Actor Vin Diesel recently had the “nerve” to appear on his hotel balcony not looking like a retouched version of himself. So the kind of people who have the free time and over-exaggerated sense of self-importance required to comment negatively on other people’s bodies took to the internet to behave badly.
A lot of the articles I saw about this asked readers something like “What do you think? Should we be shaming Vin Diesel?” I was going to comment but he took the words right out of my mouth on Twitter saying “Body-shaming is always wrong!”
Yes! This! A big hot steaming bowl of this! Instead of spending time body shaming people, and then spending time trying to justify body shaming people (including the ridiculous “you put yourself out there” defense,) how about just not doing it. How about spending that time volunteering somewhere, or watching Netflix, or putting something positive into the world.
It’s ridiculous that actors being talented isn’t enough. It’s cruel that we hold them to a standard of beauty that is only attainable through Photoshop and the stoppage of time. It’s oppressive that when actors (especially women) are nominated for awards for their work, all anyone seems to care about is what they are wearing and how they look. And it’s heartbreaking to think about the many talented performers whose gifts we will never get to appreciate and enjoy because they didn’t meet some arbitrary standard of beauty.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There are lots of actions we can take:
Be the Change
Stop negative body talk, starting with your own mouth. Decide that you are going to be opting out of a culture of body shame. Stop saying negative things about other people’s bodies. Stop saying negative things about your own body.
Walk Away or Interrupt
When you hear negative body talk, walk away. Or speak up. You could address it directly “Yeah, I’m not up for trashing other people’s bodies, can we please change the subject?” or say something softer like “I wish we lived in a world where we could appreciate how amazing all bodies are.”
Don’t fuel the machine
A lot of the machine that oppresses us runs on our time, money, and energy. If saying “Has VIn Diesel Let His Body Go” gets a media outlet a million clicks, then they are going to run it. The less attention we give those articles, the less incentive they will have to run them. Link to articles that are critical of this kind of behavior, not articles that exploit it. Cancel subscriptions to magazines that engage in this, stop visiting website that engage in this, and let them know what you are doing and why. If we take the fuel away that machine will stop, but we have to overcome the ideas that we’ve been told (very profitably, for many of those doing the telling) like the idea that we can’t make a difference, that things will never get better, that it’s not worth trying.
This obsession with looks and “beauty” creates a climate where body shaming is seen as inevitable, normal, and accepted. That climate hurts us all, and we can all do something to make it stop.
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14 thoughts on “Vin Diesel Gets Fat Shamed”
Wow! Awesome of him to say such an important and empowering thing! Even though it shouldn’t be a thing that even needs to be said because it’s OBVIOUS that people shouldn’t body shame others – I do commend him from going against Hollywood’s disgusting lookism. Much respect for Vin Diesel!
So, I love his nerdiness and I think he’s drop-dead gorgeous, but now I like him even more. I really hope I’ll hear him say things like this not just in his own defense, but when other people are the ones getting shamed, too–including fat women.
It’s particularly obnoxious given that it’s fairly common knowledge that actors prepare for roles with intense workouts and dieting; in between roles, most actors scale back on both diets and workouts because they just aren’t sustainable/healthy/fun. Henry Cavill, discussing the prep for his role as Superman, noted how hard it was to do both the diet required to build muscle mass and then the restricted diet required to rapidly shed fat (which would prevent muscle building if maintained long term).
Not only is body shaming wrong, it begs the question “what are you even talking about?”
Oh yes, this. Poor Chris Pratt, too, the stuff he had to go through to be Star Lord and how suddenly all the fen think he’s gorgeous and hot?
Sorry he was just as good looking before he lost x lbs and toned up like crazy. Heck I preferred Original Chris ™ because seriously it was like “Yay one actor who doesn’t have to buy into the whole “Hollywood Beauty” thing and still gets work and is popular.” Then his agents forced him into the get thin garbage.
I pity actors who have to do that strict diet/crazy unsupportable exercise thing because we all know that A: keeping weight off long term is a no go, and B: they’re likely to be heavier after.
Stephen Moyer (True Blood) stated in one interview that he doesn’t eat solid food for a week before doing any sort of revealing scene.
Keanu Reeves went on a very restrictive diet and did intensive martial arts workouts to the point where he was literally soaking in a tub of ice to soothe the aching in his muscles before filming The Matrix.
The cast of Aliens were very ripped. Jenette Goldstein said she has never before or since been as toned and muscular as she was during that film, and she got that way by pretty much doing nothing but working out at the gym. Mark Rolston said that he actually hates weight training, but in order to look the way he did in the film, he had to do it intensively.
What people do to prepare for these roles is impossible in every day life. Yet we are all expected to do so, and still maintain full time jobs and take care of families. How utterly unrealistic the expectations are.
Speaking of “what they are wearing and how they look”: I am no longer subscribing to More magazine because of how differently they treated Melissa McCarthy.
See, they take whole body pics of women featured in their magazine, usually modeling clothes. They only ran face and head shots of Ms. McCarthy. And she’s been on the cover twice. The more recent article about her did have a shot of the upper half of her body. Think they are trying to convey a message there? I do. And I don’t like it.
Recently Penington’s has introduced a Melissa McCarthy clothing line. I thought their clothes before were fine.
I don’t know much about Vin Diesel, personally, but I know he’s a fine actor, and have enjoyed everything in which I have seen him. Now I know he’s got the guts to stand up to the Media Machine, and I’m SO glad! It makes me want to watch something else he’s done, just to give him more support.
Hmmm, I’m never going to watch something about car-racing (after 3 auto collisions, I’m practically phobic about cars, and speeding and/or crashing cars is triggering to me). However, I think there might be a Riddick movie I haven’t seen. I’ll have to look that up.
I’ve only seen him in the Riddick films. I’m not really in macho men.
He has a sideline in voice acting for characters that are big on emoting and short on lines. His most recent animated gig was Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy His first and most memorable is the eponymous Iron Giant. He manages to make a humongous pile of space-metal seem cute. He has one word of dialogue in that movie that makes almost everybody sob. You’ll know it when you hear it, because you’ll most likely be sobbing.
XXX is surprisingly entertaining and doesn’t have a lot of cars that I recall. All three Riddick live actions and the animated one are good.
I don’t know who Vin Diesel is and I wouldn’t recognize him if I saw him. I think Melissa McCarthy is a beautiful woman who happens to be fat. As beautiful people in leading roles they are projected as ordinary people which they are not. This can make ordinary looking men and ordinary looking fat women feel there is something wrong with themselves physically. When actors(male and female) lose weight for a part to “look better for the camera” . It is a quiet put down of fat people also.
When you have nothing better to do with your time than shame and ridicule others for their physique, there’s a word for that.
That’s two words. It’s more than that sort of person deserves.
Val Kilmer gets a ration of crap because he no longer looks like he did approximately 25 years ago when he was in Tombstone as Doc Holliday. I saw him in a wonderful movie where he played a horror novelist who gets drawn into an actual paranormal happening. I wish I could remember the name of the movie. He was very believable, and he is still quite handsome, although not in the same way that he was when he was young. You see, we are all supposed to be forever young and forever thin, and if we dare to be anything else, we are only deserving of derision and ridicule.
Sometimes I hate living on this planet.