This is the first of a series of body image articles I plan on writing. My New Year’s resolution is to be bolder, so I have decided it is time to put my writing out there, to be more open and vulnerable, and to share my insights with you. Thanks for reading – I hope I can inspire a change of mind in anyone who is struggling with their own body image – and this goes for all sizes, big and small. Please share and comment as you see fit. 1/12/14. Lisa Loperfido. @itsa_Lisa
Welcome to 2014, a year where we’ve finally learned to embrace who we are. Or at least getting closer to it. Where the best TV shows are no longer about the young and the beautiful, but more about the reality of life being hard, and self acceptance within it.
The top shows that come to mind are Mindy Kaling’s “The Mindy Project,” Lena Dunham’s “GIRLS,” and Rebel Wilson’s “Super Fun Night.” What do these three shows have in common? They are comedies that poke fun at the reality of life being difficult and awkward. They are sit-coms that follow the lives of 20-somethings as they battle love, career, friendship, and belonging in New York City. There is one more similarity you might have noticed: each show’s director also stars in the series, and yes, the directors are also curvy ladies. Beautiful curvy ladies.
Their weight, while used as a point of humor and a springboard for self-deprecation, is an undeniable truth that helps steer the show in a direction that 2014 is proud to embrace. Or so it should be.
Mindy Kaling, director and star of the Mindy Project, is an adorable curvy Indian girl. And while the show is mainly a sit-com starring Kaling and her New York Medical office co-workers, there’s also a few weight insecurities that surface. In a recent episode she admits to never being naked in front of a man, but the episode resolves in a man telling her she’s beautiful and would be even more so if she would stop “sucking it in.” In a quick scene we see a shot of her back, her back looked hot. Kaling also wears a fresh face of makeup, and really cute, feminine, office-appropriate clothes. The first thing you notice about her is definitely not her weight. Instead you see a hilarious Indian girl, and a hot doctor. While she thinks weight is an issue, weight really should not be an issue. Put plainly, she’s gorgeous.
Same goes for Lena Dunham. I am behind on my viewing of Girls so for fear of sounding like a fool I am only going to state very generic facts. 1. Hannah (Dunham’s character) is not afraid of being naked. 2. If Dunham is ok with her weight, than you should be too. As The Daily Beast puts it: Hate Lena Dunham’s Naked Body? Show us yours. She also wears flirty little dresses, rompers, and clothes that show she doesn’t care what others think, which exudes confidence, because what others think should not matter. From what I’ve seen in tabloids, it is very clear that Dunham looks good on and off the red carpet.
And then there’s our newest star, Rebel Wilson. Brought to light by her aloof role as the roommate in Bridesmaids, stealing the show in Pitch Perfect, and now starring in her own sit-com: Super Fun Night. Wilson’s character Kimmy, is a heavy lawyer facing the daily struggles of life and sit-com worthy affairs. But what I really want to discuss here is her style. Yes, she’s fat, but so what? She wears fun challenging clothes that look good on her because she wears them with confidence. Rebel Wilson and her TV character, posses a bold heroism, the will to succeed and the desire to have a good time… to have a “super fun night.” Her strength to keep pushing, aside from the bashing she gets from others, is motivational. Kimmy uses clever jokes and a bubbling personality to stand out, she also mocks that her boobs are supremely larger than her skinny costar’s, a battle the bigger girl will always win. Kimmy always looks great by styling herself well and taking fashion risks, but what also stands out is her personable charm. By merely being herself she achieves. Do I sound like an American Girl ad or what? But her attitude really is inspiring. Take notes people.
The point that we see trending here is that we are all girls, and we are all fighting similar battles. While the hilarious and curvaceous directors mentioned above are all writing a similar script to a similar story that speaks to our generation, we can conclude something very important: Looks are OUT, character is IN. What I mean is, these shows are not becoming hits because the cast is made up of Size 00 American Sweethearts (who can also be beautiful and full of character!), but these shows are becoming hits because the cast is GORGEOUS, FUNNY and INTELLIGENT. Their size is completely irrelevant, which makes me proud to be a part of a generation where we can enjoy this kind of entertainment, the kind where you don’t have to look a certain way to be accepted.
Ok so these are just TV shows produced by a team of highly paid professionals, but you can still take their lessons to heart in real life. Remember to be yourself, embrace who you are throughout your daily struggles. Let your own beautiful character shine. No matter what size you are dress for you, be confident, and rock what you’ve got! This is your life, if you’ve been stressing about the pounds (statistics prove that over 80% of you have) than stop! When you embrace your weight and the body you were born with you’ll find life will feel a lot lighter.
I am young 140 pound woman living in the highly judgemental sand trap of Southern California. I believe in living a happy and healthy life, but above all being yourself. I began writing this article as encouragement for myself to resist from obsessing over “the ideal figure” what is ideal anyways? It became something worth sharing. The final takeaway: strive to seek out beauty in everything and do what makes you happy. More on this subject coming soon.