There are some subjects that I occasionally must bite my tongue about. Not because they don’t deserve to be discussed. Not because they don’t NEED to be discussed. But, because sometimes, you just know that nothing is going to come out of a discussion other than pain and frustration.
Now, admittedly, there are some subjects that I have been known to have intense discussions about. Even when talking to someone I know damned well will never be persuaded to my opinion of something, there can be good reasons to discuss. For example, sometimes discussing things with someone you know has an opposing opinion can lead to BOTH of you learning something new that you never understood before.
But, unfortunately, there are some things that no matter what education or information you share, just will never let themselves look at or think about any other option.
Sadly, in both fashion and in theater, the utter conviction that certain “looks” and certain ‘characters’ must be of a particular size and a limited grouping of types, ends up being one of those kinds of discussions.
Now, look. Fashion has started to get the clue brick that not everyone is a size 0. And that EVERYONE has a right to nice looking clothes. And that larger bodies CAN be attractive. And I think SOME theaters and theater groups are starting to get that understanding as well.
But, there are still some “old guard” that is stuck in that specific view of what SHOULD be, instead of what COULD be.
I’m learning to be a director. And there are a couple of shows I would really LOVE to do.
There is an absolutely radiant young woman who lives near the little town I live in. She’s absolutely gorgeous, has a beautiful singing voice (and a very projecting one), and has quite a bit of talent for acting. I would truly like to see her playing the role of Velma Kelly (the one that Catherine Zeta Jones played in the movie version) in Chicago. The only problem that I personally would see is that I’m not sure of her ability to dance. Though, her voice is more of a soprano than the alto voice needed. I suppose with a blond wig, she’d be fairly good as Roxie Hart (the Renee Zellwiger character) too.
Problem? There are people who consider her to be “fat.”
I went and looked up Catherine Zeta Jones’ measurements. She’s 5’7″ and weighs 128 pounds. Depending on how that weight is portioned throughout her body, she could look a bit frumpy OR skinny as hell – all depending on the clothing she wears.
This young woman is about the same height as Ms. Jones. She MIGHT be a few pounds heavier, but on her they are portioned throughout her body in VERY shapely ways. As an artist, the young lady is a PERFECT model size. But, there are other young ladies in the town. Some are a bit pudgier, some are a bit thinner. But all of these young ladies are BEAUTIFUL.
It’s not because they are fitting into a cookie-cutter size. It’s because they are HEALTHY. They are active, not sedentary. They may weigh more, but I’d have to say that about 90% of that “heavier weight” is MUSCLE.
It galls me to hear a respected adult make comments that someone who is absolutely gorgeous is “too fat” to be something or do something.
Attitudes like that WON’T change until and unless we can prove those people wrong. That we can put ANY person capable of the role into a role – IF they have the talent to pull it off. It’s not about the damned body. It’s about the TALENT in the body.