Melissa McCarthy is an awesome comedian and a Hollywood powerhouse. But she couldn’t get a red carpet dress made for her.
McCarthy told Redbook that she couldn’t find a single designer to work with her on a gown for the Academy Awards red carpet two years ago, because her body differed from the standard measurements of Hollywood’s leading ladies.
“Two Oscars ago, I couldn’t find anybody to do a dress for me,” she said. “I asked five or six designers—very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people—and they all said no.”
That is an astonishing admission, particularly since at the 2012 Academy Awards—where McCarthy ended up wearing an off-the-rack Marina Rinaldi dress—she was already the star of the CBS series “Mike & Molly” and a co-star in the mega-hit “Bridesmaids.” McCarthy was already a major star, and she would have gained plenty of publicity for any designer who would have dressed her for the awards show. And yet, because she is plus-sized, she was completely dismissed.
The story has a happy ending. McCarthy is now plotting her own plus-size clothing line, to help solve the difficulty of finding clothing that’s flattering in her size.
“When I go shopping, most of the time I’m disappointed,” she told Redbook.
But McCarthy is far from the only celebrity who has had trouble finding a gown because she isn’t a size zero. Even the slender but busty “Mad Men” star Christina Hendricks initially couldn’t find a designer to work with her.
“It is difficult come awards season, and I need to find a gown to walk down the red carpet in, and there are only size zeros and size twos available,” Hendricks told Glamour in 2010.
It’s about time that changed. We need more stars like McCarthy—brilliant, gutsy, and diversely-sized—to push through the red carpet barrier.