How Fat is Too Fat for Hollywood?

Not exactly fat?

Not exactly fat?

Dr. Robyn Silverman

We all know that the window into the hyper-critical, ultra-sensationalized world of the famous and the “becoming famous” is getting smaller still.  But it’s always surprising to see just how tight the mold is that you must “fit” in order to “fit in.”

This young actress had a meeting with a casting director from LA with the hopes of landing a role.

“Without a glance at my head-shot or resume, and not even a decent introduction, this stranger looks at me, all 5 feet and 2 inches, 125 pounds of me and says, “You need to lose twenty or gain thirty because where you are right now, I can’t do anything with you.”

The young actress was a little shaken by the information as well as a bit confused. Not wanting to be rude, she asked; “Can you elaborate on that?”

To which she replied,

“Your face says ingenue but it wouldn’t quite work, and I can’t put you as fat best friend because you’re not *exactly* fat.” (— Katy, Broadway)

Have we gone mad? Not exactly fat?

Shall we see how *fat* this actress really is?  And how small the window into Hollywood acting really is?

BMI Categories:

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight = 25-29.9
  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

This young actress has a BMI of 22.9. Of course under-scoring that even if the medical community is telling a girl that her weight is “normal,” Hollywood says it’s not good enough.  And, Hollywood is conveying that in order to be one of the “chosen” ones, you must fit their mold.  I mean, who ever heard of an ingenue having a BMI over 19.2? That would be…a travesty of outrageous proportions…pun intended. If the average size of an American woman is a 14, why do all ingenues need to be a size 0? Of course, we can simply have out Hollywood starlets continue to waste away.

Note: The casting director wants her to have a BMI of around 19.2 in order to be “acceptable” as the ingenue and around 28.3 to be considered for the fat best friend.

What do you think? Outraged? Annoyed? Frustrated? Fair? Don’t care?

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11 Responses

  1. It is a bit crazy to think about this, especially since the new photos of the 90210 stars came out. They are emaciated and do not look healthy at all. Problem is, people look at this as what everyone in the world should look like (myself included) and therefore go to extremes to get down to the correct ‘size’ for society. I would love to lose 10 lbs, but I am sure once I do so…I will want to lose more. Its an unhealthy way to live, but society has ingrained in us what we SHOULD look like to be happy and accepted and sexy. Men also add to this by expecting only the best looking body to entertain him. hmph.

  2. HI Kristin!

    I think we all suffer from “body envy” when it comes to the Hollywood celebs and yet, when we think about it, it’s a complete farce. Funny, you said that men want women to look really thin– but they’ve found that that’s simply not true– just a female perception. Can you believe that? See this article.

    Thanks for coming by and commenting! Come back again!

    Dr. Robyn

  3. The sign the young women is wearing states “fat actress looking for work” if you ask me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with her. When the word fat is brought to my attention the image that comes to my mind is an obese person. The women above has the body that some women dream of, but because Hollywood only accepts those of the “perfect body” type and makes it seem like its the only way to get to the top, men and women are forced to change.

    I think society and the media have engraved an image of perfection into the minds of those who look to the media for what they should look like. The image being placed in our minds is, skinny and flawless. The real world is far fom that and personally I would expect for those being put out there to represent the “ideal body” to be short, fat, thin, tall, pretty or not, it shouldnt matter.

  4. How does ‘nausiated’ sound?

    People tell me I have ‘loveable pudge’ but I’m not quite fat…according to what you’re saying here, I’d be obese to them. I’m deffinitly not obese…and I hate (and sometimes slap) girls that are her size saying that they’re too fat. Not that I’d slap her, but girls her size that freak out about it are obnoxious. They already straighten their hair until it looks so dead and unnatural and starve themselves and all those sick things…Because of this mold they’ve grown up with (they CLAIM that it doesn’t affect them…but if we watch their lives it’s obvious that it has). I’m really sick of Hollywood…they just seem to always ask for almost-anorexic-looking (apparently anorexia has become a ‘look’ now, but that’s the easiest way for me to describe it…) or obese-looking these days…

    Did they always do that though? (I don’t think it was always as bad as it is now…but to compare the decades, who knows?)

  5. Yes– the woman above has a beautiful body and is certainly extremely normal looking. That’s the problem– normal, in this case, is not “OK.” It has become “normal” to diet, “feel fat,” and gaze at celebrities and think “I’m supposed to be like them.” It’s only natural since the media and the feedback we receive supports these delusions. Who said “perfect” is not THIS woman– why does media get to decide who is “perfect.” It’s come to a point where perfect only exists with smoke, mirrors, and a side of computer retouching.

    Thanks for dropping by– come again!

    Dr. Robyn

  6. Interestingly, things have evolved dramatically over the last 100 years. What is beautiful has changed sizes. That’s right– thin was not always in!

    A few decades before the 20th century, young women actually weighed themselves because they were concerned about looking too thin! The “celebs” back then were curvaceous– like Lillian Russell, who boasted bust-waist-hip measurements of 36-26-38 and a weight of 200 pounds. Things changed with corseting and then again with World War 1, the Great Depression, and other land mark times.

    We started to get into trouble with Twiggy– in the 1950s.

    If you track Playboy centerfolds over the years, they’ve gotten thinner– as did the Miss America contestants.

    Thanks for coming by– please come back again!

    Dr. Robyn

  7. I came across this randomly. It is sickening how women, including myself, put themselves down and feel they must fit into size 0 jeans to be attractive. I am 19 and weigh between 200 and 195 pounds. If I looked like this girl, I would be euphoric! But I probably never will. And I am ok with that. I am ok with just being healthy and having more energy. I am lucky to have already found a man who loves me for me instead of my body. But I have been turned away by guys in the past because of my weight. I have been completely ignored, called names, patronized, told how I should be living my life by complete strangers. One of my former friends was tiny. She had an almost “perfect” body, just not perfectly toned, if there is such a thing. She was constantly trying to lose weight. Every time she would say something, I’d tell her I was going to slap her. Here I was struggling to lose weight for my health, and she was complaining about her weight! It’s horrible.

    Women, again- including myself, need to remember that we are beautiful for more than what we see in the mirror. We are more than a dress size.

  8. I think it’s just ridiculous…either way. Why can’t you have a “fat” ingenue? Hollywood seriously needs to start thinking outside the box if they hope to re-gain an audience.

  9. […] basic standards now for actresses are more draconian than ever, as a 2008 dialog with a casting director and an actress […]

  10. […] basic standards now for actresses are more draconian than ever, as a 2008 dialog with a casting director and an actress […]

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