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

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