Monday, January 30, 2012
It's that time of year again. When every week seems to bring another show of awards for the movies of the prior year. Those of us at home critique the choice of winners and the appearance of everyone on the red carpet. This year, the Best Supporting Actress winner at the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards was Octavia Spencer. She is not a skinny starlet. She is overweight. Last night she talked about that.
"I am not healthy at this weight," Spencer, 39, told People Magazine backstage at the SAG awards. "Any time you have too much around the middle, then there is a problem. [And] when you reach a certain weight, you are less valuable." She went on to talk about how sizeism affect everyone. “I feel for the overly thin women as much as I do for the overweight women,” she said. “It ... has to change." Here is her advice, "If more women ate, they would be a lot happier. Let me tell you, I am a lot grumpier when I don't eat."
I think she's right on every point she made. I think we need to stop equating a woman's value to her measurements. We also need to stop equating beautiful with skinny. Eating helps regulate serotonin, so if you don't eat, you will be grumpier. This does not mean you have to eat to excess, or eat unhealthful foods. You can eat a well-balanced diet in an amount that keeps your weight at a healthy level. You can also continue or increase your exercise levels to keep your weight healthy.
I have said this before, but it bears repeating: We should all be striving to be strong and healthy. That will not look the same for everyone because of genes, but that should be the goal.
UPDATE: The stories seem to have gotten it wrong. She was asked about the skinny starlets, so she talked about her weight. Her goal is to be healthier in the body she has, not diet down to some number that is much smaller. For us all to "Be Happy in Our Own Skin" Read her whole take on this issue.