By Andrea Jimenez
In the 2011 comedy “Bridesmaids”, Melissa McCarthy’s character famously asked, “Can you feel the steam heat coming from my undercarriage?” This has become McCarthy’s most famous quote, making her character, Megan, one of the most memorable characters in the movie.
It’s characters like Megan that continue to thrust McCarthy into the Hollywood spotlight, which is why she was recently chosen as one of Hollywood’s women to be on the cover of Elle’s November issue for its celebration of influential women in Hollywood.
McCarthy’s cover caused controversy, but not for the reason you would think.
On the cover, McCarthy is wearing an oversized full-length coat by plus-size label Marina Rinaldi, but unlike most covers which feature models in swim suits and tight black dresses baring lots of skin, McCarthy seems to be overly covered in comparison.
There is no denying McCarthy is a curvy actress, but why shame her in such an overly modest coat on the front cover? This is exactly what many people thought when they first got a glimpse of the cover, including myself.
How could Elle outcast such a talented actress just because of her external appearance?
Nevertheless, McCarthy looks stunning on the cover, but who is responsible for McCarthy’s wardrobe selection?
Elle magazine has since responded to the criticism and Elle’s spokesperson stated, “On all of our shoots, our stylists work with the stars to choose pieces that feel good in, and this is no different: Melissa loved this look, and is gorgeous on the cover. We are thrilled to honor her as one of our Women in Hollywood this year.”
Certainly this is not the first time McCarthy has had to deal with the media criticizing her appearance. Just nine months ago, Rex Reed, a columnist for The New York Observer, critiqued McCarthy’s weight in the film “Identity Theft”.
Reed mocks McCarthy and calls her “tractor-sized”, a “screeching, humongous creep,” and a “female hippo.” Censures like this are enough to tear down anyone’s ego.
McCarthy later responded to the uncouth comments in an interview with The New York Times and said, “I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate. I just thought, that’s someone who’s in a really bad spot, and I am in such a happy spot.”
She also added that if she received a review like that in her 20’s, “it may have crushed” her, but now she is raising a family and understands we live in a “strange epidemic of body image and body dysmorphia.” She noted that comments like Reed’s “just add to all those younger girls that are not in a place in their life where they can say, ‘that doesn’t reflect on me.'”
McCarthy has come out herself in defense of the magazine and says she was ultimately the one who picked the coat. During an E! News interview at the Elle Women in Hollywood gala, the “Bridesmaids” star aimed to quiet all the rumors and gossip stating, “What I found so bizarre is I picked the coat. I grabbed the coat. I covered up. I had a great black dress on but I thought: it comes out in November. I was so sick of summer, I live in Southern California, I was like, ‘Give me a big coat to wear. Give the girl some cashmere!”
McCarthy herself has come a long way in her career and she can handle the heat. After reading McCarthy’s statement, my view of the cover changed.
If she is satisfied with the photo then why should anyone care? What is important is how she feels, not what society thinks she needs to look like.
Jenilee Umali/The Poly Post
Elle under fire over covered cover
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