Of course, it’s easy for anyone who isn’t an aspiring actress to beat the drum for weight gain. Our careers don’t depend on being a jean size smaller than the next girl.
As one male studio executive who asked not to be named says, “Do we really want stars to look like the rest of us? If actresses represented the way the public really looks, the mother from Gilbert Grape would be a sex symbol.” An admittedly unrealistic proposition.
“In Hollywood, there’s a domino effect of envy and competition among women,” says Adrienne Ressler, a body-image specialist with the Renfrew Center in Philadelphia who identifies the prevailing ethos as: The skinniest girl wins. And indeed, when so many actresses make millions, rake in designer clothes, and land modeling contracts, the thinnest of the thin always stand out from the pack. We just hope that the Goodwins, Moores, and Mols taking to the screen flip that paradigm on its head—and represent the shape of things to come.