Mariska Hargitay Calls Herself "Full-Figured"; Have Body Descriptors Lost All Meaning?

Illustration for article titled Mariska Hargitay Calls Herself Full-Figured; Have Body Descriptors Lost All Meaning?

The ladymag blogger over at Glossed Over says that Self's November covergirl Mariska Hargitay's description of her own figure "skewed" and "jaw-dropping." The Law and Order S.V.U star says "I'm a full-figured woman," and Glossed Over blogger writes, "I can’t decide what’s sadder: the idea that the healthy-looking Hargitay is a Hollywood version of full-figured, or that actresses with sharp-as-knives shoulder blades are considered so average that, in comparison, she actually is."I took Mariska's self-assessment in a different light. I sincerely doubt that Hargitay is trying to tell Self readers that she's at all overweight. I think it's more that terms like "full figured," "curvy," "plus-size," and "big-boned," have become so obfuscated by the dieting industrial complex that their original meanings are essentially moot at this point. In mag parlance, Gisele Bundchen and Jennifer Hudson are both "curvy," (which these days means "possessing breasts") and Whitney from America's Next Top Model is "plus-size." We got an angry email after New York Times reviewer Manohla Dargis described Keira Knightley as "a big-boned beauty" because the reader had assumed that Dargis was calling Knightley fat. The thing is, Knightley is "big-boned" according original definition of the word, which is "having a bone structure that is massive in contrast with the surrounding flesh." Her shoulders are broad and her clavicle protruding, but she has little flesh on her bones. It's gotten to the point where one can't describe any form, male or female, without being accused of body snarking. However, fat prejudice is still insidious and rampant, as a new study in the U.K. shows 46% of people have referred to or thought of an overweight person by by a derogatory name, according to The Independent. Are we being over-sensitive about value-neutral words, or understandably concerned about weight messages sent from celebrities? Mariska Hargitay's Skewed Self Assessment [Glossed Over] Georgiana and Her Dull, Dallying Duke [NYT] Many Britons Fattist Bullies, Survey Shows [Independent]

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i vividly remember reading an interview with ginger spice (back when the spice girls mattered), and the interviewer asked how it felt to be a "plus sized role model" for younger girls. she damn near tore his head off, and pointed out that while she was bigger than most actresses, she was a normal size. Her point was that he was making "bigger" girls think they should look like her, and that would only make them feel worse.

i still respect her for calling bullshit on that.