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Melissa McCarthy Discusses Fat-Shaming in Hollywood

Melissa McCarthy recently discussed the ways she has experienced fat-shaming in the film industry, in a recent interview with InStyle. During the interview, the actress told stories of times when she felt unfairly targeted because of her weight.

McCarthy has stated that negative criticism “kind of breaks [her] heart.”

“Years ago I was at a press conference for either the Heat or Tammy, and somebody from a very big organization kept asking me, ‘Why do you always feel the need to be so grotesque?’ It was a huge interview with maybe 100 people in the room, and he was sneering,” she recalled.

“I said, ‘What are we talking about? I can’t answer your question because I don’t understand it.’ He goes, ‘You look sloppy, you’re not wearing any makeup, your hair is not done, you’re yelling at people.’ I was like, ‘OK, so have you ever asked this of a guy? I’m playing a character. You need to get out more if you don’t think there are real women like that.’”

“He goes, ‘Oh, fine, I’m aggressive, call it whatever you want. If you don’t want to answer the questions, you shouldn’t come to the panel,'” McCarthy continued. “I was like, ‘I really want to answer your questions. I’m sorry I didn’t wear makeup in a part. I’m sorry I didn’t look pleasant for you. But I also don’t think you should be here writing about movies.'”

McCarthy went on to discuss an interview she did with another critic for the film Bridesmaids. “He kept asking, ‘Are you shocked that you actually work in this business at your tremendous size?’ I just remember all the blood drained out of me.”

“I thought, ‘With my tremendous size, I could tackle you so quickly,’” she continued.

McCarthy has her own clothing line that ranges from size 4 to 28. Additionally, being the mother of two daughters has made her aware of societal expectations of women in regards to their looks and demeanor.

“It’s not just about looks but it’s also, ‘Are you pleasant? Do you not make trouble?’ I don’t want to be around someone who’s a pain in the ass and confrontational, but I also don’t think that you always have to be Stepford Wife-y and can’t have opinions,” she stated.

Her experiences as a woman in the film industry have given McCarthy a very particular idea of what it means to be badass.

“Badass, to me, means doing what should be done in a situation because it’s what’s needed and maybe you’re the person to do it, and if not, how do you get to the person who needs to do it? And not needing to be liked or think you need to be liked so much. I was likable, and [now] I don’t really give a shit about that.”

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