How do you want your leading women?

Michelle Doherty, Courier Staff

Nowadays, if a story doesn’t start with the phrase, “I was scrolling through [social media outlet of your choice] when I saw…” then is the story even worth sharing? I guess that’s a rhetorical question, but for this story that’s where it started.

I was scrolling through Twitter this past weekend when I came across something that piqued my interest. As I was scrolling, I started to see a bunch of tweets saying that Jim Carrey was a creep to Margot Robbie, snd of course I had to investigate this and decide for myself if the claims were true.

Both Carrey and Robbie were guests on the Graham Norton Show when the incident occured.

“You’re really something, Margot Robbie,” Carrey says, “It’s incredible you got as far as you have with your obvious physical disadvantages. That’s pure talent there. That’s a talent override there.”

I will admit, I laughed at this statement and I hate to say it, but Carrey has a point. Not to discredit Robbie for her work, but let’s take a step back. Would she have gotten the chance to act in all of her roles if she was, lets say, double her body weight?

If you answered yes, then let me ask you another question: would she have gotten a role as a beautiful, strong, leading woman? Most likely no, she would’ve been type casted into two roles that the movie industry seems to only give to plus size actresses. Those two types being either a funny dweeb, or the supportive unattractive friend that the lead character always takes for granted. The character Hilda Spellman comes to mind for both of these categories.

I’ve been watching the Netflix original series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Sabrina’s Auntie Hilda Spellman is a walking example of both of the types I mentioned above. She’s a frumpy doof, but lovable nonetheless. She is the character in the series that holds everything together, has everyone’s back and is always supportive of her ungrateful sister Zelda.

As I was watching an episode, I got increasingly upset at the clothes they chose to put Auntie Hilda in while her counterpart Auntie Zelda wore the most stylish modern outfits. Hilda wore shapeless silhouettes that made her look frumpy. While Zelda wore on-trend animal print bow-collared blouses with form fitting skirts. Even their makeup was drastically different; Hilda with outdated blue eyeshadow and Zelda with the red lip/winged eyeliner combo.

Examples like this make it seem that Hollywood and society in general view plus size women as unfashionable and undeserving of being a strong leading role, which simply is not the case.

Going back to the Graham Norton Show and Carrey’s infamous comment to Robbie, the comment came off as very condescending, but there was some truth behind it. The comment, I hope, has shed some light on the fact that Robbie most likely got her big break because she had the “right look.” I love to say it, but how many more tall, white, blonde, skinny women do we really need in Hollywood or fashion magazines for that matter?

Carrey clearly didn’t go about this in the right way, but the idea was there. Hopefully this moment in television history can open up the conversation on the portrayal or lack thereof, women in Hollywood.