Melissa McCarthy vs. Maria Kang: The Odds of Outrage

From left to right: Dena (Melissa McCarthy), H...

From left to right: Dena (Melissa McCarthy), Howard Newly (Kevin Dunn), Regina Newly (Jean Smart), Samantha Newly (Christina Applegate), Todd Deepler (Barry Watson), Andrea Belladonna (Jennifer Esposito), Frank (Tim Russ). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh, please. Here we go again. Maria Kang’s “What’s Your Excuse” hot-mama-body-with-three-kids picture provoked outrage.

Now we have outrage of a different kind. Comedian and actress Melissa McCarthy on the front cover of Elle magazine. Beautiful hair and makeup, nearly full-length photo, and in a fall coat. Well, it’s the November issue. What should she be in, a sundress?

Apparently, the controversy is skewed in all kinds of directions. Some say she’s too fat to be fashionable, calling her “equal parts obnoxious and obese.” Others say the billowy coat does a plus-size woman no justice and why can’t the designers on a fashion shoot dress her better? Never mind that McCarthy herself chose the outfit. Never mind that she has herself admitted that “fashion forward is difficult at my size, unless you want to look 98 years old or like a teenage hooker.” Never mind that she was one of a select few chosen for the magazine’s Women in Hollywood series, along with the quirky likes of Penelope Cruz, Naomie Harris, Marion Cotillard, Shailene Woodley and Reese Witherspoon; beautiful women all, yet not the “classic” types so often associated with Tinseltown. They are all ladies who like to take chances in their choice of movie roles and have fun with fashion.

And of course, never mind that no one held McCarthy’s feet to the fire and forced her to be on the cover. She did it because she’s comfortable with who she is, unlike many of her critics, who blanch at the very thought of a woman who is not a size zero not only being featured anywhere in a fashion magazine, but actually looking good doing it.

In a larger sense (pun intended), McCarthy and Kang are on opposite sides of the boxing ring: one who looks fabulous to the point of unreal and wants to provoke you to find the time and make the effort to do what she does, and the other who looks fabulous to the point of reality and doesn’t care what you think, yet provokes you to make the best of who you are just by her attitude about herself. Are either of them right? Are they both wrong? Does it matter? How odd is it that one day we call Maria Kang a “fat-shaming bully,” yet take potshots at Melissa McCarthy for being too big to be fashionable?

 

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