By: Crissie Miller Kirby
I love Melissa McCarthy. I think she’s hysterical and extremely talented. I loved watching her in Gilmore Girls (albeit I didn’t watch it until it came on Netflix), in The Heat with Sandra Bullock and in Bridesmaids. Yes, she can be a bit vulgar and crass; but I still honestly think she’s a great actress and I can’t wait to see the Ghostbusters remake that is currently in production. But, this isn’t the main reason I love Melissa McCarthy.
Melissa McCarthy is not, if you haven’t noticed, built like most other Hollywood stars. She’s a full figured woman; what society has deemed as “plus sized”. Maybe I love her because I, too, am what society considers “plus sized”, and I think we “larger” woman should unite. In all actuality, I think that all women should unite because being a woman has never been an easy title to bear, much less one to bear with other titles and labels attached. I’ve never been what one would call a “little girl” and I’m not sure that I ever will be. I’ve shared those shopping trips where I am relegated to going to a different section of the store to buy my clothes, and, nine times out of ten, if I see something cute in the “regular” sizes, it won’t be available in the “larger” sizes. (Let me stop here and say that I completely and whole-heartedly subscribe to the idiom that just because something is made in a certain size doesn’t mean one should wear it, nor should one always think that “just because it zips, it fits.”) It would be great if clothing and department stores, along with society, would realize that “birds of a feather” don’t always flock together; women are friends with other women who may not be the exact same shape and size as themselves, and maybe, just maybe, we would like to shop together. This leads me to why I really love Melissa McCarthy . . .
As one who wanted to be a fashion designer before her acting career took off, McCarthy has now designed a line of clothing that will be available to women of almost all sizes. She has also requested that her clothing not be housed separately from other women’s clothing simply because of the size of said clothing, nor did she want it labeled “plus size”. She’s taken a very personal stand against something that many people overlook on a daily basis; that larger women are people and want to dress fashionably too. We don’t want to wear clothing that hides our size. Many of us are proud, confident, and successful women; in fact, I’d say the vast majority of us are because the average woman wears roughly a size 12-14 (14 is typically the start of the so labeled “plus sizes”). While this may seem like a very minor issue or even a non-issue, if you’ve ever been shopping and just left because your choices were pretty much limited to a muu-muu, then you understand why this is an important issue. However, every day it seems that, as a society, we talk out of both sides our mouth on the issues of size and clothing, etc. We talk about changing the perception of young girls feeling the need to be model-stick thin and to be confident in themselves, regardless of size, etc; however, on the other hand, we teach them, by simply segregating clothing sizes in stores, that being above a certain size isn’t desirable by having minuscule plus size sections with frumpy, dowdy clothing options that often tend to flow right on in to the maternity section. How can we expect our next generation of young women to feel when we send mixed signals like this? (I won’t even, right now, touch the clothing choices that are presented to our girls.)
Melissa McCarthy gets it. And that is why I love her.
Now . . . it would be great if someone could pass the word to plus size clothing manufacturers that not all plus sized women are close to six feet tall, that’d be great! Imagine being 5’ 2” and buying petite length jeans that still have to have 4-6” cut off . . . oh, but that’s a blog for another day!