Being Told You’re “Too Fat” Or “Ethnic” Shouldn’t Stop You From Being Successful

The Hollywood Reporter Round Table

Ever been told to lose weight for a job and thought you had to do it otherwise you wouldn’t be successful? Well perhaps this will make you think differently about how much criticism you listen to in the future.

The Hollywood Reporter sat down with 6 super talented A-list actresses for it’s annual Emmy Roundtable, and there was some amazing advice, experience, and laughs being dished out. Lucky for us, they captured it all on camera and you can watch the full video below.

But some of the best bits we read were from NBC’s Parenthood actress Monica Potter, AMC’s Mad Men darling Elizabeth Moss, and ABC’s Nashville lead Connie Britton who dished about body image and how they have been treated in tinseltown.

Monica Potter

A few of the reasons we love Monica Potter is that she plays an awesome strong female character on Parenthood, and it seems from the interview she is not a huge fan of the ‘Real Housewives’ franchise. We gladly share this point of view. There is nothing ‘real’ about those reality shows, but these women on the other hand have a lot of depth to them.

THR reporters asked the women about their worst auditions, and they all chimed in with comments they have had thrown at them making them feel like they weren’t good enough. But that didn’t deter them. Monica Potter talks about an audition post-baby (her daughter Molly who is now 7) where she was told she was “too fat” and therefore lost out on the role.

“It takes me a couple years to lose the baby chub. It just does. I gain about 60 or 70 pounds while pregnant. I’m not one of these girls hitting the yoga mat. I like to eat Cheetos, I’m not going to lie.” she explained without apology.

“…but I went in and thought I did a really good job. I got home and get the call from my agents. I’m like, “I did good, right?” And they say, “You did great. The problem is you’re just …” “I’m too fat.” “Yeah, we’re just going to wait a little bit.” I said, “I already told you this!” The weight thing is a crappy thing in this town, you know?” she continued.

Elizabeth Moss

Elizabeth Moss talks about how your perception of yourself and body image is drastically challenged in an industry like film and TV. Especially for women.

“On the first season of Mad Men, I had to wear a fat suit and prosthetic makeup to make me look bigger. You spend your whole career thinking that you have to be one way. Then I got this amazing job and had to pretend to gain 50 pounds? We all have this perception of what we’re supposed to look like. But that’s what’s so great about all these women here today: We’re all completely different-looking, you know? We’re all beautiful, but real women.” Preach it sister!

Connie Britton, who has played some amazing characters on TV had different experiences but she understands being a woman on TV can be tough, especially as you get older.

Connie Britton

“I’ve never had somebody say to me that I needed to look a certain way for a role, but I’ve always lived in dread of what that would be like. It’s our responsibility to play these full-fledged women, and to play women who look like people we actually see in life. It’s more interesting, and I think audiences appreciate it, too.”

Scandal‘s Kerry Washington is no stranger to rejection and hurt from the industry. Being a woman of color and playing such a controversial character has had its ups and downs in her career.

She talks about losing out on roles after being explained they weren’t going the “ethnic” route, as opposed to her weight. This is a common thread in the world of character casting in Hollywood. Sometimes your talent has got nothing to do with it, it’s just your physical appearance which you can do nothing to change. So what do you do? Learn to accept the situation and move on to a better one.

Kerry Washington

“People have artistic license … that’s what casting is: fitting the right look to the right character. Whereas you could maybe lose some weight, there’s not really anything I can do, nor would I want to, about being black.” says Washington confidently.

“I come from a family where we really participate in the democratic process. I don’t think that being an actor should prevent me from continuing to do the things I do. A lot of people fought for me to have the right as a woman to be able to participate, and as a person of color, so I don’t want my acting to get in the way of that. I do it as an American. And blowback? Absolutely. After I spoke at the Democratic National Convention — our show has a very active life on Twitter and Facebook — I couldn’t go near any of it because there were threats to my life, sexism and racism. It was shocking that me speaking at a convention incited all this anger.”

It is enlightening to see these successful women who are clearly at the top of their game being so open about their insecurities and the low points in their career. They are real, yet they are still successful. They didn’t feel the need to change who they are just to fit into a mold. At one point Kerry Washington even talks about 2 pilots she was fired from, but if that didn’t happen, she wouldn’t have been cast in as Della Bea Robinson in Ray with Jamie Foxx. Everything happens for a reason, whether it be good or bad. No matter what your chosen path is in life, take each moment as a lesson and don’t give up being who you are meant to be. If you are passionate about something and know you are meant to do it, don’t let haters or negativity deter you.


  1. My fave part & so true!!! Jealousy is awful:::we must learn to encourage and support each other!!!
    If you are passionate about something and know you are meant to do it, don’t let haters or negativity deter you.

  2. Pingback: 'Scandal' & 'Greys Anatomy' Creator Shonda Rhimes To Receive Diversity Award

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