After losing 30 pounds to play “The Green Hornet,” Seth Rogen has this to say:
I think for chubby guys, I was their guy so they were like, ‘I can be chubby. Seth Rogen’s chubby, so who cares.’ But now I’m not so chubby anymore. So now they’re like, ‘I have to lose weight.’ I’ve let them down. I’ve blatantly sold out. It’s only for money.
Now y’all know that I am all about people being happy with their bodies and think you can be healthy at any size. And sure, it’s great how Seth was out there as a role model for schlubby guys everywhere, in a “hey, it’s okay, have another buffalo wing, you can totally still find love” kind of way.
But I am super irritated about this.
Let’s consider the leading ladies who Fat Seth Rogen got to hook up with: Elizabeth Banks in “The 40 Year Old Virgin” and “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” and Katherine Heigl in “Knocked Up.” Schlubby guy gets the hot blonde? That’s not body acceptance. That’s every awkward 9th grade boy’s fantasy in movie form.
And I’m really trying, but I cannot come up with an equivalent schlubby-fat actress who manages to headline multiple box office hits by asking audiences to suspend disbelief and pair her with Ashton Kutcher, Josh Lucas, or insert-your-favorite-rom-com-heartthrob-here. It just wouldn’t happen. And sure, actresses lose weight all the time (for a role or because they claim to have suddenly gotten into “yoga”), but I can’t recall anyone admitting that they’ve “blatantly sold out” and gotten smaller for a bigger paycheck. Women don’t get to be that honest about it. About the closest we get is Kim Cattrall admitting she’s been on a diet her whole life — and she quickly backpedals to the “it’s about taking of yourself” position.
It’s not even just about weight. Fat Seth Rogen does about a thousand and twelve things that women (of pretty much any size) generally can’t get away with doing on film — smoking pot, eating tons of junk food, eschewing exercise and personal hygiene, being unemployed and yet somehow charming all at the same time. Women in Hollywood aren’t just supposed to be thin. They’re also supposed to be paragons of virtuous lifestyle choices.
The fact is, Seth Rogen has always been a comic book character. The Green Hornet just takes it to the next level, with weight loss to help justify his new super powers. Because apparently, we’ll buy that he can get girls (like his new hot blond co-star Cameron Diaz) but a fat guy who is also a masked crime fighter with electric shock weaponry? Come now.