The Casting Couch

The Casting Couch

Monday, March 26, 2007

Our Weight Problem

"I've been told that if I'd lose weight I'd have more work, but I refuse to submit myself to those standards. To the rest of the world, I'm slim, and I like the way I am."

"I don't have a weight problem and I never have, and just because I don't starve myself and I'm not a size four at 5'10" doesn't mean that I have a weight problem."
--Liv Tyler

I chose to include these two quotes from actress Liv Tyler to make a point regarding weight diversity within the movies and television industries. I previously commented on the amount of flack casting directors have gotten for not casting differing ethnicities, ages, etc. However, in the grand scheme of things, little is said about WEIGHT diversity. This is a topic that causes me a great deal of concern. Sure sure, everyone is always commenting on how skinny actresses and models are getting these days. But even still, there are just as many gossip columnists pointing out the slight imperfections in the far less than fat others, like the one magazine editor that went so far as to ask Liv Tyler about her "weight problem" and provoke the above quote. Weight problem, really? If someone as GORGEOUS as her, as THIN as her, and as TALENTED as her is being asked about their "weight problem" and passed over for roles, then what hope is there for everyone else? There are plenty of other talented and attractive actresses out there that aren't a size 4 (and even some size 4's are considered "not quite thin enough.") And yet, they're being passed by simply because they don't fit the mold of what we feel like they should look like. Who set the bar at Zero? At Anorexic. At Exercise Fanaticism. At Salads. At Lemonade Diets. For most women, this look cannot be achieved through healthy means, and yet we perpetuate it. For the lucky few that are blessed with a speedy metabolism and small bones, congrats. You're one step ahead of the pack. For everyone else, I'm sorry. I only hope that we can all make a push to cast diversity of all kinds, including weight. As I said before, it is the responsibility of everyone involved in movies and television to try to accurately represent the world that we live in...and that world is certainly not made of stick figures. I mean really...Is it so impossible to think that an average sized woman could be a fantastic actress? When did unnaturally tiny become the industry standard by which we all subscribe?

**PS**--I just saw "Reign on Me" and my love and adoration for Liv Tyler has been completely reinvigorated. Such a beautiful and talented actress, truly.

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