Wednesday, February 9, 2011
In Hollywood Your Pants Size is Everybody's Business
Jenna Fischer from The Office is on Redbook's cover for March and in it, she tries to explain why so many starlets feel pressure to stay thin. Essentially, in Hollywood, you are often wearing other people's clothes--whether its a fitting for a role, a red-carpet loan or a shoot for a magazine or interview--your clothing size is something that has to be constantly communicated. You have to let your agent know your dress, pant, swim suit, shoe and bra size, and if that changes, he/she has to communicate that with a host of other folks. She cites this situation as a major factor as to why women in Hollywood try to maintain their "known" figure. Okay, I see this perspective...but does it really explain why so many try to be 0 or 00? This clothes borrowing/fitting arrangement probably does play into the overall formula as to why thin is so crucial to the culture of Hollywood, but it doesn't explain why being a size six is seen as obese, let alone a twelve. Kyle from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills talked about being a size four and how fat that is considered in LA--how sad and deranged is that? Being seriously skinny is not at all the same as being healthy. As a matter of fact, being underweight is more dangerous than being overweight (not obese, but overweight). The carved-out Hollywood ideal (which then gets smoothed out in photoshop) is not healthy for most men and women--only about 10% of the population has difficulty maintaining a BMI over 18 and many if not most Hollywood starlets have underweight BMI's. I'm glad Ms. Fischer is explaining why she feels pressure to stay thin (I don't know how thin she is and in terms of Hollywood starlets, she certainly seems to be thin but not carved out...so not please don't take my post in general to be a snark at Ms. Fischer). This kind of interview is another glimpse into how Hollywood works and that's helpful when trying to untangle our media images and body expectations as a culture.