I was not represented anywhere in the media, unless there was the fat kid that everyone was making fun of. Doesn't exactly give a young fat-kid much hope for herself. While the media has made some strides forward with the acceptance of plus-sized celebrities, I had a hard time finding the following 5 ladies. I originally wanted to do a Top 10, but I couldn't find 10.
My criteria might have been stringent, but I don't think overmuch.
- I was looking for women who are plus-sized, and I don't just mean a size 12 (at 6 feet tall). I wanted plus. Christina Hendricks didn't make the cut. Although she is curvy, and not a twig, she's not what I consider plus.
- I wanted to find celebrities that were relevant, in today's media.
- They had to still be plus; being plus-sized had to be a big part of their current identity (that's why you don't see Jennifer Hudson, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Jessica Simpson and some others). I don't fault them for losing their weight or anything, but they aren't people that chubby little girls can look at and say "I can be pretty, fashionable and fat, all at the same time."
- Women who the average person would recognize There are some plus models that mighta made this list, but they aren't going to be recognized by most people as anything other than a pretty plus-sized girl.
So, here are the women that I think curvy/fat/thick/Rubenesque/chubby/rotund/portly women can look at as something to aspire to.
*Disclaimer: I do not own these images. Obvs. I am not a Hollywood photographer. My sense of propriety compels me to make that clear. I should have, but didn't dig to see who owned these shots when I was Googling them. A lot of them I got from Just Jared, but I doubt that he owns them either.*
So, in not particular order, here are the ladies that make me hate myself a little bit less:
You probably first saw her in Bridesmaids (where you will have seen another on this list). In that, I think that she was kind of a fat caricature, because she was kind of a joke (getting a tattoo from some guy on the street) and she did not look her best. Actually, come to think of it, I think Judd Apatow might be a bit of an asshole...both of the plus-sized actresses in his movie were made a joke. Well, OK, all the women in the movie were made a joke of a bit. Hell, the men too. OK, I'll get off my chubby highhorse.
She's also more recently been in Pitch Perfect, and she's going to be on the upcoming movie Pain & Gain. She's doing all right, and she is being seen. Which is the whole point.
Which brings us to our next on the list. Melissa McCarthy was also in Bridesmaids. I don't know about you, but I first saw her on Gilmore Girls. She's got a new movie out called Identity Thief in which she is the title character. Pretty good for a plus-sized lady, who are typically relegated to the-lovable-best-friend-role. Haven't seen the movie, so I'm not sure if they are going to even get close to a romantic role, but wouldn't it be nice to see a plus-sized woman be a romantic lead?
It appears as though her character is a bit of a caricature, with the crazy hair, makeup, and clothes, but, on the red carpet, she looks fantastic!
Glee. Huge. SO many people have seen Glee. Which means that so many people have seen Amber Riley, better known as Mercedes. Although she isn't really figuring much in this season of Glee, she has had high visibility. I wish, more than you can know, that Glee had been on when I was a kid.
See, I can sing a little bit. I wish now, that I had made different choices in my life, and maybe pursued a career in something that would have had some singing involved. But, when I was a kid, there were no chubby people in showbiz, so I didn't even try. I didn't think that there was a chance that I could make it. Perhaps I wouldn't have anyway (maybe I am like one of those people on American Idol who think they can sing, when really they can't) but at least I would have tried. Now I'll never know.
Amber Riley might be my favourite on this list, because not only was she a prominent figure on Glee, she always looked nicely put together, she had a storyline (or 2) where she was actually the girl with the boyfriend, or love interest. I mean shit, Sam had a crush on her. Trouty Mouth is pretty attractive. Chubby girls all over the world saw that there was no reason why that couldn't be them too.
Gabourey was in it. She's had a lot of visibility, and now I love her as the character of Andrea Jackson on the show The Big C. She's been in a few things, like Seven Psychopaths (haven't yet seen it, though I want to). But she's out there, and she is seen, and she is on the red carpets.