A Weighty Issue In Hollywood

September 11, 2017

Image: The Sydney Morning Herald

Another day and another body shaming incident, this time in its birthplace of Hollywood. Just recently British actress Gemma Arterton revealed on a podcast by The Guilty Feminist the terrible remarks she received while on the set of one of her movies. Where a producer considered Gemma’s weight an emergency and flew out a personal trainer straight away to ‘fix’ the problem.

Gemma was understandably shocked at the comment, “You know when it’s like ‘Is it that f—ing bad that I need an emergency?’ … [it was as if they were] like on speed dial, ‘Get that trainer out here now’. It was so traumatic at the time.”

“They’d measure me and they’d call up the personal trainer at like nine at night going: ‘Is she in the gym? And if she isn’t why isn’t she in the gym?”

One of her producers also told her not to eat some dried apricots on set, to which she responded with, “Do you know what? I’m going to eat about all 20 [apricots], then I’m going to go home and eat all the stuff in the mini bar.”

An ongoing and demoralising issue that is always cropping up throughout film sets and on red carpets, the continuous pressure is setting more absurd standards and creating more body hatred and insecurities. Words can actually hurt and can impact a person’s mindset and their perspectives on themselves, creating unhealthy fixations. Considering that these comments are made in such an environment like Hollywood where you are judged wholly on your looks, it makes unwarranted comments like these so detrimental.

Game of Throne’s star Sophie Turner spoke to the magazine Porter about the unfairness of the constant judgement last month, “I was consumed with thoughts on weight and the idea that you have to be skinny to be an actress, and that I wasn’t skinny enough to get jobs.”

“There are times when I have done jobs and they’ve told me that I have to lose weight, even when it has nothing to do with the character:  It is so f—– up.”

By having more actresses share their own experiences, this can hopefully become a starting point for change in the industry, it may be gradual at first but any progress is worthwhile and can help towards installing a greater sense of acceptance. From that, change can be affected beyond the narrow minds of Hollywood and out into the broader population.

By Emily Facoory

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