I am sure that most of us have heard rumblings of this Alyssa Milano and Jay Mohr incident, basically during an interview he made comments about her body and weight gain. Here’s the thing: she had a baby. Her child is almost 2 and a half and she still has 10 pounds to lose to get back to her pre-baby weight. So Mohr’s comment was super jerky considering that her weight gain is due to pregnancy. But let me just say that commenting on a women’s weight is not cool in general. * If you are unfamiliar with what went down I put the whole thing below my comments on the Video.
I wanted to bring you Alyssa’s response to his response during an interview on Extra:
This has brought up a few things for me:
The first is how much I hate it that men feel they have a right to comment on women’s bodies at all. From the whistle, or comment as you are walking by on the street, to television shows where men (often homosexual) comment, dress, or make-women over to be “hot” and “sexy” as though we are helpless, hopeless dolls. I get tired of men talking about our bodies, and telling us what we should wear (in most cases to please and attract men not necessarily ourselves). There is so much focus and pressure put on us to please other people and rarely are we encouraged to think of or for ourselves, we are not encouraged or applauded for choosing our own comfort or style, or being self-empowered enough to say screw the status quo I like the way I look and I don’t care if I’m “Trending”. There are no shows dedicated to women (homosexual women) critiquing men’s bodies and fashion or beauty, and frankly the way some of them are running around, there needs to be and intervention. No, we don’t subject men to that sort of scrutiny because honestly they probably couldn’t bare up it. It really really makes my teeth itch to hear the entitlement with which men speak about women’s shapes and forms…
So that is the first thing.
The second strong reaction I had to this story and the way that it is being reported it the use of the term “Fat Shaming “. Yes I know I used it to. It’s like knowing the code. And that is what is a little alarming to me. I know it is a necessary evil but I greatly fear the by product of the codify of the language we use to talk about body image, and body issues. To me it denotes the beginning of desensitization, in the form of overuse and misuse. I see it akin to what has happened the word “Bullying” we hear it, we know that it is a real thing but when the boy cries wolf over and over, when you hear him instead of running to his aid, you roll you eyes. Seriously we have grown ass women on Reality Television talking about how they are being bullied by castmates, come on!!! Someone teasing you, or even picking on you is a far cry from bullying. Inherit in the act of bullying is the fact that the person being bullied is powerless (physically emotionally or psychologically), and vulnerable, and has no voice or defense….Ladies grow up…
I feel words and terms that are being cultivated surrounding body image are going to take on that form. I fear that somewhere in the near future we will not be able to talk about people’s bodies be it a positive or negative way without being accused of judging, or shaming or what have you, (as a dance instructor we are already there, we can not discuss weight, for fear of law suits) this is not the answer, nor the direction we need to be heading. Let me be clear I think that what Jay Mohr said does fall under body shaming, it actually hits on two (at least) categories in my mind, shaming because he was talking about her post pregnancy weight she had not shed, the shaming part could be found in the comment her made about her not wearing Spanx, as if because she is a certain size she ought to, because she should be trying to conceal her weight because it is shameful—even if it’s because she had a child. That opens it up the second category, of teasing or derision which could lend itself to shaming, but does not automatically constitute shaming.
Shaming is: A painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness, or disgrace. You can tell a joke, or even make a nasty comment that is not shaming- it can be mean but it’s not SHAMING. If we start to get overly critical or sensitive, then we run the risk of not being able to have a sense of humor, or even discuss the issue which as a stated before is not the answer!
Finally I talk about this whole post baby body insanity in my essay The Crooked room of the Female Body Image, check it out when you have a moment.
Here’s how it went down:
during a recent radio interview.
“She’s very tiny, in height,” he said about her appearance at the NASCAR Spring Cup Seires Awards last month, an event he hosted. “It seems like she had had a baby and said, ‘I don’t really give a s–––’ … I read it on her gut.”
“Somebody sat in the director’s chair was not wearing Spanx and I was like ‘Jesus Christ!'”
Alyssa responded via Twitter:
.@jaymohr37 So sorry you felt the need to publicly fat-shame me. Be well and God Bless. Please send my love to your beautiful wife.
A week and a half later, Mohr replied (a week later) –saying he was just kidding and posted this statement on his official blog:
Comedians have a hole on their insides that can only be filled by generating constant content that is, many times, improvised in the moment. Unfortunately, in rare instances, it causes irreparable harm. I had thought (incorrectly) in an improvisational moment, that the incongruousness of my statements, when held up to the light of how beautiful Alyssa Milano is, would have been funny given that she is the size of a thimble. It wasn’t funny. Knowing that Alyssa, as well as her family, friends, fans, and especially her husband, heard things that were hurtful from my mouth crushed me. She has always been one of the kindest, most caring and beautiful people this town has ever seen. I will not make excuses for what I said. Although I immediately removed that segment from my podcast, it still doesn’t change the results. I know full well how much words can hurt people, having seen my wife get destroyed by the tabloids, and I am embarrassed that I didn’t think before I spoke. Alyssa is an extraordinarily beautiful person—both inside and out. Alyssa is a mother, a wife, an actress, and a class act that should always be celebrated. Sometimes comedians go too far. I went too far. I cannot change what I said, but I can assure you that my heart is broken that I hurt her. I am very sorry. With the utmost sincerity, Jay Mohr
Milano graciously accepted Mohr’s apology on Friday.
“Thank you. Apology accepted,” she wrote on Twitter, adding “(She grunts while aggressively yet cautiously prying off her head-to-toe Spanx) #PassTheCookies.”