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September 2, 2014

Things I Hate About TV: Sara Rue gets skinny

by Joel Keller, posted May 3rd 2006 5:24PM
Which Sara rue is cuter?
I was watching Less Than Perfect last night (yes, it's back on ABC... yes, I thought it was cancelled, too), and the first thing I noticed was that Sara Rue had lost weight. A LOT of weight. Not that this is the first time I've seen the skinny Sara (I think I saw her skinny self on an episode of Ellen or something), but I had forgotten just how much she had slimmed down since her sitcom started four years ago.

But here's the thing: I don't understand why she had to lose the weight to begin with.

I've always thought Sara was cute; curvy and vivacious, it seemed like she was very comfortable in her own skin and loved the fact that she wasn't the usual Hollywood bean pole. In the classic sense of the word, she wasn't even overweight; stories about her around the time of Perfect's premiere said she was anywhere from a size 8 to a size 14. Considering the average dress size of American women these days, it seemed like Sara was either average- or well-below-average-sized. Nothing wrong with that.

But because she wasn't between size 0 and size 2, almost every article that came out about Sara used the words "plus-sized" or "full-figured", which is Hollywood code for "fat". I remember at the time that I'd get pissed off when I read those descriptions; I mean, there was nothing I could see of Sara that suggested she was overweight, yet many jaded entertainment journalists were able to get away with calling poor Sara a fattie right there in print.

Even Sara was sick of the name-calling, as she told both TVGuide.com and USA Today. "It's confusing to me. In real life, I'm normal. In fact, I'm less than normal. I'm smaller than a 12. I don't want to say what I am, but I've been called everything from an 8 to a 14. People just decide. People will label you something whether you say it's OK or not. The bottom line is I'm healthy, and this is the way I want to be," she said in that USA Today article (which, by the way, described her as "slightly overweight"). In the TVGuide.com article, she went on to clarify that she was a size 8. Size 8! Millions of women would kill to be a size 8, and many guys would be perfectly happy if their women were size 8.

I felt bad that Sara had to defend her weight in the press, but I was happy to see her fight back and tell people that she was a normal, healthy woman and that Hollywood's obsession with stick-figures was ridiculous; I was sure that Sara was going to stay normal through the run of the series.

But I guess Hollywood got to her. About a year ago, she dropped a bunch of weight, and of course, the entertainment press couldn't help but gush over Sara's "new bod". But here's the problem: Sara went from a woman that viewers could identify with to just another too-skinny Hollywood actress. She had a nice niche; her presence on network TV told women that you could still be sexy and confident while being normal, that you can still be hot even if you enjoy the occasional cheeseburger. Now she's just like the rest of the Hollywood clones.

And I'm sure it's all the "full-figured" talk that finally compelled her to lose the weight. It's the same mentality that creates sitcoms that give chubby guys like me the false hope that we're going to marry hot, skinny wives. It's not real life, it's "network real life", and it's starting to make me ill. If it can get to someone as seemingly strong as Sara Rue, then I wonder what it does to people with less hearty constitutions.

No wonder why everyone's switching to cable...

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hello gorgeous

Bottom line is if you want to work in Hollywood and you're a woman you have to adhere to the idiotic ideal of acceptable body size, which is ridiculously and abnornally skinny. Sad to say most people have come to believe that a woman can't have any credibility unless she is that way.

April 10 2011 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CBrevik

I don't think Sara looks too skinny at all, she looks great! She's beautiful, I always thought she was a little "big" but she still looked great, I think she's a lot healthier now but she's still curvy and vivacious, not too skinny at all.

June 06 2006 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ErricZ

Kerry got to it before I could: one size 8 is not another Size 8 ... and sorry to burst any bubbles, but she doesn't exactly look healthy in the first picture. Cute and "happy", I guess. However, now she looks like an out-of-proportion Renee Russo ... go figure ... can never win when you're in the constant public eye.

May 04 2006 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Darius

Hey people I remember when Sara was on my favorite teen drama show in the 90's. Yeah you guessed it, "Popular". She was cool, funny and a great actress. But even then she was stuck playing the best friend role to the skinny stars of the show. In Hollywood the bigger or average size stars get stuck playing the quirk best friend, the evil step-sister, or the losser that learns the lesson. It's kinda like the portrail of gays ! But I just wanted to say that while I was watching "Less than Perfect" (which she seems to be a little bit perfect now) she is still funny and awesome and we should support her no matter her size!

May 04 2006 at 8:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rich Keller

I read somewhere that Sara decided to stop drinking and lose weight because she and her husband were thinking of starting a family. Being pregnant at the weight she was could have been a potential health hazzard if she had a tough pregnancy.

May 03 2006 at 11:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mattjh

Whatever the cause of her weightloss, she looks much better.

May 03 2006 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PastaQueen

*Its not okay to be overweight. It is unhealthy.*

c5mjohn, that is actually a popularly held misconception. If you check out books like "Fat Politics" or "The Obesity Myth" you'll discover that scientists have shown you can actually be fat and healthy. In fact, people who are fat but eat healthily and exercise have longer life spans than thin people who don't exercise and eat poorly. This is not to say that all fat people are perfect models of health, just that fat is not necessarily an accurate indicator of health. Playing the "health card" is an easy way for thin people to discriminate against fat people and feel morally righteous about it.

May 03 2006 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anon

I always thought Sara was fairly attractive, but she looks much hotter in the picture on the right (and no I'm not a fan of the Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Lindsay Lohan look). I think a lot of it also has to do with the setting, lighting, angle of the picture. Another actress that had supposed weight issues was Tiffani Thiessen, who I think is one of the most attractive actresses. Either way this loss of weight shows (whether or not Sara was affected by it) the pressures to be skinny to the point of almost aneroxic in Hollywood, it's really a shame.

May 03 2006 at 7:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LC

"But if Sara thought in 2002 that she was "healthy", then what changed her mind in 2005?"

Perhaps her doctor did. Who knows? She could have gotten into a health and fitness kick or maybe she wanted to open some more doors in Hollywood for other roles.

One day she may fill us in on why she wanted or had to change, but at least, judging from the picture on the left, she isn't going the Lynsay Lohan or Nicole Ritchie route. She actually looks quite healthy compared to those other malnourished girls.

May 03 2006 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
c5mjohn

Joel: I assumed she was referring to me. She is right about overweight is not average in America, rather it is common.
Oh, and I'm not sure if I would have immediately thought she was overweight in the first picture without the headline and the "after" picture. Although after looking at it again she still does appear overweight, whether or not its because of the camera.

May 03 2006 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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