I’ve been attempting to write this for days.. hell, weeks. Every way to try and write this has gone through my head and it’s just one of those things that kind of make sense in your head then when you go to write it down, it doesn’t come out coherently. I’m going to do my best though, as I don’t want this to be taken out of context or anyone to feel offended; all I want to do is create a dialogue where there currently isn’t one and maybe, even make someone feel better about being in a similar situation.
It was a thought that became a ponder, but what really got me thinking about what I’m telling you now was a wonderful video I saw on YouTube. Jake Vella is a young boy living with a very rare condition, ROHHAD. Seeing videos of Jake was incredible and even though he’s young, I find him (and his family) inspiring in so many ways.
This got me thinking about how Jake has turned a negative into a positive and how I wanted to do the same. If I was having health issues, I wanted to somehow lessen its ballooning impact on my life and somehow grab the positives by the cojones.
Getting auditions when you’re 30kg over your normal weight is pretty difficult. Actually, let me rephrase that to say “Getting auditions when you’re 30kg overweight is pretty difficult”. There aren’t many “big, funny sidekick”, “unkempt bogan chick”, “just an everyday woman you find in the western society in 2017” roles going these days in my area, yet there are many stating they want “slim” or “fit” ladies [this is a topic I would like to discuss at a later time as I’m sure we could talk about it all day – L]. All of that was a-okay with me as I was looking to concentrate more on writing some short films and my photography.
I was scrolling through my Facebook when I saw a post from a pinup/retro group of ladies around my area. I actually had my makeup and hair done by one of the founding members at a car show years ago. She had urged me at the time to become part of the pinup scene but time got away from me. I always loved pinup photos, and it was still a genre that embraced women of all sizes.
By the time I was settled enough in my personal and professional life to take it seriously, I was still putting on weight. Any clothes I would have bought myself a month prior now were too tight. Does that mean I should forgo the whole idea? In that case, should I abandon acting if it’s going to limit my options if I actually get any?
I wanted to see if there were any actresses or models that have anything remotely close to what I was going through. First, I searched for any actresses or models – recent or former – that had any autoimmune, inflammation, or any condition that not just affected their weight, but had to actually change their whole life around it. My search reminded me about Gigi Hadid ‘s Hashimoto’s and her mum, Yolanda’s Lyme disease diagnosis, as well as other celebrities with thyroid issues such as Sofia Vergara, Kim Cattrall, Missy Elliott, Kim Alexis, Gina Lee Nolan, Jillian Michaels (who also has PCOS) and the big O herself, Oprah. Oprah has always been known for her fluctuating weight but less for her hypothyroid diagnosis, which would have explained a lot of her symptoms and I’m sure gave her relief (along with many other people who would have needed a well-known person to identify with).
Other than Oprah, there’s no one I could find that was ever popular at the period of their weight gain. While all of the examples, especially former Baywatch star, Gina Lee Nolan, were vocal about her tough just this one symptom was difficult to get under control, no one thrived in the limelight or kept any notable work (except for Oprah).
That’s pretty shitty, seeing as I’ve been told by different doctors not to get my hopes up in my weight ever getting back to pre-diagnosis levels. Between the trial-and-error with medications and food, not to mention trying to keep hair on your head and your body warm, it’s a surprise you don’t fall asleep after an hour of being awake!
So what about the girls (aaand guys) that have embraced their curves? Their jubjub? Their cushion? Their fluff?
Well, aside from the barrage of awful comments, being told they’re sending a bad message, they’re “a joke” as well as the definitely great news/views (“vnews”) and studies*, (plus the fact that plus-size is getting smaller and smaller in size, eg. US size 8 is now considered ‘plus size‘)I’m surprised they even keep themselves in the public eye.
I don’t know, maybe I’m too sensitive to this topic. Maybe I should huddle myself away from any public platform and be a chubby dragon, slewing away at writing and other hermit activities like eating and losing every bit of confidence in myself.
Or, you know, I can just say ‘fuck it’, get in touch with that very angry rebel inside of me and just do it anyway? If you’re in a similar situation, I hope you do the same; don’t smother the fire of your own goals or dreams. Even if you’re in a completely different situation, don’t cut yourself down.
Before I leave, I wanted to show you three things in particular. The first two is the FTO gene aka the “Fat Gene” and this article that I suggest you read. There seems to be an emerging understanding that our fat cells/our body isn’t as simple as we thought.
Of course, if you’re sick of reading by now and don’t want to click through to any more links, I’ll leave this terrible quality version of the weight loss episode of Adam Ruins Everything.
* There seems to be very little studies that I can find that are not only recent (in the last two years) but show adequate evidence that exposure to plus-size models in the media has had any long term consequences (x)