Sara Rue: Happy at Any Size?Posted on Aug 26th 2010 2:00PM by Emily Shetler
Frazer Harrison | Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
In her new ad for Jenny Craig, Sara Rue tells the world how fantastic she feels after losing 50 pounds. Before she started the diet, she was "uncomfortable in her own skin," which "isn't normal." Now that she's lost the flab, those troublesome feelings are gone, the skinny jeans fit and all is well.
Her attitude is disappointing. Why? The spot is a reversal of her former take on body image issues, a refreshing refusal to march in lockstep with the entertainment industry's skinnier-is-better standard. Rue once embraced her natural shape. Now she and Jenny Craig link feeling "normal" with losing weight. Do we just ignore the nagging feeling that this young woman should be learning to love herself as is rather than go on a diet?
A very different Rue spoke to USA Today in 2002 about being called a plus-size actress. She defended her real-woman size as average. "In fact, I'm less than normal," she said. "I'm smaller than a 12. I don't want to say what I am, but I've been called everything from an 8 to a 14. People just decide. People will label you something whether you say it's OK or not. The bottom line is I'm healthy, and this is the way I want to be."
In short, she was beautiful, healthy and well adjusted, even under the unforgiving eye of the entertainment biz. As she also told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that year, "I consider myself normal."
"I get annoyed at the business when a size-zero actress is cast as the 'every gal' gal," she added. "It's just not true."
Rue is talented, radiant and deserves to be happy at any weight, whether she's plus size, skinny, curvy, thin or whatever coded terms casting agents and journalists like to throw around. Certainly shedding pounds is a self-esteem boost, but it doesn't erase the fact that telling women that being skinny will make you find true happiness is, at the very least, a questionable thing to promote to untold numbers of women who diet (or not) for the wrong reasons.
I want to know what happened to the Rue who, 50 pounds ago, said, "If I'm a plus-size woman, your average sitcom woman is nothing but a head ... I do hate that phrase 'plus size.' That has been the one thing I've been very disappointed by. I thought the world was cooler."
Click on the video below to see Rue's latest Jenny Craig commercial.
Read more about Sara Rue's weight loss journey.