I cannot believe that in this day and age there are still male producers and directors out there who ask female actresses to lose weight or simply write them off because they think they are too large. It’s beyond ludicrous, and is almost certainly a matter of control. In a world where men are now using feminism as an excuse to be lazy, pitifully claiming that they don’t know where they stand or how they should act anymore (because gender equality is so baffling, right?), the film industry is a murky place where misogynists, overt or otherwise, can use their powerful status as producer or director to whittle away at attractive and healthy female actresses, until they are so skinny it literally looks like there is nothing of them. The side view is so skeletal that viewers feel concern for the actress rather than being able to concentrate on the storyline.
Even successful actresses fall into the trap of the snide comment about weight (or let’s face it age) as well. And these women-hating men, upstarts from 5000 years of patriarchy, originating from men figuring out that they are involved in reproduction (I mean , please), get away with putting down some of the most already-gorgeous women in the world. Now where’s the sense in that, and I’m sure some of them haven’t looked in the mirror either, but then they are men aren’t they? They receive very little judgement about their looks, and are able to play young boyfriends when they are 85.
It seems like some form of boycotting is needed. Not just because they shouldn’t be controlling what women eat, wear, and look like, but because the film industry is such a major area of culture and society, that their control trickles down into other societal domains such as magazines, television, and the internet. At least these days, most intelligent young girls are aware that models are not like most regular women, but the film industry rolls out movie after movie that contains stick-thin actresses that don’t look particularly happy, and often seem contrived because they have been made to be obsessed with their looks and not the content of the script. Most movie-goers can see through it, so what’s the point? Wouldn’t it make more sense to just have regular-shaped women who are wonderful actresses, probably just as they had been before they were depreciated by some patriarchal bully who gets his kicks out of controlling what women eat and look like? Twisted, if you ask me. It’s a bit like when someone puts on an accent – they lose most of the authenticity of the character because they are concentrating so hard on getting the acting right – very tiresome, but that’s a whole other weird distortion in modern cinema.
Anyway, many young women aspire to be like or look like their favourite actresses, so without wanting to say that they have a responsibility to stand up to these male patriarchs, the male patriarchs have a responsibility not to mistreat impressionable young actresses. At least there more and more female led production companies or feminist production companies that are paving a way for women-loving women to help women in the industry rather than denigrate them.
Unless required for a character that is meant to look angular and bony, I believe that weight and shape should never come into discussion. I understand that because female actresses want or need the work they cannot always turn down work, but it is affecting young women directly or indirectly, as they look up to successful actresses. If a woman wants to lose weight or chooses to have a slimmer, even skinny, figure that is up to them, but the control of male directors and producers who in turn control many agents has to stop. No one should tell someone else that they are too large or too heavy, especially when it doesn’t really make a difference to their acting, and in fact most women would like to see more curvy-shaped women on screen.