That thing that’s so enjoyable

Tina Fey
From the Jan 2009 edition of Vanity Fair (the full article is posted at ohnotheydidnt):

Fey says, “I got to that thing that’s so enjoyable where people tell you, ‘Oh, you’re thin, you’ve gotten too thin.’ [my emphasis] Lorne was like, ‘Please, please make sure you’re eating.”’ McKay recalls Fey telling a story about her heavier days. “Steve Martin walked right past her at the coffee table, and then, after the makeover, he was like, ‘Well, hel-looo—who are you?’ ”

Wow. I’ve been there, when I dieted. Not the too ‘thin thing’ – I’ve never been ‘too thin’, even at my thinnest I was fat – but I’ve had the thrill of having people tell me I was losing weight too rapidly or that I needed to eat enough. And I saw those comments as a measure of my success as a dieter and as a person. So I understand the triumph that Tina must have felt at that point.

Tina Fey is amazing. She’s witty, funny and her parodies are clever and insightful. She is rightly worshipped after her all to accurate Sarah Palin skits. Shit, we don’t even get SNL in Australia so I watched her every skit on the SNL website (before they regionally restricted access to the videos).

But it is tragic and telling that Tina’s massive talent was not the key to her success. It was, sad to say, her looks.

A make over. The sexy librarian thing. Going from 150 pounds to 120 pounds.

According to the article, Tina is 5′ 4.5″, so at 150 pounds, she was by no means fat. Using the examples in the Photographic Height/Weight Chart, Tina may well have had a body shape like one of these two women.

5 foot 4 inches, 150 pounds5 foot 5 inches,  150 pounds

In other words, only fat by entertainment industry standards.

Her makeover is the stuff of legend. The Hollywood agent Sue Mengers warned her pal Lorne Michaels that he simply could not bring Fey out of the writers’ room and put her on-air for “Weekend Update.”

“She doesn’t have the looks,” Mengers told him.

“Lorne brought her over to my house when she was head writer,” Mengers recalls. “She was very mousy. I thought, Well, they gotta be having an affair. But they weren’t. He just appreciated her talent. [My emphasis, again] And now, suddenly, she’s become this sexy, showing-tit, hot-looking woman. I said to Lorne, ‘What the fuck did she do?”’

Mengers, an agent, appears absolutely stunned that a man’s admiration of a woman’s talent can be independent to either a) access to that woman’s body for fucking or b) his perception of the woman’s sexual attractiveness.

Tina was head writer on SNL for heaven’s sake.

So the lesson presented to us today by society and the media is that success is looking too thin and that looking too thin is the key to success.

Fuck that.

This is what I am rebelling against. This is why I am a Fat Acceptance Activist and a Size Acceptance Activist and a Feminist.

I refuse to learn that lesson.

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2 Responses to “That thing that’s so enjoyable”


  1. 1 Meowser Friday, 26 December 2008 at 2:55 pm

    What’s weird about that is, Sue Mengers was once Barbra Streisand’s agent, when Streisand was at the peak of her fame in the 1970s. And Mengers herself is not exactly svelte (or at least she wasn’t at the height of her career as a super-agent), so you’d think she knew a thing or two about setting your own standards for Hollywood glamour. But maybe she thinks Streisand wouldn’t make it today, or that she herself wouldn’t, I don’t know. Anyway, once again, it sucks that women have to choose between having enough money to eat and actually eating, and I don’t consider it progress that a lot of men now feel like they have to, also.

  2. 2 Fatadelic Friday, 26 December 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Anyway, once again, it sucks that women have to choose between having enough money to eat and actually eating, and I don’t consider it progress that a lot of men now feel like they have to, also.

    You said it.


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