Recently, I have been confronted with the subject of perfectionism in film and media both in Hollywood and North Hollywood. So much so, that I have started to lose interest in movies made in North America, because they do not seem real to me anymore. Perfect teeth, hair and bodies are not what I want to see when I am watching most films. I want to be lost in the story not distracted by all the pretty people! I am a huge fan of the British, Danish, and other foreign film industries for this reason, because the actors look like regular people! They have crooked teeth and bad skin sometimes and that’s OK! The Killing, (based on the Danish series Forbrydelsen) is and will always be one of my favorite shows, because Mireille Enos is perfectly imperfect. She has wrinkles, chapped lips, ugly sweaters and bags under her eyes when she’s playing a life hardened cop seeking a serial killer. Would you want her to be like she is on the red carpet? No! Because that would be silly, wouldn’t it? But it seems that is the case with a lot of Hollywood movies. There has been much debate about photoshoping celebrities, plastic surgery, teeth reconstruction and so forth. Real people feel inadequate and they shouldn’t. I have been confronted about my weight on set numerous times. I am 5 feet 11 inches tall and a size 6-8. This not the norm and in my experience many women in film are sporting a size 0-2 body, which is fine but why so many women who are teeny tiny?? Who decides this??? Somehow I bet it’s not a woman! I lived as a size 3-4, it had its pros and cons but I do remember feeling a little weaker, and it was a constant battle to maintain that size. I decided then, that I would not conform my body to other people’s standards and I still got hired but it did seem to have a negative impact on my film career and it does make me sad. I don’t see myself being able to perform with my motorcycle if I’m too small, or even be able to pick it up if I’m not lifting weights regularly. I would rather be strong and healthy and stay true to myself than conform to what other people think I should be! In my experience the latter never satisfies anyone anyway! What I am saying goes for men too, bald spots and pot bellies need not apply, is so wrong! And sure, there are some great character actors out there who embody that beautiful imperfection I’m talking about but I see more and more, that Hollywood is heading toward “Stepford” wife territory and it just kills it for me! I have noticed more and more actresses with real proportions in film like Sofia Vergara and Melissa Mcarthy, Octavia Spencer, and Jennifer Lawrence come to mind but not enough in my opinion! We need to step it up. Johnny Depp isn’t perfect! Far from it, crooked teeth, non-Hollywood-ized and look how amazing he is as an actor!
In Ancient times the measure of a great actor was how they brought the “CHARACTER” to life not how great looking the actor was but how well they played the character! There is no account of these ancient thespians names, because that wasn’t the point! Personally I would be insulted if someone said, Terita Peterson was great as Ophelia! I would want to be told, YOU are Ophelia! With the advent of celebrity I feel we have lost the magic of what acting is supposed to be all about, which is story telling! I think the North American Film industry should take a lesson from Europe and the rest of the world, and wake up before all their viewers move on to other more realistic and immersive productions.
When you opt for the skinniest model or actress you are not loving women, u are hating women, and pushing young girls toward eating disorders. The next time you see a perfect face in that movie you are watching you should ask yourself, is this for me? Who decides that this is ideal beauty? Ask yourself if you had a daughter would you want her to strive toward this ideal at all costs or would you want her to be herself? The best self she can be! We the consumer of movies should be asking for more realistic actors and actresses. We determine what beauty is with our dollars and our words! Let’s work to make this world a better place by allowing people to be themselves and actors to exist as themselves. Fat shaming, dissecting Peoples looks and weight is deadly and we shouldn’t be eating it up like we do! If you see a magazine or web article that says, “Brittney Spears is Fat!” Look away! Ignore it! Don’t pick it up and don’t buy it! Elevate! Elevate your life for yourself and your family! Only you can make a difference, by waking up to it and being aware. I know this is WAY too much to ask of many and they aren’t the people I am appealing to. You know who you are and just know that if you love yourself that is all that matters. If you stay true to yourself that is all that matters. Don’t let people steer you away from what you want to do because of your size or looks. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, be healthy, be strong but BE YOU! Social media is now directing a lot of what we consume, so called “reality television” which is far from reality has become the new norm and I for one find it boring. I love stories as that is what we are a story, each one of us. Lets make them amazing! I’m very excited for my next story and I hope you stay tuned, over and out VSG! P.S. A special thank you to Donald Adams, actor and musician for his input on this article.