I have a confession. I was sitting on the couch, watching The Tonight Show as I often do, and I caught myself in the most destructive lie ever told: beauty is based on weight. This week, Rebel Wilson appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to promote the release of Pitch Perfect 2 and I judged her. Now, please let it be noted that I am most likely the exact same clothing size and weight as Miss Wilson. Other than our celebrity status, native country, and profession, there is physically not much difference between the two of us. Yet, as she walked on the set, I judged her.
“Ugh, she is so fat.”
“Who was her stylist?”
“God, that’s unattractive.”
Yes. I am not proud to admit this, but all of those thoughts ran through my mind. And then, in a moment of complete despair, I realized I was saying those things about myself.
The truth is that Miss Rebel Wilson is a phenomenal talent, a beautiful woman, and a very good entertainer. The truth is that I am very beautiful, a good therapist, and a very strong woman. However, even in my own mind, those talents and attributes are eclipsed by weight, public opinion, and dress size.
After Miss Wilson sat down on Jimmy Fallon’s couch, I paused the Hulu and walked away for a moment. I was so shocked by my own response to her presence that I wasn’t sure what to feel. Anger? Shame? Is there a difference? So, in my rawest moment, I wrote this letter to Rebel and, more honestly, to myself:
I am sorry for judging you the way the rest of our world does. I apologize for writing you off as someone who can be funny because she is fat, and not recognizing you as a person of worth and of value. I hate the way our culture turns women into vapid objects of a pornographic runway fantasy. I have never been comfortable in my own skin because I believed I would be beautiful if I were smaller, and I have projected that fantasy onto you as well.
As a former actress, I apologize for forgetting that we are only as valuable as the stories we tell and the lives we lead. I apologize for forgetting that the art of acting is the art of life – telling a story so that others may recognize their own. I apologize for reducing yours, and therefore my own, gift of living a valuable story. I am sorry that I have reduced you and my own self to a dress size.
As a woman, I have degraded you in the same way men have degraded me: as an object of their lust.
As a human, I have failed to recognize that you are a woman of worth and not just a figure to be scrutinized.
As a Christian, I have fallen ever so short of my call to love others as myself, because now I realize how little I truly love myself.
Please accept my sincerest apology, my deepest gratitude, and my most honest confession. As a most convicted woman of faith, I seek your forgiveness as well as my own.