Can Flab Be Fabulous?Posted on by Tiffany Spatz (Cobanerd)
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Last year, plus-sized actresses like Gabourey Sidibe and her castmate Mo'Nique received the highest accolades for their performances while their awards show ensembles were almost universally panned. The same was true for Jennifer Hudson, who was considerably curvier when she accepted her Oscar in 2007. Even the all-powerful Oprah has a hard time getting a positive fashion review when she's on the high end of one of her weight shifts.
Fashion has declared her sense of style un-'Precious'
It's no dirty secret that the world of high fashion likes their women low-fat. Even former supermodel Tyra Banks, who for years has pushed the idea that beauty comes in all sizes, surrendered the "plus-sized is beautiful" battle when her show America's Next Top Model crowned its thinnest winner yet last season. Hollywood seems to be following suit.
For the 17th year running, Vanity Fair's newest Hollywood issue projects a super svelte future for the film industry. Don't believe them? Despite winning an Oscar last year, Mo'Nique doesn't seem to have anything on her plate (work-wise, at least) except for her own self-titled BET show. Furthermore, when the 2011 Academy Awards air on February 27, the most sizable female nominees will be non-actresses like Emma Thomas and Darla K. Anderson, both of whom produced Best Picture entries (Inception and Toy Story 3, respectively).
Even when the red carpet critics concede that they're doing everything right, the big girls can't seem to rise above a mediocre fashion grade. Statistics tell us the average American woman has now expanded to a size 14, but the average actress has shrunk from a size 4 to a 2. While I, along with the rest of America apparently, would admittedly rather see a size 2 in the ever-popular body-hugging Herve Leger bandage dress, the diminishing presence of fat actresses raises an interesting question: have film and fashion become impervious to shifting social norms? To put it more bluntly, will fat actresses always be a fail on the red carpet?