Shonda Rhimes knows she lost lots of weight. But she doesn’t need you to remind her about it.
In her new Shondaland newsletter, the uber-producer behind Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal reflects on how her recent weight loss of “closer to 150 lbs” brought unwanted attention from women and men alike.
“Women I barely knew gushed. And I mean GUSHED. Like I was holding-a-new-baby-gushed,” Rhimes wrote. “Only there was no new baby. It was just me. In a dress. With makeup on and my hair all did, yes. But…still the same me. In one of my same dresses (cause why am I gonna buy a NEW dress when I can take this to a seamstress and she can just make it smaller? Who am I, The Crown? No, I’m from the Midwest, baby, and I come with coupons). Women gushed anyway. And men? They spoke to me. THEY SPOKE TO ME. Like stood still and had long conversations with me about things. It was disconcerting. But even more disconcerting was that all these people suddenly felt completely comfortable talking to me about my body. Telling me I looked ‘pretty’ or that they were ‘proud of me’ or that ‘wow, you are so hot now’ or ‘you look amazing!'”
Rhimes expresses confusion over how “after I lost weight, I discovered that people found me valuable. Worthy of conversation. A person one could look at. A person one could compliment. A person one could admire.”
“You heard me. I discovered that NOW people saw me as a PERSON,” she wrote. “What the hell did they see me as before? How invisible was I to them then? How hard did they work to avoid me? What words did they use to describe me? What value did they put on my presence at a party, a lunch, a discussion? When I was fat, I wasn’t a PERSON to these people. Like I had been an Invisible Woman who suddenly materialized in front of them. Poof! There I am. Thin and ready for a chat.”
Rhimes goes on to say “being thinner doesn’t make you a different person. It just makes you thinner.”
Rhimes uses her experience to talk about the latest book from Roxane Gay called Hunger: A Memoir of My Body.
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