Today, I’m disappointed and appalled at the still very harsh reality of this industry. A few months ago, I agreed to shoot with a creative team I believed in and was excited to collaborate with.
When my agent received an unapologetic email concluding they would not run my cover/story because it “did not reflect well on my talent” and “did not fit their market,” the publisher claimed my look deviated from my portfolio and that I did not fit into the (sample size) samples, which is completely false. If anyone has any interest in me, they know I am not an average model body – I have an athletic build and healthy curves. After a tough year of taking a step back from the insensitive and unrealistic pressures of this industry and dealing with paralyzing social anxiety, I walked into that shoot as a 25 year old WOMAN feeling more comfortable in my own skin and healthier than ever before. Some days I’m a sample size, some days I’m a size 4, some a 6. I am not built as a runway model and have never been stick thin. Now more than ever, I embrace my curves and work diligently in the gym to stay strong and most of all, sane. I am proud to say that my body has evolved from when I started this crazy ride as a 16 year old GIRL with unhealthy and insufficient eating habits.
So, shame on you and thank you to the publisher for reaffirming how important it is to live your truth and say it out loud, no matter who you are or what size. I decided to release an image to draw awareness and support of an issue that’s bigger than just myself and affects so many people not just in the fashion industry, but in general, with the goal of bringing women from all over together in a celebration of our bodies. Let’s find ways to build each other up instead of constantly finding ways to tear each other down. #bodyshaming #bodyimage #selfimage #dietculture #mybodymybusiness
“Some of us want to be shamed! When I was in law school, I was gaining weight, I said to my stepfather, ‘If you see me going into that kitchen one more time, you say, ‘Where you going, fat ass?’ And it works!”
… says the 47 year-old NBC News host.
Watch the full segment, including fit mom’s comeback below:
Well, for years, stylists insisted on bringing me sample [sizes]. Insisted! And then finally one day I said to my publicist, “I want you to tell them that unless they want to make me feel bad or make me cry”—because it’s slightly limiting and you feel it’s your fault—”then stop bringing me sample sizes!” Then the next thing they say is, “Oh, don’t worry! We’ll leave it all open in the back, and we can cut it.” I’m like, “That makes me feel so confident, with big clamps and things sewn into it.” I’m like, maybe I can act, but I’m not a magician! I was always considered the athletic one, and that translated into big. I was the big one. Thankfully, so many more body types are accepted these days.
She doesn’t deny herself foods:
We’ve been taught, “Deny yourself pleasure.” But moderation is harder because it requires really committing to balance. I find that if I say, “I’m not gonna eat ice cream” or “I’m not gonna drink,” all I want to do is drink and eat ice cream. It’s some kind of psychological battle. When I tell my trainer I had a glass of wine, he’ll say, “Liquid bread!” And I’m like, “Ugh, but it was a nice one.”
She’s trying to avoid back surgery:
I’ve had to enter into a very sort of rigorous rehabilitation program to avoid surgery on my back. I’ve already had four surgeries on my feet and two on my knee—all from Broadway dancing injuries. On Broadway, they don’t really rehab the dancers like they do in sports. It’s, “The show must go on.“ Maybe you’ll get five minutes with a physical therapist, or they’ll get someone to come in and tape you with kinesiology tape, which is what I sort of lived on for a long time.
On accepting her body as athletic instead of trying to be model thin:
“When I turned 30, I looked at my life and realized that I’d always been on a diet and working out to be the size of a model. I thought, I’m 5’3″, and I inherited my mom’s beautiful muscular body—it’s just not going to happen. So I began eating well to take care of myself—I’m almost 100 percent vegan, and I’m off dairy and gluten. I realized that my health and happiness were way more important than being at the gym all the time. It’s strong not only physically but also emotionally. I used to be frustrated by my body type as a kid. I had muscles without trying and failed when I attempted to lose weight. Now I’ve come to appreciate the fact that I’m an athlete.”
On comparing herself to others on social media:
“I think that as a society we’re always looking to social media to compare ourselves with how other people look and eat. I put Instagram and Twitter in a separate category in my phone, so I don’t check them all the time and am not constantly aware of what other people are doing. I think people use social media to compare themselves with others too much, and it has really negative effects on the psyche.”
On her healthy habits:
“On days when I need to keep my energy up, I try to eat really clean. I try not to have too much caffeine besides coffee in the morning. In the past year, I’ve started meditating for 10 to 15 minutes a day, which is super important to me. I’m not a morning person, but I force myself to workout before work, which gives me an energy boost.”
36 year-old Happy Endings actress Eliza Coup recently opened up to Bon Appetit magazine about her workout routine and diet, as well as body image issues – via People.
On waking up at 4 to do yoga then take a hot/cold/hot shower:
“It’s more about breathing and stretching than working out. If I don’t front-load the day with time to myself, life will get too busy. [A cold shower] wakes me up and it’s good for hormones and the entire endocrine system. I start with hot, go to cold, and then I go to hot, and then I go to cold. The vacillation between those two is just incredibly good for your heart.”
On having food allergies and restrictions:
“I have the digestion of an infant as a 36-year-old, and I want to know how I can remedy that. l eat three huge bowls of blueberries a day, just because I love them and it’s very hard for me to find a quantity of food that I can digest. “I’m in such a high-stress job where women have to wear tight dresses all the time, and if I eat something that messes me up, I’ll be so cripplingly uncomfortable that I can’t go 12 more hours of shooting without freaking out. Worrying about it makes it worse, because I am an incredibly anxious person. When I was 23, I cut all sugar out of my diet, quit drinking, and found yoga and breathing and stretching. That’s the best Ritalin you could give anyone.”
On having body image issues:
“I’m an actress with food issues and body image issues—that’s real. But I’m trying to heal that part of myself and also handle my physical issues naturally by putting the best things into my body.”