Did Melissa McCarthy Lose Weight?

Several readers let me know about an Entertainment Tonight article titled “Did Melissa McCarthy Lose 45 lbs?”  The article says that she looked “a touch slimmer” was “noticeably thinner” and “It’s being reported that McCarthy has lost an estimated 45-50 pounds.”  Reported where or by whom is undisclosed.

The pictures in question are:


I’m not convinced that these pictures show weight loss – I think that what they may show is how people can look different weights in different outfits, hairstyles, and angles.

In researching this, the “news” reports (which appear everywhere from Perez Hilton to CNN to Yahoo Australia) seem to be a game of round robin wherein sources site each other for reporting the weight loss (speculating everything from the amount of weight lost to her diet) but nobody has a quote from Melissa McCarthy to verify.

In fact, most articles quote her discussion about just the opposite, like the time she told People Magazine that while she’s been aware of the criticism about her weight, she’s “never felt like I needed to change. I’ve always thought, ‘If you want somebody different, pick somebody else…It’s like I’m managing to achieve all this success in spite of my affliction. Would you ever put that in the headline for a male star?”  Or talk about how she was discriminated against when she tried to get an Oscar dress.

I think a lot of this has to do with people who have joined the cult of thin who aren’t happy unless everyone joins with them.  These people put all of their self-esteem eggs in the thin basket, so when someone says that they don’t value a thin body over a fat one, that they don’t envy thinner women, that they aren’t interested in spending their time, money, and energy trying to manipulate their body size, it’s a direct challenge to the value system from which those who are in the cult of thin derive their self-worth.  So they want fat people to believe in the cult of thin, but let’s be clear that we certainly aren’t being invited to the compound (note that they report that she’s lost 45-50 pounds and call her “a touch slimmer.”  I seriously doubt that if they were reporting that she gained 45-50 pounds they would call her “a touch heavier” considering that when Charlize Theron gained 30 pounds for a movie role she was called “unrecognizeable” and when Vanessa Hudgons gained 15 pounds for a role they called it a “shocking transformation.”)

I think it’s super unfortunate that as a culture we feel the need to ignore the accomplishments of actors (especially women) as they relate to their craft and instead discuss their weight, clothes, hair, makeup and jewelry, reinforcing all of this by behaving like talented people who don’t fit the hollywood stereotype are somehow shocking.

So did Melissa McCarthy lose weight?  Don’t know. Don’t care. Can’t imagine how it’s any of my business.  I’m much more interested in the performance an actor gives in a movie than I am in how they look going to the movies, regardless of the color of the carpet.

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19 thoughts on “Did Melissa McCarthy Lose Weight?

  1. I am absolutely with you on this. Who cares if she lost weight or not? I always thought: Why are there no “A-list” actresses that are not so very pretty but more like “character actresses”. You know, like a female equivalent of Jack Nicholson? There are none, not among the “real stars”, there aren’t even roles for a woman like this. If they are not pretty according to Hollywood standard, they only get supporting roles, or the “freak & funny roles” (like Whoopie Goldberg), so people can mock them. It’s depressing.
    And it’s not just actresses. Female politicians are reduced on their looks, not their achievements. I am not really a fan of her, but when the german chancellor Angela Merkel wore an evening dress showing some cleavage the whole country was like in shock. Like “Oh my god! She’s a woman! She has breasts! How dare she?!” – and mostly because she is not considered beautiful. Like “how dare this ugly woman wear a sexy dress like this!” It’s disgusting. And the whole topic is a feminist issue as well.

  2. I hope they didn’t conjure up a fake story without her permission, due to the obsession with female celebrities losing weight. They do the same with Gabourey Sidbibe.

    And even if she did, why constantly broadcast a woman’s body to the public? Like why do we always have to make announcements when a female celebrity loses/gains weight or changes her body? I’m so sick of it, it’s like a never ending horror story. This thin obsessed culture inflicted on women has to stop.

  3. When I’m choosing which film to spend my hard-earned cash on, do you know what is the single thing I’m least likely to consider? How much any of the actors weigh.

    Whether I think the actors are talented? Damn skippy! Whether I find the plot line intriguing? Hell to the yes! Who directed it? quite a bit of the time. Oscar Buzz? Possibly. Whether one of the actresses would be praised for her fabulous bikini body? What the hell does that have to do with the price of tea in China????

