But there's one thing about the poster that's off to me. Why, why, WHY does the plus-size actress always have to wear sleeves? Even at the risk of ruining the perfect group ensemble thing they've got going on? It just screams LOOK THIS ACTRESS ISN'T AS THIN AS THE OTHERS OMG.
Glee pulls this stunt quite a bit too, having Ashley Fink wear long-sleeved versions of the Glee club's costumes. Once they even had her wear a black cardigan over the ombre Betsey Johnson dresses they wore while the rest of the girls went bare-armed, including Amber Riley, who is plus-sized but thinner than Ashley. It's almost as though this whole phenomenon requires that only one woman be isolated as too big to wear sleeveless dresses.
First, I know some plus size women (and frankly, even non-plus size women) are uncomfortable showing their arms. But if this is so, isn't that probably because we've created the very media environment that makes them uncomfortable? Furthermore, I would really question whether this is about the actresses' comfort and not about catering to a fat-phobic viewership. I've read the terrible comments people have posted on articles about Ashely Fink. Also, who can forget the whole Marie Claire debacle in which blogger Maura Kelly took issue with the Melissa McCarthy's sitcom Mike and Molly, saying she didn't want to "watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other." So, obviously, we're dealing with a culture that tells overweight women that they don't deserve to be seen, that their bodies should be hidden for fear of offending people.
Next possible reason for all the arm-covering: As seamstresses--heck, as women--we know how wonky ready-to-wear sizes are. Even sewing patterns usually don't extend beyond a size 20, the equivalent of a 14 in retail sizes. So yes, perhaps it is difficult to find a wide range of sizes in the same dress, especially if a costume designer is sourcing from designer shops. And yet I'm still not buying it.
Ashley Fink wore a Betsey Johnson dress in the sectionals episode, so we know she can fit into them.
said in an interview that the dresses are bridesmaids dresses.
This year, the show needed a designer who’s used to making dresses of varying sizes on a tight turnaround, so who better than a bridal designer? Eyrich’s team ordered aqua bridesmaids dresses from Los Angeles-based Jenny Yoo (who also did the girls’ dresses for Kurt and Finn’s parents’ wedding) on a Wednesday; Yoo made them on a Thursday, and on Friday, Eyrich and her team fit the dresses on the girls — who require a wide range of sizes — and added sashes around the waists and applied jewels from deconstructed BCBG necklaces to the fronts. [emphasis mine]My favorite comment on that article goes to Pamela, who said, "Could you clarify whether the cast require a variety/wide range of sizes? I’m not quite sure you’ve quite made your point about how there are fat people on this show." Nicely played, Pamela, nicely played.
Since the dresses were custom made, they easily could have been coordinated so they're all in the same style, sleeveless or not. Which brings us full-circle back to Bridesmaids. If the Glee costume designer had to go to bridesmaid dresses to be able to get dresses in a variety of sizes, shouldn't a movie called BRIDESMAIDS (!!!) be able to do the same?
I think what bothers me most about it is that it seems deliberately exclusive: just look at the way Melissa McCarthy is set off from the group in that Bridesmaids poster. Both of these shows depend on a group dynamic, about the bond that exists between the characters, whether it's a bunch of misfit glee clubbers or a motley bridal party. It's about the humanity that connects them all. And this whole "one of these things isn't like the others" crap is really messing with that bond. So please, Hollywood: could we accept the possibility that you don't have to be tiny to wear a sleeveless dress and look awesome doing it?