A woman’s value

‘Scandal’ creator Shonda Rhimes says no one saw her ‘as a person’ until after she lost weight

Shonda Rhimes (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)

Shonda Rhimes, the creator and lead writer of famed TV series Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, says that men and women alike used to ignore her despite her abilities as a writer — until, that is, she lost enough weight to be deemed worthy of their attention. Since having lost “closer to 150 pounds,” wrote Rhimes in her Shondaland newsletter, “I discovered that NOW people saw me as a PERSON.”

“What the hell did they see me as before?” Rhimes wondered. “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? 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.”

It was “disconcerting,” the 47-year-old TV writer noted, to suddenly find men seeking her out to have “long conversations with me about things” instead of avoiding her. Women, too, she wrote, “gushed” about her appearance “like I was holding a new baby.”

“Even more disconcerting,” she added, “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!'”

In the end, Rhimes concluded, losing weight proved to be a sobering lesson about how society judges the value of women.

“Being thinner doesn’t make you a different person,” Rhimes wrote. “It just makes you thinner.”

Read the full story at NBC 9 News.


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