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Old 13th August 2010   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default Eat, Pray, Love...Eat

So as everyone has undoubtedly heard, Julia Roberts is starring in a new chick flick opening this weekend called Eat, Pray, Love. I've never seen much beauty in this particular actress, and was delighted beyond words when her character lost to Cameron Diaz's much, much more appealing character in My Best Friend's Wedding.

However, a short (if rather cynical) blurb about her new film makes me think that Eat, Pray, Love could have something to offer size celebration. I say could have, not will have, because the film is hampered by the usual problem that besets any Hollywood project when it attempts to deliver a size-positive message. More about that later.

First, here's the link:

It caught my attention, to say the least, when I read this passage:

The biggest fashion statement the movie tries to make is that women should embrace the extra flesh that may come with indulging in delicious food.

I had to read that sentence twice to make sure that I'd understood it correctly. That sounds like a Judgment of Paris mantra, not a Hollywood message (Hollywood being known for delivering the opposite theme).

But wait -- it gets better:

In the scene where Roberts and her friend, played by Tuva Novotny, go to Naples to each eat whole pizzas, Novotny takes a few bites and then stops. She adopts an expression of deep sadness, as though she's just seen a child get hit by a bus, and says she can't eat anymore because her pants don't fit. [...] Roberts tells her she should eat her pizza, because even if she does have muffin top, it won't stop her from getting laid. Roberts then says something about how she's gained weight, too, but doesn't care, and simply plans on buying bigger pants when she finishes her pizza. Then we get a montage of the women in the fitting room struggling to button their pants and squealing with delight at this.

Okay, after I read that description, I thought that I'd entered an alternative reality in which Hollywood had started creating the kinds of movies that they would have always been making if the timeless ideal of full-figured beauty had never been displaced. Ingenue actresses indulging in food for the sheer pleasure of it, and then enthusing about possessing fuller figures? "Dream come true" is about the only way to classify a film that delivers such a message.

Alas, one cynical remark on the part of the article's writer brought me back down to earth. It correctly identifies how the film undermines its potentially size-positive message because of its too-thin casting choices:

what makes the scene so absurd is that if Roberts and her friend even needed new pants, it was probably a size 4 up from a size 2, because both look quite thin throughout their roles.

All too true.

Imagine if we could have seen a plus-size beauty like Kelsey Olson or Christina Schmidt (who is an actress as well as a model) or another Judgment of Paris favourite acting out such a scene, saying those words, enjoying her meal and then expressing delight at her fuller figure. The mind boggles at how rapturously beautiful such a scene could be.

Nevertheless, while the film's casting does severely undermine its potentially subversive effect, I am still inclined to believe, or hope, that hearing those words in an A-list picture will help some women feel better about their curvier figures, and will prompt them to indulge freely and eat whatever they like, knowing that they will become even more attractive upon doing so, and will live a more enjoyable life in the process.

Last edited by HSG : 14th August 2010 at 08:38. Reason: URL edited
Meredith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2010   #2
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Join Date: August 2010
Posts: 2
Default Re: Eat, Pray, Love...Eat

I think it's great to see a movie that shows that life should be about building memories and not about weight. Some people struggle their whole lives and don't enjoy the little things because they feel the need to always see a specific number on the scale. That's not the life I wish to live.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 25th August 2010   #3
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Join Date: August 2005
Posts: 352
Default Re: Eat, Pray, Love...Eat

Although Eat, Pray, Love is very obviously a "chick flick," the commentary that it makes (according to the linked article) about women and eating accurately reflects the opinion of many men, who would indeed wish to see the curvy women whom they desire stop denying themselves the food that they crave and give themselves the freedom to indulge as much as they like.

Nothing, but nothing, is as attractive to a man as a plus-size goddess who eats whatever she likes and as much as she likes.

On this topic, I found the following pair of screen caps from a movie called Gray Matters. I haven't seen the film myself, but the meaning of this scene is obvious from the screencaps. The sister, Sam, wants to go out, but her brother, Gray, declines, because the women he meets are too weight obsessed:

Gray's comment reflects the feelings of most men, who would love to see the women whom they desire really enjoy eating, whether it's a "hot fudge sundae" or (as in Eat, Pray, Love,) a whole pizza - or both.
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