5 A-List Stars Get Real About Body Image in Hollywood
As the summer quickly approaches magazine covers have been bombarded with summer slim down routines and critiques of which celebrities have the best (or worst) bikini bodies.
This is no surprise as being thin has long been the defining feature of beauty in Hollywood, so much so that Jessica Alba recently admitted to wearing a double corset 24/7 for three months to get her body back after having two babies.
While there are many celebrities that take dieting and weight loss to the extreme, there are also a few candid A-list stars who admit that the pressure they feel to be thin gets to them and they are really so much more than just their bodies.
Take a look at 5 actresses who aren’t afraid to get real about body image in Hollywood.
1. Monica Potter: A Crappy Thing To Deal With
After losing a role for being “too fat” post-baby Monica Potter of NBC’s Parenthood had the following to say about the audition:
I went in and thought I did a really good job. I got home and get the call from my agents. I’m like, “I did good, right?” And they say, “You did great. The problem is you’re just…” I’m too fat. “Yeah, we’re just going to wait a little bit.”
The weight thing is a crappy thing to deal with in this town, you know? I’m from the town of eat, drink, and be merry, celebrate life…That was a crappy audition and a crappy result.
Too few celebrities admit that trying to meet Hollywood’s unrealistic body expectation actually really sucks, but Potter refreshing anecdote reminds us that it really is a “crappy thing to deal with” for celebrities too.
Side note: If you aren’t watching Parenthood, you should be! Potter (and the whole cast) is amazing!
Morning Sunshine/Wikimedia Commons
2. Jennifer Lawrence: Look Fit & Strong, Not Thin & Underfed
Jennifer Lawrence’s career has skyrocketed thanks to her two blockbuster hits The Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook. Despite her tremendous talent, discussions about Lawrence often surround her body and weight.
Many criticized Lawrence for being too large to play a starving teen in The Hunger Games but the actress was more concerned with how the young fans would perceive her body.
I think it’s really important for girls to have people to look up to and to feel good about themselves. I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I don’t want little girls to be like, “Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner.” That’s something that I was really conscious of during training…I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed.
In another interview, Lawrence had the following in response to questions about her weight, “I’d rather look chubby on screen and like a person in real life.”
Lunchbox LP/Wikimedia Commons
3. Victoria Justice: So Much More to Me
Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice is honest about how much work it takes to get the picture perfect shot of the photos her fans see of her in magazines:
I think there’s a perception out there that people know me based on these glamorous photos they see of me in magazines, but I have about two hours of hair and makeup and then people to dress me, to make me look even better, in those pictures. There’s really so much more to me than that.
And sometimes (almost always) those pictures are photoshopped and retouched to make them even more “perfect” – and impossible to replicate in real life. Justice’s honesty is a great reminder for her young and impressionable fans.
Angela George/Wikimedia Commons
4. Demi Lovato: Change Our Culture
Last year Demi Lovato checked herself into rehab for bulimia, anorexia and self-harm. Since her hospitalization, the singer has been outspoken about eating disorders so others don’t suffer like she did.
In an interview with Cosmo on Campus Lovato says:
I feel that if someone had admitted they had a problem, then I wouldn’t have gone down that route myself. That’s my goal in talking about my problems: I want to be the person for other girls that I needed to admire when I was looking for help and strength.
The young starlet is committed to changing perceptions of beauty and doing her part to raise awareness about eating disorders:
Most models are thinner than 98% of Americans. Instead of trying to change our bodies, how about we try to change our culture?
In an effort to try to change the culture that brought Lovato down the road of self-harm and an eating disorder she allowed cameras to film her journey to recovery in a documentary which aired on MTV called Demi Lovato: Stay Strong.
I wanted to share my story but I knew it had to be honest, it had to be real, Lovato said in a statement. I have daily challenges but so do many kids who are struggling to feel comfortable in their own skin. If opening up and sharing my story inspires even one person to stay strong or to get the help they need, I’ve succeeded.
I’ve officially become a big time fan!
5. Busy Philipps: The Last Frontier of Feminism
By far my favorite celebrity response to body image in Hollywood comes from Busy Phillipps most famously know for her role in Dawson’s Creek (at least in my eyes) and most recently Cougar Town.
I feel like it’s the last frontier of feminism — the weight thing with women — even for myself. I identify as a feminist. I have so many feminist beliefs — and then I’m so mean to myself about my body sometimes. Or I can be judgmental about other people for their bodies, and I don’t know how to get over it.
Phillipps is so right!
Remember that scene in Mean Girls where the Plastics stand in front of a mirror and criticize their bodies?
“God my hips are huge!”
“Oh please I hate my calves!”
“At least you guys can wear halters, I’ve got man shoulders!”
Women constantly engage in negative self-talk about their bodies, and often too find it as a way to bond with one another. “No, no my hips are huge!” Instead of criticizing ourselves, and each other, we should take some time to do the exact opposite and compliment one another and even ourselves.
I have a friend who makes me give myself a compliment anytime she hears me criticize myself. She is doubly awesome because she also makes sure that I don’t just compliment myself for my appearance or body, but for my strengths and abilities. In turn I do the same for her and other women in my life. If we all took a moment to make a woman in our lives give themselves a compliment when they criticized themselves we would all start being a lot nicer to ourselves and feel a whole lot better, too.
Related from Care2:
Top photo used under a Creative Commons license by Mingle Media TV.