For generations, curvy people are seldom seen on the spotlight of the entertainment world. From the music industry to the movies that we see on weekends, there is often a bias that these celebrities must be thin in order to be taken seriously. Often times, young people look not only at the talents that these artists and performers have, but their bodies as well. It’s not difficult to look through a magazine or go to a music store and see Nick Jonas flashing his six-pack abs or Katy Perry’s toned, slim body laid out on a cloud. One thing you won’t find however, is a more curvy individual doing the exact same thing. In the eyes of many millennials, this is an example of how one should look to be not only famous, but to be liked. Unless the curviest parts of your body are your chest, muscles or rear end, you simply aren’t attractive. In a study conducted at the University of South Florida concerning the relationship between American media and the body satisfaction of Trinindadian adolescent females, the researchers note that previous research has shown that young women do in fact, usually have thin, tall female celebrities as role models, and even going as far as taking up strict dieting habits to achieve the same figure as the women on television, (Ferguson, 2011). This and previous research simply supports the notion that television and entertainment in general have a strong influence on body image.
In recent years, many artists have spoken out against the misperceptions of body image such as Adele, Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Bell. Jennifer Lawrence states, “I mean, if we’re regulating cigarettes and sex and cuss words because of the effect it has on our younger generation, why aren’t we regulating things like calling people fat?,” (Dodge, 2013). What is important to note is that when celebrities talk about things that are seldom talked about despite their obvious presence, it causes reactions from young people. People are excited to hear that the actor who played their favorite movie character or their favorite band/artist is supporting not only a topic that the fan can support, but the individual can certainly relate to. But one thing about these celebrities still stands out – they aren’t what the media would describe as “curvy.” With all due respect to these people, few people struggle to think of these people as having that figure people would love to see in revealing clothing as though being thin is what is needed to be attractive. What is it like in the eyes of a curvy person, to be in the spotlight of entertainment?
The song All About that Bass is a critically acclaimed track released by artist, Meghan Trainor. The song makes the analogy of curvy people being “bass” and overall, is a message to people everywhere, curvy or not to accept their bodies and even goes as far as addressing the issue of doctored images in magazines. In an interview with the 20 year-old Trainor by Entertainment Tonight, she revealed stories about her younger years concerning eating disorders and being bullied for her body. Like many young men and women, being curvy is a subject of mockery amongst their peers. She states, “”I did have this one boy come up to me, who, like I loved him, I was so in love, And he told me, ‘You’d be like real hot if you were 10 pounds lighter,'” she said. “I was like, ‘Ugh, that’s it! I am going to cry all day and not eat for the rest of the day,” (Schillaci, 2014) While criticisms have in fact come towards her song, particularly the phrase, “skinny b******,” (which she later states was never targeted to single anyone out) Trainor has become an icon of body acceptance in recent news.
Ferguson, C. (2011). The Relationship Between American Media Exposure and Trinidadian Female Adolescents Body Image Satisfaction (Doctoral dissertation, Scholar Commons; University of South Florida). Retrieved November 20, 2014.
Schillaci, S. (2014, September 2). Meghan Trainor Bares All: Her Unexpected Big Break, Being Bullied and Embracing Her Body. In Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
Dodge, S. (2013, December 17). ‘It should be illegal to call somebody fat on TV!’: Body confidence advocate Jennifer Lawrence speaks out against ‘fat shaming’ in Hollywood. In Mail Online. Retrieved November 22, 2014