WARNING: The opinions expressed below are DEFINITELY those of The CoLab Theatre Company! Learn more at www.colabtheatre.org!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Food For Thought


If you're in the industry, it's on your radar.
But why?

Size is something I consider a lot when I'm headed towards an audition. I'm not the skinniest girl in the world, but I'm not that large either. I work hard to stay in shape and maintain my figure as best I can, but I also work 40 hours a week in a restaurant. I don't eat specialty meals prepared by a hired chef to keep me at a size zero for the red carpet. If I work too many doubles in a row, an extra hour of sleep often takes precedent over an extra hour of gym time. And that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

The New York Times published an article this week about actresses and documented instances of public eating or DIPEs. The article discussed America's obsession with wanting to hear about skinny actresses eating high calorie foods. The article suggested several conclusions: Men want to hear about women eating because it's sexy. Women want to hear about it makes famous actresses seem just like them!

But they never touched on the fact that maybe, just maybe, we want to hear about actresses eating burgers and fries because it helps to create an illusion. In this era where we're obsessed with obesity, we look at a glamorous woman with a basket of fried chicken in her hand and we think, "Well, she's skinny and she eats that so I'll be okay if I do so as well." And that's just not true. Everybody's body is different. I'm sure some of those women can eat what they want and stay thin, but they STILL work hard to be fit and toned. As someone who spent the last month getting out of shape and has spent the last week realizing how hard it is to get back into it, it's a lifestyle. It's a mental decision to say, "I'm going to cook healthy and skip dessert some nights and cut down on the drinking. I'm going to work out six days a week, even if it's just for 30 minutes on the elliptical." And knowing how hard it to get into and stay in shape made me a little angry. These women work hard to look the way they do, so why should they have to pretend that they don't? And isn't that sending the wrong message to America, especially to young girls who look up to celebrity figures? Exercise and diet is the key to a healthy lifestyle. And honestly, having a piece of chocolate cake (and I LOVE chocolate cake) every once and a while is way more satisfying that bingeing on it every evening, wouldn't you agree?

The article ends with this quote from former Jezebel editor Anna Holmes, “We would all appreciate it if you had an interview with an actress who says: ‘You know what? It’s my job to be a certain size, and it takes a lot of work for me to do so. I tend to eat very healthy, small portions, but once in a while I splurge,’ I would like to hear that. That it’s not easy.” I agree. Which is probably why I subscribe to SELF and not Cosmo, but the size of the problem continues to stand out to me. I tend to discuss this a lot with people, especially because I used to be hyperaware of my size next to other actresses. Now, although I'm still aware of it, I realize that my size is my size and I can only take care of myself to the best of my ability. I look the way I look, and when that look is right for the part, that's when I'll be called in.

So, I guess my point is this, I'm not a famous actress. (Yet.) I don't have an on-call personal chef or trainer. But I'm keepin' on keepin' on in this body I've got in this business I can't live without. And while I'll discuss the size issue, I'll continue to wonder, why it's more important to know that Jennifer Lawrence always orders eggs benedict when she goes out for breakfast than what it feels like to get an Oscar nod at 20 years old. But, maybe that's just me. Plus, if you wanted to see a good looking girl enjoying a not-so-healthy dish, all you had to do was ask!

1 comment:

  1. You are a beautiful person, inside and out!
    hrmm....i seem to recall wearing a bib just like that one....hehe :)