Entertainment

Big Girls Can Make Big Bucks

'I saw my size as being an advantage'

Actress Rebel Wilson has found her fuller figure to be a plus in her comedy career.

“Bigger girls do better in comedy,” said Wilson, who has starred as the voluptuous, quirky friend in various female comedies, including “Bridesmaids” and “Pitch Perfect.”

“My weight is basically shorthand for saying I’m just like you.”

“I saw my size as being an advantage,” she told The Telegraph. “Whereas so many women see it as a disadvantage.”

Another full-figured star, actress Melissa McCarthy, has had a rough go with critics, but she has found box-office success. The Washington Post reports the widely panned “Identity Thief” earned $174 million on a $35 million budget, “Tammy” grossed $100 million on a $20 million budget, and McCarthy’s well-received “Spy” did $236 million on a $64 million budget.

Last April, comedian Amy Schumer took offense for being added to Glamour magazine’s list of plus-size celebrities.

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She is by no means obese, but one of her greatest assets as a funny lady has been her relatable body style. It gives her humor – and that of other overweight female comedians – an extra element of vulnerable humility, sincerity, and self-deprecation that may elude a bombshell skinny actress.

Fuller-figured female comedians tend to embrace physical comedy as well as self-mockery, and Americans love comedians who can make a joke — but also allow themselves to be the butt of it.

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Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler represent an attractive wing of the female comedian world, but stars such as McCarthy are thriving at the box office.

Christopher Hitchens, the late writer, perhaps shed some light on why. He argued men tend to be funnier than women because men have to be funny to engage women and women don’t have to because men already find them attractive.

Fuller-figured women with a sense of humor represent a different class. They perhaps do have to try a little, which only serves to make women such as McCarthy, Wilson, and Schumer more endearing because they make the effort while naturally being funny.

Related: Skinny-Shaming is the New Fat-Shaming

As Wilson told Daily Life: “It’s very hard to laugh at someone who’s very attractive, I think. And normally those people don’t have a great personality anyway.”

“Listeners know I am a bit porky, and it is common ground. My weight is basically shorthand for saying: I am just like you,'” British radio host Susanne Courtney told The Telegraph.

Hollywood’s embrace of fuller-figured female comedians has been a positive step in making characters more real and authentic in our real lives. And the box office is responding.

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