©2017 BY ANNE AND KATHLEEN

A few questions I have been dying to ask for a lot of years:

July 6, 2017

Why can't plus-sized women who are cast in movies just play women in movies instead of always being type-casted as a plus-sized woman in a movie? 

 

Why do movies with plus-sized women always have to talk about the fact that their character is plus-sized, or why is she the quirky girl, or the funny girl?

 

Why are a lot (most?) of the leading women in movies below the average body weight of American women?

 

 

Why is the average woman barely represented in movies because let's be real, Hollywood's idea of average- or plus-sized is casting the beautiful and thin Mae Whitman as Bianca in "The Duff" which is supposed to be about a "thicker" (or whatever adjective you use to describe an average or plus-sized body) teenage girl who ends up getting the guy (sorry for the spoiler). 

 

I have always thought this growing up. I just never understood why women or girls in movies never looked like I did or looked like the women around me. I mean, even moms in movies didn't look like the moms in my life. Not just that they were always skinny, but they were always so put together. I mean my mom is wonderful and amazing and everything that is right in the world, but she never wore a bra let alone jeans and tees all day everyday. She, and so many of my friends' moms, lived in baggie tshirts from their husbands and athletic shorts when they were home.

 

On the other hand, I think the small screen has done a rather okay job as of late.

 

We all had "Rosanne" in the 90s. While I never liked that show, it was a show about the average family. It showed the everyday struggles.

 

I love the show "This is Us" because it brought us Kate and Toby and we all get to see a show that highlights a woman and a man who are not skinny as main characters of a show. However, a part of me still wonders, why can't Chrissy Metz play Kate just be a sibling struggling with the loss of her dad as a woman, not a plus-sized woman who is struggling with the loss of her dad? Does that make sense? 

 

And I never did watch "Mike and Molly," so I'm not sure if that show represented the characters just as characters instead of focusing on their weight and those sorts of things.

 

I have to believe having these two shows recently, especially one as big as TIU, means we are getting somewhere. We are realizing that women, and men, who are average or above the average body weight need to have representation. One of my biggest hopes is to see a female lead who is plus-sized--not just a size 12 to 16 but even someone who is size 18 and up-- casted as a woman in a lead role because of her ability to act, not her body type.

 

And hello, can a plus-sized woman please have a hot husband, boyfriend, love interest?! Anyone remember Mark Consuelos in "Beautiful Girl"????  Yummmmm...

 

I realize there will always be the people out there who say plus-sized women shouldn't get the job because they aren't sexy enough or beautiful, but I feel as though one of the biggest reasons they say those things and have those feelings is because it hasn't been seen very often. When things are new and out of the norm, there are always skeptics. I remember when skinny jeans became super popular in high school. I was never going to buy a pair because they were ugly, but as time went on and I saw them more and more, I realized they weren't as ugly as I thought. I wasn't used to them. They were just different. Now, are skinny jeans and plus-sized women the same? No, not even on the same scale, but I hope you get my point.

 

The more average- or plus-sized women are  seen in movies and in ads and represented to the public, the less stigma there will be. The less stigma, the less pressure women will feel to fit into certain molds and the less harm they will cause to themselves. And to be honest, I feel like the less pressure people put on themselves to lose weight, hopefully just for health reasons (which I feel is really the only valid argument), the easier it will become to do so. 

 

If you can think of movies that have plus-sized women in lead roles or even supporting roles (with a bigger part in the movie) who aren't in those roles because of their weight, please send them to me! I would love to watch them!

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