Dear Bonnie Gillespie,
THANK YOU for “Your Hot Bod.” It was so encouraging and validated the decision I made recently.
I’m the mom of a lovely, talented, bright 14-year-old girl who just had headshots done in LA. The photographer pulled me aside and said, “You have an amazing daughter but she’ll need to lose weight. She will be cast as the pretty girl and to fit that type she needs to slim down.”
I told him I appreciated and understood his advice but that I would NEVER tell her to lose weight. She’s a cheerleader and soccer player and horseback rider and when she decides on her own to lose 5 to 10 lbs., it will come from her desire, not mine.
Besides, she’s a KID!
Thanks again for all your sage words.
Beth H. Tolentino
Awesome, Beth! She and you will need to get very good at letting comments like that roll right off, because it seems that people never tire of delivering unsolicited advice on an actor’s appearance.
Yes, of course, it’s important to get information from professionals about primary type and best ways to convey that type to the “buyers,” but especially with youngsters, so often the focus needs to be on confidence. And that doesn’t usually come from hearing whispers about the opinion that someone may need to lose a few pounds.
Your daughter is an actor as well as an athlete. She’s already very well aware of herself physically, I’m willing to bet. And when she’s ready to put forth effort into losing a few pounds to get into a more specific type category (if that ever happens), it’ll happen naturally and without the stress of having it pushed upon her by others. I love that you’re deferring to her timeline for pursuing weightloss (if it should ever come to pass). Awesome parenting!
Sure, some may read this and think I’m saying that parents should put their heads in the sand and ignore childhood obesity and not encourage their kids to be active and healthy like all kids should be. Well, please don’t think that! I’m not suggesting that sort of thing at all. This is very obviously a case of an active, happy kid and a parent who knows her daughter is in a competitive, image-obsessed business, and who is therefore choosing not to put any additional emphasis on what it is the industry is already going to underscore. You’re doing great, Beth, and I commend you for that.
Professional acting is hard enough for a young one. No need to add an eating disorder to the mix by leaning on an already healthy, active girl and making her self-conscious about her body. Not to sound crass, but she’ll unfortunately have a career filled with a lifetime of opportunities to wonder if she should shed a few pounds. I’m just so happy to know that while she’s in your care, that’s not something you’re encouraging her to be obsessed about.
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/000916.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.