Well Being

Zooey Deschanel Says Actresses Are Too Skinny (Unlike Her?)

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Zooey Deschanel calls out fellow Hollywood actresses for being “too skinnyin an upcoming issue of Glamour magazine. In describing her aim to be a positive role model for young girls, Deschanel's comments are mostly pretty positive. But is it just me or is Deschanel no bigger than your typical TV starlet? It seems a little strange to hear her talk like she is.

Zooey Deschanel February Cover GlamourDeschanel told Glamour:

“Women I admired growing up – Debra Winger, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep – were all beautiful and thin, but not too thin. There are a lot of actresses who are unhealthy-skinny – much, much too skinny.


… I’m a very small person, and if I lost 15 pounds, I’d look like them; it’s scary. For young girls, what does that say? You need to look this way to be successful? That’s not true. You do not need to look or be anorexic to be successful in Hollywood. The range of what’s acceptable is larger than what people believe.”

Which is all lovely sentiment; I don't doubt Deschanel, who seems cool and likable enough, means it (though it's a little weird to hold up Keaton as someone who wasn't ‘unhealthy skinny,' since she was bulimic in her early acting days). But frankly I don't see a difference between her and most actresses of her age in terms of body size.

Yet Deschanel has said similar things about her size before. “Some people around me, they’re like 89 pounds,” she told Allure in 2012. “I’m not going to say I’m a big girl. I’m a very small person, but I’m a healthy weight. That might be a little weird for Hollywood.”

So who knows? Maybe everyone in Hollywood is actually smaller in person than they appear on screen; maybe Deschanel is body dysmorphic; maybe I don't read enough Us Weekly to regularly see “scary skinny” actresses.

Saying Deschanel falls on the larger side of “what's acceptable” in entertainment, though, seems to me like Jennifer Lawrence claiming Hollywood considers her obese. Ostensibly a slam at unrealistic beauty standards, it's only likely to reinforce those standards (if Lawrence is obese and Deschanel a bigger actress, what does that make the average American girl or woman?).

At least we can all agree about Peter Pan collars.

“There is not an ounce of me that believes any of that crap that they say,” Deschanel told Glamour. “We can’t be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a f–king feminist and wear a f–king Peter Pan collar. So f–king what?”