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Weight Watching

Earlier today I read Matt Singer's essay at The Dissolve about audience's attraction to the flabbiness of Seth Rogen (vote on our related poll!) in Neighbors. I like this essay which raises good points but it's depressing that no one ever extends this kind of enthusiasm or 'justify our love' ink to seeing less than perfect physical women on the screen.

Unrelated but coincidentally apt: On the bus home from my weekend in Boston on Sunday night the guy across from me was watching Bridget Jones's Diary on his laptop. I haven't seen it in years and years and every time I glanced over (I know it's not cool to eaveswatch but screens hypnotize me) I just thought "Zeéeeee* looks so pretty" Of course this is the movie wherein she was meant to be 'unattractive'.

Weight is a tricky emotionally loaded topic but the truth, at least according to me, is that there's room for all physical types in the world and "ideal weight" can vary quite a lot from person to person at least in terms of aesthetic pleasure. Some people look good at any weight, the lucky bitches. I personally think I have a tiny range of weight wherein I look my best (and I'm 20 lbs over it right now so I'm in Rogen territory. sigh) but some people look their best with some chunk and others when they're razor thin. Zellweger was one of the actresses that launched a million essays about standards of beauty and aspirational anorexia and all of that in the Aughts but if you ask me she was never more beautiful than when she was meant to be frumpy. I've never understood why the producers of Chicago didn't actually want her Bridget Jones body (especially since the films were close together) since it would have been a lot more period appropriate, sexier while dancing, and a better physical match for CZJ's traditional beauty hourglass physique. 

As for me I'm desperate to get back to the gym. But that might just be because I've been trapped in my apartment for two days with this awful cold. Tomorrow I will go for a jog if I have any strength at all. I've been half tempted to start an email self-help group for those of us who want to lose some weight, using movies as inspiration. But then that might give Hollywood the wrong idea and suggest that we only want Efron-style bodies. Can't we have a happy medium? My ideal body type both to look at and to have is definitely between the superhero (way too much work and boring as f***) and the schlub (way too much letting yourself go and ice cream... sweet sweet ice cream)

*Yes, it's true the Smackdown did a whammy on us and we keep thinking about Renée Zellweger

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Reader Comments (9)

It's not really his roundness i like although it don't put me off,he's hairy enough said,so many in hollywood are not and he is achange but he was super annoying on a uk tv show here last week.

May 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

The first Bridget Jones movie really was Renée's peak in every way, IMO.

Since you are thinking about both her and Olivier Dahan these days anyway, you really need to give in and finally watch My Own Love Song. It's so insanely, entertainingly bad that you won't regret it.

May 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJan

I was actually just thinking about weight in Hollywood recently, following the latest images of bulked up Ben Affleck. With so many major male actors joining superhero franchises and getting such huge physiques, I wonder what that's going to do to the psyche of young men. It's no longer just about being fit with nice abs, it's now almost steroid level.

May 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

Eliminate bread, and reduce sugar and starch intake. The best way to lose weight is through controlling what you eat. Not necessarily portion control. But making sure there are things you absolutely outlaw. Of course drink plenty of water. Eat as much fresh fruit as possible. Lots of dark green vegetables.

Now sexy chubby people in film: Mark Ruffalo (in Shutter Island him and DiCaprio are wearing wife beaters and Ruffalo looks like a man in his), Luke Wilson (more desirable fat to me), Patricia Arquette (refuse to lose the baby weight but still cute), and Ray Winstone (sexy cat-daddy bear).

May 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Beefy hairy men like Seth can be sexy and funny

May 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

My ideal body type to have is CZJ. I remember once having an argument with my sister-in-law when she suggested she should lose some weight. That just seemed insane to me. And yes, I agree Renee looked her best in Bridget Jones.

May 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I'm glad you wrote this. A recent episode of "Louie" addressed the double standard of male and female body image.
A few years back, there was a picture of Jonah Hill (I think it was in Vanity Fair) and it's him laid out in an alluring pose, fully clothed on the beach with two skinny gorgeous actresses draped all over him. I don't remember who said it, but someone (correctly) pointed out that you'd never see like...Nikki Blonsky splayed out like that in Vanity Fair with the Zac Efron and one of the Hemsworth brothers draped all over her. It seems basic to point out, but it's still so so so pervasive that it's worth talking about. I think it's always great when more body types of all sizes are accepted in Hollywood. I wish that extended more to women.

I do think Renee looked good in Bridget Jones, she was just styled to look frumpy. I remember thinking she was quite fetching in Jerry Maguire and Down WIth Love as well. I'd guess both of those were her "in between" weight which is probably ridiculously skinny by any other standard than Fashion or Hollywood.

As for me personally, I am very wary of any man or woman over 30ish who is too fit or skinny. It usually means they don't know how to "live the good life" or indulge on occasion. :-)

There is such a thing as good genes, Dave. ;-)

May 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

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