Body positivity, fat shaming and body shaming are hot topics these days, with “curvier” celebs often being the spokespeople for such discussion since they don’t fit into the typical petite Hollywood mold. While the ideal body type has changed with the times, the idea of thin being “in” has been the same for a while, going back to the 60s and 70s with supermodel Twiggy, being the face (quite literally) of this. This was taken to more of an extreme in the 90s, à la Kate Moss, with a stick-thin body type and lack of curves (the more protruding bones the better) seen as attractive. Pamela Anderson’s time on Baywatch ushered in the new wave of big bosoms.
Popular celebrities of the time clearly front much of what the masses consider to be ideal at the time. Hence, Kim Kardahsian for example, has resurrected the ‘50s body ideal of the busty hourglass figure similar to Marilyn Monroe. The trend of 2015, then, is skinny, with a tiny waist, big butt and thigh gap, all-in-one. Waist trainers and booty workouts are all the rage these days. However, this body type is increasingly harder to attain because the average BMI of women is increasing. Liposuction is often the only means to remove extra thigh fat because most women are not born with it, according to plastic surgeon, Dr. Stephen J. Greenberg.
If you want to see the extent of just how much the media has seriously warped our brains, read this list. We might not even realize that we identify a very “normal” looking celebrity body as overweight simply based on Hollywood’s injection of skinny celebs into our culture. As a reference point, the average weight of the American woman today is 166.2 pounds, while the American man is 195.5 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Similarly, the average BMI for women is 28.7 and 28.6 for men – this means that the average American man and woman are overweight, but not obese.
10. Mariah Carey
With all of the photoshopping that Mariah Carey is privy to, perhaps it is surprising she actually has a very average body since she always looks so thin. Wait – she can’t fool us. Magazines went wild with headlines that Mariah Carey was gorging on pizza and ice cream after her divorce, which may have contributed to those articles claiming that Mariah’s weight has been on a steady rise over the years. Although she may be curvier than the majority of what is depicted on television, Mariah Carey actually has a very normal (and healthy) figure, despite what you see in those unflattering paparazzi pictures where she’s caught unexpectedly.
9. Nathan Fillion
“Why does Nathan Fillion look so fat on Castle?” “Isn’t Nathan Fillion too fat to play a superhero?” Welcome to the Internet. It seems Nathan Fillion’s apparent weight gain has been a discussion topic among “fans,” with some even claiming that it’s not conceivable anymore that he would play a leading man on television. While Nathan Fillion hasn’t specifically addressed these statements (i.e. he hasn’t been the face of any weight loss tip articles), and body statistic sites are difficult to locate, it is safe to say that despite the weight gain, Nathan Fillion is still very much representative of the “average” (although some might say more handsome than average) man.
8. Khloe Kardashian
The Kardashians have a long list of pending offences against them, and Khloe Kardashian’s weight is one of them. She is often seen as, in her own words, the “fat” sister. Even before she recently made headlines for her drastic weight loss (not necessarily because she finally succumbed to the media’s attacks, but because she began to see fitness as a form of therapy), she was still, even then, very normal. Today, while she might have a more bootylicious backside, she is just a healthier -while still very normal – version of her past self. According to Khloe, “It’s not about fitting someone else’s standards.” We couldn’t agree more.
7. Ricky Gervais
Exact body statistics of Gervais are hard to track down, which is evidence of the different pressures put upon men and women, body wise. You would be hard pressed not to find body statistics of Gervais’s female equivalent. Regardless, Gervais is another male that people consider to be a little heavier compared to the rest of his male Hollywood counterparts. While he recently lost weight (magazines love those articles with weight loss tips), he, luckily for him, claimed he didn’t lose weight because of Hollywood but for himself. Perhaps an unexpected side effect of his weight loss was, as he said: “Now I’ve got to stop making jokes about fat people, which is annoying. When I was fat, it was okay.” Even before his twenty-something pound weight loss, Gervais had always had a very average body type.
6. Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence has built her brand around the idea of being the “ugly duckling,” based on her role in The Hunger Games. She has spoken about having to lose weight for roles, with someone bringing in pictures of herself nearly naked to use as motivation to lose weight. On the topic of her body, she said, “In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress, I’m Val Kilmer in that one picture on the beach.” Indeed, she is photoshopped whenever she is on the cover of any magazine to make her look thinner and is definitely on the list of most photoshopped celebs. However, Lawrence has a healthy and very normal body.
5. Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer, stand-up comedian, seems to have gotten popular overnight, now the writer and star of the Blockbuster hit, Trainwreck. In fact, she has risen to Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015. She recently posed nude and posted it on Twitter with the caption: “Beautiful, gross, strong, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, sexy, disgusting, flawless, woman. Thank you.” Talking about Hollywood’s standards, she has said that, “I feel like I went underground with this story on Hollywood, and I’m coming out, ‘OK here’s what’s going on: No one’s just naturally thin. Everyone’s starving.’” Nevertheless, with a BMI of 25.5, Amy very much represents the every-day woman.
Discussions involving Oprah and weight are as synonymous as peanut butter and jelly. It seems like Oprah is always trying to lose a few extra pounds and is perpetually on a diet. She has discussed how her weight has consumed her life to the point where, when she sees a picture of herself, she doesn’t think about the experience itself, but her weight and size, because that’s how she views herself – “through the prisms of numbers.” She has since claimed that she’s “given up scale-watching – letting a number determine how I see myself and whether I’m worthy of a good day.” And again, “Who I am, who you are…we’re not our bodies or the image we hold of them.”
3. Mindy Kaling
Who doesn’t love Mindy Kaling? Sadly, she often takes to calling herself “a chubby Indian girl” in interviews, perhaps mocking herself before anyone else has the chance to. However, while she often calls herself chubby, she has said: “You know what’s funny? If I call myself a cute, chubby girl, the natural kind woman’s response is, ‘You’re not chubby! You’re beautiful! And thin!’ And I always want to hug the person and say, ‘It’s OK, I identify as someone who is cute and chubby – that doesn’t mean I’m not worthy of love and attention and intimacy.” Nevertheless, at 5’4 and 143 pounds, she is yet again a normal and healthy weight – not overweight, despite, on Conan, claiming to make late night McDonald’s runs a couple of times a week (we have to admire her candidacy – not too many would admit to that).
2. Seth Rogen
Seth Rogen is often dubbed the “lovable, funny guy,” with good reason. However, he often stands out amongst other male actors in Hollywood simply because of his build. He is one of the few male celebrities making headlines due to his weight – either because he supposedly dropped thirty pounds or because he looks like he’s gaining weight. He is the perfect candidate for the perfect “before and after” fodder that is so popular these days. In 2009, he succumbed to Hollywood’s beauty standards and lost 40 pounds to play the leading man in The Green Hornet. On the topic, Rogen said, “I feel like a sell out, I feel lame, I feel like a guy I would make fun of.’ Regardless, Rogen is very representative of the typical Joe Blow on the street.
1. Lena Dunham
Say what you want about Lena Dunham, writer and director of HBO’s Girls, but you can’t say that she isn’t opening up a way for “different” types of women’s bodies to be depicted on television. That is a good thing. Although she has received a lot of hate for parading her “disgusting” body on the show (she even no longer manages her Twitter account due to the amount of negativity regarding her body), Lena Dunham is, in fact, perhaps coming as a surprise to some, a very normal body type (5’3 and 139 pounds). That is a normal, healthy BMI, people. How has Hollywood distorted our brains so much that we think otherwise?