Weight loss is a very personal and inspiring thing, but it’s the way that people react to seeing the new you that can truly send you into a tailspin. That’s exactly what happened to Shonda Rhimes after she shed 150 pounds a few years ago when she recognized how differently she was treated by her peers.
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Page Six reports that Shonda Rhimes recounted her weight loss revelations and experiences in response to the newly released memoir Hunger by Roxane Gay, which centers on weight, body image and food. She opened up about how puzzled she was to learn that all of a sudden, she was considered “valuable” all because she lost weight, as if she were viewed as less than before.
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The Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder creator, went on to state just why it was so hurtful to her as a woman and why she is so much more than her weight or her image in the eyes of others.
“After I lost weight, I discovered that people found me valuable. Worthy of a conversation. A person one could look at. A person one could compliment. A person one could admire. You heard me. I discovered that NOW people saw me as a PERSON, What the hell did they see me as before? … What words did they use to describe me? What value did they put on my presence at a party, a lunch, a discussion? When I was fat, I wasn’t a PERSON to these people. Like I had been the Invisible Woman who suddenly materialized in front of them. Poof! There I am. Thin and ready for a chat.”
She continued her sentiments, pointing out how others suddenly felt comfortable around her and bestowed compliments on her appearance that they never had before. She states, “Women gushed anyway. And men? They spoke to me. THEY SPOKE TO ME. Like stood still and had long conversations with me about things,” the award-winning producer said. “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 ended her feelings on her weight loss and others’ response to it on a very simple yet poignant note, saying “being thinner doesn’t make you a different person. It just makes you thinner.” If only more people understood this before they made snap judgements about the bodies of others, we would all be better off.