out by Dem whippersnappers

click photo for more information
New poll shows Trump being thrashed by Bernie, Biden in 2020, edged out by Dem whippersnappers
Yes, the Daily Mail’s David Martosko was in discussions recently to become the Trump administration’s press secretary, but don’t let that color his advice on trusting PPP’s polls. Actually, following Election Day 2016, it’s probably best that every major political pollster include some sort of “For Entertainment Purposes Only” disclaimer with every new release. Before […]

WHO’S greedy? Bernie Sanders’ complaint about the Koch brothers is ‘mind-blowing’ irony

click photo for more information
WHO’S greedy? Bernie Sanders’ complaint about the Koch brothers is ‘mind-blowing’ irony
With Harry Reid set to retire soon, Bernie Sanders is trying to prove himself worthy of carrying on the Koch brothers obsession: Hilarious, coming from a guy like Sanders. How about a little perspective? And the speed of that spending will only accelerate if Sanders gets his wish list. Why is the federal government so […]

23andMe is finally allowed to tell you if you have the genes for Parkinsons

click photo for more information
23andMe is finally allowed to tell you if you have the genes for Parkinsons
The Food and Drug Administration finally gave 23andMe a long sought-after green light today to sell to consumers genetic tests and their accompanying health risk reports for up to 10 diseases, including late-onset Alzheimers and Parkinsons. In November 2013, the FDA put a moratorium on 23andMes ability to provide any health information associated with its […]

Johnson & Johnson Admits: Our Baby Products Contain Cancer Causing Formaldehyde

click photo for more information
Johnson & Johnson Admits: Our Baby Products Contain Cancer Causing Formaldehyde
Are You Using This Popular But Cancer-Causing Johnson & Johnson Shampoo? Naturally when you buy a product that is specifically marketed and made for babies, you assume that it is of the gentlest, most natural nature and doesnt contain any harsh ingredients that may be sensitive to our young ones. But what if one of […]

British bodybuilder dies of liver cancer due to drinking 6-7 energy drinks daily

click photo for more information
British bodybuilder dies of liver cancer due to drinking 6-7 energy drinks daily
Bodybuilding is perhaps one of the best forms of exercise. It is an anaerobic form of exercise in which the focus is to build muscle. Larger, stronger muscles have many benefits, the main one being you are simply making your own shell stronger so that you can function at a higher level, perform tasks easier […]

Facebook rolls out AI to detect suicidal posts before theyre reported

click photo for more information
Facebook rolls out AI to detect suicidal posts before theyre reported
This is software to save lives. Facebook’s new “proactive detection” artificial intelligence technology will scan all posts for patterns of suicidal thoughts, and when necessary send mental health resources to the user at risk or their friends, or contact local first-responders. By using AI to flag worrisome posts to human moderators instead of waiting for user […]

7 Cool Puzzles That Will Make Your Cat Work For His Food

click photo for more information
7 Cool Puzzles That Will Make Your Cat Work For His Food
Many pet cats are kept indoors for a variety of reasons in conditions that are perhaps the least natural to them. Indoor housing has been associated with health issues, such as chronic lower urinary tract signs, and development of problem behaviors, which can cause weakening of the humananimal bond and lead to euthanasia of the […]

So? Immigration officials say they’ll deport illegal who killed Kate Steinle

click photo for more information
So? Immigration officials say they’ll deport illegal who killed Kate Steinle
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the man found not guilty of murdering Kate Steinle, had been in a San Francisco jail before her killing but was released despite a federal request that he be held for his sixth deportation. That’s right — his sixth deportation. But now that he’s been found guilty of possessing a firearm […]

Would You Let Trump Run Your Company?

click photo for more information
Would You Let Trump Run Your Company?
In Washington, people struggling to come to terms with figures from the corporate world, luring Rex Tillerson from Exxon Mobil Corp. to run the State Department and a string of Wall Streeters. The stock market initially boomed. Trump’s message to business has been simple: Finally you have an executive in charge of the executive branch. […]
load more posts