The popular website HelloGiggles recently published this article praising Charlize Theron for her confidence and poise on the red carpet after gaining 35 pounds for a new role. Theron was on the red carpet because she was not just attending the amfAR Inspiration Gala, she was accepting an Inspiration Award for the work she does for The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, an organization she founded.
This organization supports local initiatives to empower, educate, and protect individuals from HIV/AIDS.
The HelloGiggles article neglected to expand on Theron’s inspiring work. Instead, the author gushed over Theron’s flowy dress, obviously insinuating that a flowy dress was better suited for Theron’s new figure.
The article did include a quote from Theron’s acceptance speech, urging people to “end the deadly stigma and discrimination that puts the burden of AIDS on the world’s most vulnerable people.” She pleaded for “bold ideas to fight poverty [and] end discrimination in hard to reach places.” She is right. The world is flawed and the discrepancy between the rich and marginalized is unreal.
Why does it seem that the world is more concerned with Theron’s weight and the dress she wore to cover it up than issues of health and social justice?
Sadly there is another detail I cannot ignore. At the event, Theron said herself, “Yes, I am very fat right now.” Upon reading the HelloGiggles article I was enraged. After doing some exploring on the internet and realizing Theron also played a role in perpetuating society’s fixation on the physical body, I was deeply saddened.
The bold ideas Theron encouraged in her speech do not signify a fierce black dress, but a fierce rejection of the limitations placed on people when they are reduced to the parameters of their physical body.
Let’s go beyond body and see how far we can go.