It's not unusual for women in show business, whether it be acting, singing, dancing, or modeling, to be told they're too fat for success. Actually, it's not unusual for women anywhere to be told to lose weight. It happens to women of all sizes, even women who are currently size twos and probably couldn't get any skinnier if they ate nothing but air for a week. So here are nine people (surprise! Mostly women) who were told they had to drop a few pounds. Or 50.
1. Ashley Graham
Model Ashley Graham was on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue this year, making her the first plus-sized model to ever grace the cover of the magazine. Then again, Ashley Graham is the most successful plus-sized model in the world, so she's probably going to have a lot more "firsts" on her resume. But that doesn't mean she doesn't get told she should lose weight. In an interview with People, Graham said:
I had agencies telling me that I had to lose weight. I had one that waved money in my face and said, "If you lose more 'lb's" – pounds – you can make a lot more of this,' and he was waving $20 bills in my face.
Waving $20 bills? Like an exotic dancer for weight loss? Was she supposed to eat them? She added:
That wasn't even a motivator for me to lose weight. I was peaking at a size 18, and in the plus size fashion industry, models go from a size 8 to a size 16/18. So if you're on the smaller size or the bigger size, you're not going to work as much as if you're in the middle. So he was trying to encourage me to lose weight but it didn't work, because I was that person where if you told me to go on a diet and lose weight, I'm just going to gain weight.
2. Ashley Benson
Ashley Benson apparently once lost a role in Pretty Little Liars for being too heavy. Hello, she is a size two. Who do they want for these roles, broomsticks with wigs? (No broom-shaming meant to any actual Hollywood brooms—you just keep doing you.) In an interview with Health, Benson said:
It's come up a few times in the last few years, like, 'You're too fat for this.' And I'm just sitting here like, "Wait, what? Do you want a skeleton?" But I feel good. I don't want to lose 20 pounds, because I don't need to. I get told all the time to lose weight. There was a point where it was getting to where a size two was great. I'm a size two, but I think that size four is healthy. I think that all of these sizes are healthy.
3. Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence has been outspoken about Hollywood's obsession with rail-thin bodies (but your girl J. Law's been outspoken about most things, so that's not shocking). In a 2014 interview with Harper's Bazaar U.K., discussing the last time someone made her cry, she said:
I was young. It was just the kind of shit that actresses have to go through. Somebody told me I was fat, that I was going to get fired if I didn’t lose a certain amount of weight. They brought in pictures of me where I was basically naked, and told me to use them as motivation for my diet.
There's no way that bullshit would fly now, though. "If anybody even tries to whisper the word 'diet,' I'm like, 'You can go f*ck yourself.'"
4. Carrie Fisher
In an interview with Good Housekeeping, Carrie Fisher revealed that she was told she had to lose at least 35 pounds to play Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Because apparently the real Leia wouldn't age like a normal human woman.
They don’t want to hire all of me—only about three-quarters! Nothing changes: it’s an appearance-driven thing. I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say get younger, because that’s how easy it is.
5. Mark Hamill
Okay, TO BE FAIR, Mark Hamill was also told he had to lose weight to reprise his role as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Hamill revealed that he lost 50 pounds on the "if it tastes good, don't eat it" diet.
6. Jennifer Lopez
J. Lo's manager once told her she should lose weight. That person is no longer her manager. While talking to a fan during an Emmys "For Your Consideration" event for her cop show Shades of Blue (because, sure, cops look like Jennifer Lopez), Lopez explained her reaction to news that she had to drop some pounds. "I was like, 'No I don’t! If I lose any more weight, it won’t be me.' You know what I mean?" Girl, yes we do.
7. Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt is already pretty thin, but for her role as Anna Wintour's (Meryl Streep's) assistant in The Devil Wears Prada, she was "encouraged" to get even skinnier, only because her character starved herself. She told the LA Times:
I was definitely encouraged to lose weight—not because I was overweight but because I was playing a character who was edge-of-ill thin. She literally doesn’t eat. I couldn’t turn up with love handles, but it wasn’t like doughnuts were snatched out of my hand.
8. Jason Segel
For his movie The Five-Year Engagement (co-starring Emily Blunt), executives suggested that Jason Segel lose at least 35 pounds. They explained that it seemed "unrealistic" that he, as a sort of schlubby guy, would be romantically involved with a hottie like Emily Blunt. Apparently movie executives do not live in the real world. Anyway, Jason agreed to it, got in shape, and lost some poundage. But he maintains that he was perfectly fine with how he looked in the first place.
9. Amy Schumer
While making her movie Trainwreck, which she wrote and starred in and has claimed is semi-autobiographical, movie executives told Amy Schumer she should lose weight. Yes, to play herself. On Live! With Kelly and Michael (RIP, Kelly and Michael), Schumer explained:
"They're like "No more food for you." I'm like, "Don't you need that to live?" They were like, "THAT IS A MYTH!"
So they got her a trainer, and recounts how that went.
And he's like, "Walk me through what you eat in a day," and then he stopped me at noon. And he's like, "I've heard enough." And then I got my new meal plan, which was like a smoothie for breakfast, and then for lunch, you journal about that smoothie. Like, there's no food. That's the Hollywood secret, don't put food in your dumb mouth. That's it. I'm proud to say, though, I did lose 3 pounds. You can have it all!