Take a Lesson From Octavia and Melissa: Make My Red Carpet Extra Wide

Do plus-size actresses in fabulous gowns promote obesity?

It’s red carpet season and as Octavia Spencer and Melissa McCarthy take their walks, discussion of their dresses gives way to discussion of their size, and the resulting affect on society.

No matter how talented they might be, these actresses know that they will be asked early and often about their clothes and their weight. Dressing fat actresses for the red carpet is a minefield. Melissa McCarthy was criticized for a dress that was too drapey and too black. Amber Riley was criticized for a dress that was too tight and too red. Ted Casablanca thought that Octavia Spencer got it just right, but that wasn’t necessarily everyone’s opinion.

Clothes and weight often make strange bedfellows. Women who gain weight are told not to buy new clothes lest it discourage weight loss – never mind that the old clothes discourage blood flow. Women of size are encouraged not to spend money on nice clothes that fit us because, like Annie, we’re always only a day away from being thin and “deserving” of said nice clothes. Fat actresses in fabulous gowns, and the people who design them get accused of “promoting obesity”. This is, of course, patently ridiculous.

Thin women get to go to one of the many, many stores that make clothing in her size and chose from one of the many, many dresses that fit her right now. Women of size deserve that same experience.

I remember seeing Jennifer Hudson (before) in a beautiful cream colored suit and whoever was doing the fashion play-by-play said “I love Jennifer Hudson, but I only like to see big girls in black or navy blue”. Seriously lady? I think I’ll wear colors, and if you don’t like it feel free to practice the ancient art of looking the other direction.

It’s time we all take a lesson from Octavia and Melissa and consider buying clothes that we like and fit into now. We need to ignore the size tag and stop buying aspirational skinny jeans. It’s easier to take care of something that you love, and it’s easier to love your body when you are wearing clothes that you feel good in. If you’re a designer, help a big girl out and design clothing that we’ll feel great in right now, not 10 or 20 pounds from now. And while we’re at it, make my red carpet extra wide please.

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