The Media Maven: Talking About Body Image

By Rachael Smith, Alumna of Radford University

Image courtesy of Keattikorn /

Alongside celebrities like Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence and Mila Kunis, Melissa McCarthy is known to be one of the most-liked women in showbiz because of her "no-shame" acting method, the ability to make an audience laugh and how comfortable she is in her skin.

In McCarthy’s newest film, "The Heat," she co-stars with the talented (and may I even say tiny) Sandra Bullock. A theatrical poster for the film with McCarthy’s face dramatically slimmed down was released in the U.K. recently, sparking some controversy.

The reason this doesn’t make any sense to me is because McCarthy is not a relatively “new” actress. Most everyone can recognize her from her roles in movies such as "Bridesmaids," "‘Identity Thief" and even "Gilmore Girls." Most everyone knows what she looks like, so why try to make her into someone she’s not?

Body image has been an important topic that has been brought up in the media for years now. Both girls and guys look to the people in entertainment for inspiration. Lately, however, many girls have begun to look to people like Jennifer Lawrence as role models. Even though the media has labeled Lawrence as thicker than other young celebs, Lawrence has won over millions with her decision to rise above.

“In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress. I eat like a caveman,” Lawrence told Elle Magazine. “I’ll be the only actress who doesn’t have anorexia rumors! I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I’m invincible. I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner!’”

And then there is also the whole “Marilyn Monroe” debate. Is she someone girls should look to or not? I believe that would be up to you, but here is a Facebook post that went viral on the topic: “What’s up with people always putting up Marilyn Monroe quotes and pictures like she is some sort of role model? Ladies, the woman died of a drug overdose, is remembered for banging a married man, and the person she willed everything to cared so little for her that he didn’t even honor her will. Also, she wasn’t fat. You chubby chicks are clinging to a false idol. You know why she’s on Facebook and girls aren’t quoting Susan B Anthony? Because Monroe looked good in a skirt. That’s right. Ya’ll are just as sexist as men.”

The world is changing, and I believe finding a happy medium of being healthy and happy is becoming more accepted. For inspiration, check out this blog filled with some really great quotes from celebrities about body image. Go ahead, indulge in that last chocolate chip cookie, but also stay active and healthy!

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