When Octiavia Spencer won a SAG award for her role in The Help, we wondered whether the next big win would be an Oscar. But many news outlets took advantage of a hastily earned soundbite to emphasize the actress’ weight “problems” and how many pairs of Spanx she wears underneath her evening gowns. She posted a message on her Facebook page clarifying where she stands on the issue and making it clear that weight is nowhere near the guiding force in her life. Some excerpts:
After being honored by my Guild on Sunday, I was whisked to the Press Room where one of the first questions I was asked (by Ted Casablanca) was ‘what I felt about underweight women’. (I’m paraphrasing here) I’m thinking….this is relevant because… Then I started thinking, would these questions ever be asked of my male counterparts? Better yet, underweight actors or actresses? Nah, I don’t think so!
Anyway, I answer: “Women would be alot happier if they ate…However, it is society that has told them and continues to tell them that you are less valued if you are of a certain age, or weight…something has to change. ” I began that by addressing my own weight issue..”Granted I’m not at the healthiest weight because when you are heavier around the middle…” blah blah blah. YOu get it. The next thing I read, Octavia Spencer is WORRIED ABOUT HER WEIGHT…. OCTAVIA SPENCER FEELS SHE IS LESS VALUED BECAUSE OF HER WEIGHT…
Spencer went to explain how “miffed” she was at the misrepresentation and that while she takes her health seriously and is actually quite healthy, we should all remember that loving yourself in spite of society is key.
Now hopefully having cleared up the constantly tweeted, and blogged about “I am less valuable because of my weight” MISQUOTES attributed to me, I want to touch on the real issue here. The weight obsessed media is destroying not only us but our children! Our culture is at the precipice of redifining who we are. Right now in this salacious age of the internet coupled with the “beauty and fashion” industries respectively ONLY promoting a “certain” kind of pretty, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in bullying, eating disorders and body dysmorphia among MALE and female teens. This is no joking matter.
I love her for boldly speaking out about such blatant reduction of her existence to a mere overweight woman. A SAG award is a huge accomplishment and it’s disgusting (yet not surprising) that a reporter would address her weight before anything else. This is a 41 year old woman who has paid her dues in the industry and looks fantastic doing it. Her burgeoning career should be the only focus.
Read more of her note here.