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It’s no newsflash that women are skinny in Hollywood -- by far skinnier than the 66% of Americans who qualify as overweight or obese. Or do we just read a lot more about them as an endless stream of celebrity rags and fashion mags chronicle their corporal exploits, alternately castigating and holding them up for public ridicule when their bones stick out (Attention: Kate Bosworth! Some believe that yes, women in Hollywood are shrinking, even more than in previous decades.
But I have a university education and I’ve always earned enough to never have to worry about not being able to pay my rent, so I am undeniably privileged in those areas, even when I feel like I’m not.
‘I love a girl who can eat a whole pizza,’ the man would say, admiringly.
But if a larger woman were to go on that same date and eat that same pizza, she wouldn’t be seen as a ‘cool girl’, she’d be scorned for being unhealthy. Being able to eat an entire pizza when the mood takes you without feeling judgmental eyes boring into you is thin privilege.
I remember seeing a costume exhibit of red-carpet gowns in the lobby of the Arc Light theater and realizing the experience was not that different from seeing period clothes from previous centuries in the Smithsonian or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I realized with a shock that whoever could wear those tiny black Valentino and Armani gowns must be really, really small -- as diminutive as the presidential wives of centuries gone by, and the French aristocracy, circa the age of Marie Antoinette.
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There are other aspects of my life where I’m not on the privileged end of the scale – I’m a woman, for one – and so I can recognise privilege when I see it, even if I’m the one benefitting from it.