When Shonda Rhimes lost 150 pounds a few years ago she was surprised by how her transformation caused people to react differently, and not necessarily in a good way.
The creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” wrote in her Shondaland newsletter that she was disturbed by the shift in folks behavior, because for the first time ever, people complimented her and seemed excited to chat with her.
“What the hell did they see me as before? How invisible was I to them then? How hard did they work to avoid me? What words did they use to describe me? What value did they put on my presence at a party, a lunch, a discussion?” she wrote.
“After I lost weight, I discovered that people found me valuable. Worthy of conversation. A person one could look at. A person one could compliment. A person one could admire. A person. You heard me. I discovered that NOW people saw me as a PERSON.”
In her new Shondaland newsletter, the uber-producer also noted that “women I barely knew gushed. And I mean GUSHED. Like I was holding-a-new-baby-gushed.”
Continuing, “Only there was no new baby. It was just me. In a dress. With makeup on and my hair all did, yes. But…still the same me. In one of my same dresses (cause why am I gonna buy a NEW dress when I can take this to a seamstress and she can just make it smaller? Who am I, The Crown? No, I’m from the Midwest, baby, and I come with coupons). Women gushed anyway. And men? They spoke to me. THEY SPOKE TO ME. Like stood still and had long conversations with me about things. It was disconcerting. But even more disconcerting was that all these people suddenly felt completely comfortable talking to me about my body. Telling me I looked ‘pretty’ or that they were ‘proud of me’ or that ‘wow, you are so hot now’ or ‘you look amazing!’ ”
Rhimes says, “When I was fat, I wasn’t a PERSON to these people. Like I had been an Invisible Woman who suddenly materialized in front of them. Poof! There I am. Thin and ready for a chat.”
She goes on to say “being thinner doesn’t make you a different person. It just makes you thinner.
Sign up for the Shondaland newsletter here.