Wilson’s international fame came with the three Pitch Perfect movies, showcasing her comedy chops and vocal talent playing Patricia, a big, bold, ballsy character who nicknamed herself Fat Amy because she used to perform an Amy Winehouse tribute act. “I reclaimed being a bigger, confident girl, and I think it’s important for people to see that represented on screen,” she said.
In interviews, Wilson spoke of her pride in her body, and how she was immediately signed by an agent because they had nobody else on their books like her. In 2016, she was the cover star of Cosmopolitan magazine, and said: “I wouldn’t ever want to compete with what I call ‘the glamours’ – the really gorgeous people. I’m about the brain, the heart and what’s on the inside. I feel really lucky to be the body type I am.”
Her backtracking is surprising. Of course, she can do anything she likes with her own body, but her boldness as a beautiful bigger woman was totally refreshing. She made so many women feel good, and especially in the current lockdown, where many of us have put on a few – in my case, quite a few – pounds, we need all the boosts we can get. It feels uncomfortable to think that if an A-lister isn’t good enough at an ‘unacceptable’ weight, what does that say about the rest of us?
Now Wilson has a slimmer frame, she’s lost the USP that made her so in demand and will now be competing with ‘the glamours’ for roles. The kinship that bigger women felt when she represented and championed them both on and off screen is broken, much as it was when Adele became the ‘skinny Minnie’ she had earlier vowed not to become.
What’s sad about Wilson’s life change is that even a powerful woman who creates, writes and stars in her own projects feels that she has to fall in line with the belief that only the slim can be taken seriously, and that fat actresses are in the cast merely to be funny.
Just as it’ll be interesting to see the response to Adele’s next album, it will be interesting to see how audiences respond to the roles Wilson is offered now she is slim and blonde, just like everyone else in Tinseltown.