An Open Letter of Size Appreciation to ‘Game of Thrones' Star Emilia Clarke


Dear Emilia,

The first time I saw you, you wore a Grecian violet gown and had hair the color of spun silver. You went by the name of Daenerys and were getting ready for an arranged marriage. Your brother – with his ulterior motives – made you drop trou in front of him and in that moment, we could see that even though you were but a child and frightened of the future ahead of you, you had the body of a woman. As Daenerys, you were portraying a character on the hit HBO series Games of Thrones and the “we” in question were the rapt audience who tune in every week. Though I’m certain that others watch because they are fans of the book series – and while the whole medieval fantasy aspect (“winter is coming”) is certainly enticing – I watch because it is the first time I’ve ever seen a TV show with a strong female lead who has a body shape almost nearly just like my own.

This is not to say that I haven’t seen other wonderful women on TV or in the media with incredible curvy bods. When I think of champions of full figures, my heart instantly jumps to the saucy redhead Christina Hendricks from Mad Men, the brazen and blazing Kate Winslet publicly declaring her distaste for Photoshop and the ethereal singer Liv Kristine from the Norwegian metal band Leaves’ Eyes (Look her up. Now. I’ll wait!). The thing about these women and so many more I have not listed is that they are not my age or within my 20-something age group.

This is where you come in, Emilia. At 23, you are the same age as I am. You portray a young woman who enters into a foreign land, afraid and unsure of herself, but you don’t stay stagnant in this phase for long. You take charge with your husband and kingdom and become the khaleesi, the queen to the people of your kingdom and a much beloved one, at that. You know how to sword fight and how to lay down the law, garnering respect just as much as love.

Off the HBO circuit, you might not have the silver hair and may instead be a brunette, but you still have the wonderfully fit physique that inspires me. I myself am a size 8. Sometimes I’m a 7 and occasionally a 9. I live in LA and many days feel like a pear in a land of pretzel sticks. Do I wish I were smaller? Sometimes, but I love food and will not give it up. The trade-off of a smaller dress size to an unhappy stomach isn’t worth it. I’m a girl who is passionate for many things in life and I’m working hard to achieve my dreams with so many of them already coming true. I will not succumb to the pressure of magazines or Photoshopped photo shoots or runway shows to attain the kind of “beauty” that one select group of individuals has in store for me. I’m proud of my size, damnit!

All I would ever hope and wish for is that there were more girls my age and size out there on TV and in movies, representing beautiful strong women with backbone and backstory. If you inspire me, there is no telling just how many other young professional women you touch. Emilia, you are a fine start to the beginning of this movement fleshing out once more and I thank you for it.

With gratitude,
Heather Taylor

Image via

  • Jen Harbourn

    I’m a huge fan of the GoT book series, and Daenerys has always been my favorite character! I’m beyond thrilled by Emilia Clarke’s portrayal of her :) I love that as a new actress, she has fully embraced this character – nudity and all. She’s an inspiration, for sure!

  • Amanda Rodriguez

    I wish the same thing! (referring to your last paragraph) Too often we see women portrayed as a lot less then that. But cool thing is by writing a piece like this and embracing yourself as you are, you too are inspiring other young women to do the same.
    -from another not pretzel thin 23 year old :)

  • MaryPat Garascia Killmer

    size 8 and 9 IS TINY.. I loved Emilia Clarke’s character …in the first season we saw her grow from an insecure young girl to a brave fearless leader. Overcoming her insecurities makes her more a role model, not her size.

  • Sarah H

    I’m assuming a size 8 US is different to a size 8 Australian then, coz size 8 in Australia is pretty darn skinny (no, I am not an Aussie size 8). 😉

    • Jocelyn Dugan

      8 in the US is a 12 in Australian, I believe.
      8 isn’t fat, it’s just normal. Haha.

  • Felicia Quesada

    While I, too, am happy to see a strong female role played by someone like Emilia Clarke, a wonderfully talented, smart, beautiful, and not stick-thin actress, I find it sad that we are SO happy to see someone on the smaller side of average on television. She’s probably what, a size 6, maybe an 8 on a bloated day? That’s still so small! I hate that women who are healthy and beautiful have to justify their pride in their bodies simply because we are bombarded with messages that size 2 is the ideal.

    And yes, to those asking, US sizing is very different than Australian and other sizing – we like to trick ourselves with smaller numbers! Size 0? Seriously?

    • Abigail

      Considering emilia is 5’2″ and 115 pounds, she probably DOES wear an American size two, or even a 0. She’s strong and fit, but she’s also petite and doesn’t have excess body fat.

  • María José Skar

    That’s the kind of writing and analisys that the girls of our generation need! no matter what size we are, we all understand the importance of embracing our bodies and caring about our physical and mental health. Hugs from Colombia!

  • Jocelyn Dugan

    I feel like HBO is much more body-friendly than any other channel. I haven’t figured out why or if that’s even correct- but it’s something I have noticed.

    • Anna Schatte

      HBO does a wonderful job of showing REAL female bodies for period shows/films. I know Game of Thrones is fantasy, but I read a great article about Boardwalk Empire a few months ago, and it was imperative to cast women with real breasts and faces, because if you have a show about the 1920’s and all of the women have boobs that do not move and are pointing to the ceiling, it is not believable for the audience.

  • Emma Jones

    Emilia is so beautiful. Daenerys is my favourite character too. I felt so sorry for her and then she really took charge. But there really wasnt the need for so much nudity!

  • Sarah Ann Schatsiek

    LOVELY letter. I love her so much.. she’s definitely an inspiration. I fell in love with her character (and in turn her real self), the first moment I saw her on the show. <3 it!

    *and I agree with Emma Jones about the nudity.. but I'm used to that with my HBO shows lol but definitely side with you on that, Emma*

  • Olga Podobed

    I was a big fun of GotT books and used to almost skip Daenerys’ parts don’t like her at the least, she annoyed me. I never pictured her like Emilia in my imagination. But I like this girls work, she make Daenerys nicer :)
    Can’t say that about TV series – it was disappointment.

  • Dahlia BlackCloud

    You’re complaining about how being a size 8 is terrible? Oh, SO AWFUL. I can’t imagine what it would feel like being a size 18 in Los Angeles.

  • Anne Vierra

    I’m sad you want to be smaller at a size 8. Just wait until you get closer to 30 and your metabolism slows down.

    • Megan Younce

      I didn’t get that impression! “I’m proud of my size, damnit!”

Need more Giggles?
Like us on Facebook!

Want more Giggles?
Sign up for our newsletter!