The Best Example of Melissa McCarthy's Body-Positive Message Is Actually Sookie St. James
"We have to stop categorizing and judging women based on their bodies," Melissa McCarthy captioned a recent Instagram post.
That's been the body positive message the actress has been spreading for months now, driving home the idea that women shouldn't be discriminated against based on body size — nor should they be called out with the term "plus-size" which, as McCarthy puts it, sends a signal that they're "not worthy."
The most powerful example of McCarthy's body positivity: none other than Sookie St. James.
The much-hyped Gilmore Girls revival is not only bringing Rory and Lorelai back to Stars Hollow; by bringing Sookie back, it's also reinforcing a powerful example of just the kind of body inclusivity McCarthy talks about. Think back to the seven glorious seasons of Gilmore Girls. How many times was Sookie's body or clothing a topic of discussion? Never.
The matter of Sookie's weight was not brought up once during the 153 episodes (as far as we can remember ... but we plan on watching every season on Netflix to check — y'know, for research). Just like Lorelai, Sookie flirted, she found love, she had children. She also wore just as many quirky and bold outfits. There appeared to be no "we don't have outfits for that body type" conversations happening in the WB wardrobe department.
Now, nine years after the finale, how we categorize and talk about women's bodies is a hot topic — including how we use the term "plus-size." Seeing a plus-size model on a magazine cover is groundbreaking news, magazines are creating separate issues just to acknowledge plus-size women and clothing companies are creating plus-size collections (and Instagram accounts).
Some might call that rise in awareness progress, but others, like McCarthy and vocal model Ashley Graham, call it out as exclusion masquerading as inclusion. Can society be Gilmore'd into seeing plus-size women simply as women?
McCarthy is doing her part. The now-designer started her eponymous clothing line partly in response to the segregation of plus-size clothing from other "straight-size" sections. Tired of women constantly being labeled according to their body type, McCarthy clarified that her clothing collection, Melissa McCarthy Seven7, is not a plus-size line. Instead, she's making clothing for all women.
It's this idea — of treating women as human beings, regardless of their size, not objects to slap labels on — that Gilmore Girls excelled at. As the cast prepares to unite for what will likely be a nostalgia fest, it's worthwhile to note it's not just a throwback show. It was an example of how to treat women equally, regardless of body shape.
And now we have the badass, body-positive Sookie St. James back on board.