    Do I care whether Perez Hilton develops the vapors at the thought of John Goodman in a posing pouch? No. Would I even care why? Definitely not. I like to watch that man act… and I ain’t talking about Perez Hilton.

    If Melissa McCarthy deliberately lost weight, I would be sad because she’s been a pretty darn awesome representative of what fat and fabulous looks like. But it’s her body and if she decided to lose weight and was successful at it, it’s still her body. I would respect her right to make that choice.

    But like Ragen, what I see is different outfits, different camera angles, and a lot of wishful thinking on the part of the body police.

    I have absolutely zero respect for that.

  4. In order to make any claim, she would have to wearing the same dress, the same hairstyle, same arm positions, and same background location for us to make any judgement call on if she lost weight. Btw the 2 pics, are too many variables: in the left her hair is straight, in the right it’s curly; on the left it’s pants, on the right it’s a dress; on the left too many colours, on the right, only black, etc.

    Truly shameful that society judges women on the basis of their weight/appearance/sexual appeal/etc.

    1. Sadly, it kind of is. There’s at least one whole chapter dedicated to comparing beauty & all its rituals to a religion in The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. Thinness is such a huge part of beauty the 2 are practically inseparable (in mainstream culture).

  5. The picture on the left looks photoshopped, like their faces have been slightly stretched.

    I loved Melissa McCarthy in that movie with Bill Murray, where she played a single mom who loved her kid and cared about a troubled neighbor. She played a real person, not a freak or a clown. I hope more roles like this come her way, but I won’t be holding my breath.

  6. Can we talk instead about that handbag in the first pic? It looks nice and roomy while being acceptable for formal events and job interviews.

  7. I’m with you, Ragen. Whether or not Melissa McCarthy lost weight is none of my business.

    Hollywood does have an obsession with a specific body type and look, evidenced by the casting in many movies and shows. Ever notice how all these brilliant female doctors and scientists in shows like “Private Practice” and “Bones” are always women who look like they were also on the cheerleading squads in college? Hollywood seems to ignore the fact that there are brilliant, successful women who DO NOT fit that narrow image standard, and they can be just as fascinating of characters in movies and series.

    What we should really be upset by is that Hollywood does not have more women like Melissa McCarthy, who reminds us that you don’t have to look like an airbrushed Playboy Centerfold to succeed in the real world, or even in the fake world of Hollywood.

    1. Speaking of Bones, there was one ep. where the mother of the suspect was fat (like super-fat) and Booth said “what is that smell” and Bones said “it’s the fungus growing in her rolls” (or something like that). This was ~5 yrs ago, maybe more, but the thing was is that I thought that I smelled because I had those same rolls, so I thought others thought I stunk. Really put a dent on my self esteem because that showed is “supposedly” based on a real forensic scientist, so the stuff they say is backed up by science. 😦

      1. Such a thing can exist, but it’s more a product of personal hygiene rather than size. There are plenty of skinny people that smell because of not bathing enough or properly.

        But yeah, I remember that episode. They seemed to have gone out of their way to make her as dislikable as possible.

      2. I remember that episode – it was the one that made me stop watching that show, which is sad because I liked it. If a show never shows women of size and then when they FINALLY do, make sure that they are portrayed in as negative light as possible, that’s the time I get off the train. Once a series goes there, I don’t forgive or forget. Fat people get represented SO RARELY in popular media, and when a show does finally bring in a fat actress they usually make them evil, gross, or a walking stereotype.

        So many fat females are starved for representation. I get excited when I see a fat person on a show, especially fat women, but more often then not the show will just make them into something reprehensible. When a show goes there, I’m not a fan of that show anymore.

        1. Yeah, their other episode that prominently featured fat people was the one with the murder victims having been part of a “fat fetish” club, which showed a subculture of “eaters and feeders” basing their sexual play out of food excesses. While it certainly didn’t come out and say that all fat people connect gluttony with their intimate play, it did give the impression again of people being fat due to grotesque overeating. The image of “if you want to get in a fat girl’s pants, just feed her an entire Costco sheetcake,” was also an insulting implication in that episode.

          The sad thing is, they don’t hold the same standard when it comes to male characters in television and movies. A man can be well outside the “hunky” standard, and still be shown as a decent, successful character.

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