From ‘Fat Amy’ to ‘Fit Amy’
Once again, society is focusing on all the wrong things about Rebel Wilson’s weight-loss journey
Growing up in a family that lived on Roger and Hammerstein, I was super excited about a series of more current musical films I could share with my daughters. In the Pitch Perfect movies, actress Rebel Wilson plays a witty, sarcastic, don’t-give-a-f**k, loveable character — Fat Amy.
My family owns all three of the Pitch Perfect movies and jam out to their soundtracks on a regular basis. Whenever we watch the films, my daughters like to pretend to be the characters, and every time we end up in the same argument.
‘I want to be Beca, you be Fat Amy.’
‘No, I don’t want to be Fat Amy, I want to be Beca.’
‘Ladies, it doesn’t matter who is who, just enjoy the movie. I’ll be Amy, and you both can be Beca… but what is wrong with being Amy?’
‘Nothing. She’s so funny, but Beca is prettier because she looks more normal, not like Fat Amy.”
I didn’t have to ask what looked ‘prettier’ or ‘more normal’ about Beca. We already know that society glorifies straight sized women, so why was it necessary to slap the fat label before Amy in the first place?
When it comes to Rebel’s decision to make healthier choices and honor her body with movement, why is the main take away that she lost weight? Shouldn’t the focus be on living a healthier lifestyle? Most importantly, how can we rewrite the narrative by celebrating the commitment to making healthy choices, instead of the mere side effect that is losing weight.
Why was she ever nicknamed Fat Amy to begin with?
When you put Rebel Wilson next to her co-star Anna Kendrick (who plays Beca), there are many physical differences.
Rebel is blonde, and Anna is brunette.
Anna has dark blue-grey eyes, and Rebel has light green eyes.
Rebel has an accent, and Anna does not.
So why was she nicknamed based solely on her physical appearance?
Why wasn’t Anna referred to as ‘Thin Beca’?
We all know why. It’s because it would make no sense.
Rebel’s character has a hilarious personality. She’s a good and encouraging friend to those around her. Why wasn’t that the takeaway? While some may argue that it’s just a name of a fictional character, and it doesn’t directly reflect on Rebel in real life, I beg to differ.
“I literally feel as if I have to physically transform because it’s very difficult for people to imagine [me in serious roles] for some reason — even though we’re in a very imaginative industry.” — Rebel Wilson in an interview with The Mirror
Instead of celebrating Rebel’s commitment to healthy habits and honoring her body by moving it, she’s being celebrated because of her physical transformation from ‘Fat Amy’ to ‘Fit Amy.’
Why isn’t the focus on her healthy lifestyle change, instead of the fact she went from ‘fat’ to ‘fit’?
Rebel’s physical changes have often been described as a journey. The problem with a journey, is that it implies at some point, there will be an end.
This is accurate with regard to her weight-loss. At some point, she will stop losing weight, and go on to maintain her weight. It would be more accurate to talk about Rebel’s commitment to healthy lifestyle changes.
Committing to a healthy lifestyle is the hard part, not losing the weight.
Trust me on this one, I’ve lived it — you may have too.
I’ve lost and gained significant amounts of weight since 2006. The reason the scale kept fluctuating was because I measured my success by the number on the scale, and not by how I felt.
Focusing on a healthy lifestyle change brings awareness to how your body feels when you honor it with movement.
When you commit to a healthy lifestyle change you can feel the difference in your energy and mental clarity.
When all the focus of someone’s healthy lifestyle is about their weight-loss, and doesn’t include their mental and emotional health, there is a very big part of a permanent change that is missing.
Let’s celebrate the commitment to healthy habits, instead of just physical changes
The changes Rebel has made are great! I applaud her for working towards goals she set for herself and achieving them.
She looks fantastic! But I think she also looked beautiful before making a physical transformation. The way she looks isn’t what we should be celebrating.
We are beautiful at any size or any shape. It’s our differences that make the world a wonderful place.
As someone who has struggled with body image and was caught in the never-ending weight-loss cycle, I ask everyone to consider changing what we celebrate when it comes to healthy lifestyle changes.
Commit to honoring your body by moving it, and feeding it foods, that make you feel great.
Commit to loving and accepting yourself at your highest weight, and your lowest weight.
Commit to celebrating the healthy choices you make that are good for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
By making these commitments, your weight may change along the way, but don’t let that number be the reason you stick to these choices.
Keep choosing to live your best life, and love yourself, because you are worthy of it, and nothing less.
For more on rewriting the narrative about women’s bodies —