How Amy Schumer is redefining celebrity body image
Photos of comedienne and media star Amy Schumer's almost-nude calendar pic blitzed through social media like a supernova recently.
The star has never been shy about describing her un-Hollywood physique, but due to her resounding success in standup comedy, on TV and in movies, she's actually poised to do a whole lot more than bare a (gasp!) size-eight body without clothing.
Could we finally be poised to leave the Hollywood Barbie doll ideal of perfection behind?
Perhaps Jennifer Lopez, with her very feminine, curvy frame, was the first to break through into superstardom despite not fitting the extremely thin image the entertainment industry usually demands.
Hollywood loves to pigeonhole larger framed actresses into two stereotypes: funny fat woman or pathetic and damaged fat woman. Rebel (Rebel!) Wilson is the latest to debut in the first category; Gabourey Sidibe notably expanded the second into a deeper portrayal in Precious. Melissa McCarthy has played both, but often sticks to stereotypes.
Amy Schumer may not be the first to tell Hollywood execs to pound sand when they suggest a diet, personal trainer and complete body makeover. We have Kate Winslet, Adele, Queen Latifah and Jennifer Lawrence to thank too. Distinctive talents like Mindy Kaling and America Ferrera have shared their considerable talents with fully-developed, nuanced characters.
This movement is gaining momentum!
Why Amy Schumer?
As Hollywood and the fashion industry slowly adopted the Barbie body, models and actresses grew thinner and thinner and bought bigger and bigger implants in an effort to conform. Courteney Cox has often remarked how difficult it was to diet down to the no-hips point and how that required her to have facial surgery because of the weight loss.
- How many talented and gifted women have been unsuccessful in film, theatre and TV because of their size?
- How many women who suffer from disordered eating and food addictions got their start trying to diet down to Barbie doll proportions — not even realizing that they were impossible naturally?
- What's the cost of this outdated, plastic image to young girls and women?
Amy Schumer is having none of this. She won't go quietly into either category: funny or pathetic. She flaunts herself as a smart, sexy woman, and she is. Perfection isn't her game — realness is.
Amy Schumer doesn't try to hide her body; she owns it.
Her fierce humor, backed by a substantial intelligence and stubbornness, may be just what we need to bury the negative body image of Barbie once and for all.
Pat Barone, MCC, RYT, KRI
A catalyst for change and healing…
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