In our wonderful modern world, we get constantly hammered by the images of emaciated celebrities with their enhanced breasts, talon-like nails and teeth so white you can see them from space. It’s been a long time since I considered any of that beautiful, and yet, without our will, it seems, our eyes are still drawn to these people. Despite our best intentions, somehow, subconsciously, we still admire them for those features, even when we know we shouldn’t. Part of the problem is that there often isn’t any alternative, no member of the ‘beautiful people’ or celebrity genre that bears any resemblance to the person we see in our mirrors.
But there’s hope. With recent changes in attitude about under-weight models (a good change, but even the ok weight models are dreadfully skinny!) there’s been a focus shift to models and celebrities who are ‘real’ sized. There aren’t many out there, but their success shows that it is not only possible to make it, but that there’s an audience out there that thinks these women are beautiful (and talented) as well.
Some of my favourites are:
Camrym Manheim – an actor who’s appeared in many roles as a larger sized woman and has written extensively about weight issues. She wrote and performed a very successful stage show about being big and how people treated her.
I like her because she’s just herself. She’s smart, funny, nobody’s fool and is a damned fine actor. She also looks great and doesn’t wear clothes as though she’s apologising for being big.
Although she’s lost weight in recent years, she’s still what’s called ‘plus size’, and it obviously hasn’t changed anything else about her (for those who worry that losing weight will make them a different person).
Christina Hendricks – come to recent fame in the wonderful series Mad Men.
She is open and unafraid to talk about her weight, and despite the fact that she’s not skinny, has frequently been voted the sexiest woman alive.
While she isn’t what I would call overweight, it’s nice to see curves being appreciated and, for that matter, flaunted. More power to her.
The lead singer of The Gossip, Beth is an outstanding example of a woman who knows who she is and loves it.
She’s been a part of a number of campaigns for positive body image and talks in detail about feminism. She’s also a pretty good singer. I love this picture of her.
In researching this topic, I kept thinking of more and more women who could easily make an appearance on here – which is a fact that thrilled me. I could go on for ages – but I won’t. However, I couldn’t finish this post without one of the most influential and beautiful big women out there:
Dawn French – In one of her most famous roles as the vicar in The Vicar of Dibley, Dawn often spoke about comfort eating, the importance of food, and the difficulties of both being taken seriously as a big person, and to find somebody who would love her as she was.
She has enjoyed tremendous success both as a comedian and as a writer and has never shirked her role as a large woman in the media. Best of all, she’s unafraid to talk about it, which helps those who are to know that they are not alone.
What do you think of these women? Are they role models? Do you have your own favourites?
- Beth Ditto Walks Jean Paul Gaultier Runway (stylelist.com)
- Quotable: Beth Ditto Is Tired Of Being Diagnosed As “Unhealthy” (thefrisky.com)