The fashion industry is famous for having highly unrealistic body standards, but you know it’s bad when designers won’t make a dress for a talented, popular, well-known actress — just because of her size.
Two years ago, flush with success thanks to breakout-hit Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy went scouting for a dress for the Oscars.
“I asked five or six designers—very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people—and they all said no,” she told Redbook.
McCarthy ended up wearing a dress from ready-to-wear plus line Marina Rinaldi, which can be found at upscale department stores like Bloomingdales. Compare this relatively un-extravagant choice to that of most actresses, who have teams of stylists, designers and publicists working in tandem to find them the most jaw-dropping gown possible.
According to a USA Today article,“[The women] who always seem to end up on the best-dressed lists can have a top-tier designer (think Gucci, Versace or Dior) custom-make a dress for them."
Rachel Zoe has also spoke to the importance of red carpet gowns, saying, "Your client has to be happy and feel beautiful. There are so many people scrutinizing the red carpet that it's about having fun and playing with something original, something couture, something interesting, but also giving people what they want: a glamorous Hollywood moment."
McCarthy shouldn’t have to forgo her Hollywood moment simply because she doesn’t fit into size zero. In fact, she’s much closer to “the norm” than the majority of actresses: 67% of the population is plus size, according to Business Insider.
McCarthy recognizes (and clearly understands) how depressing the lack of options for plus-sizes is —which is why she’s starting her own line.
“When I go shopping, most of the time I’m disappointed,” she also told Redbook.
Unlike a lot of celebrities who do fashion, McCarthy actually has some knowledge of the industry. She received her undergraduate degree in fashion and textiles at Southern Illinois University and at one point even planned on going to the Fashion Institute of Technology.
McCarthy is teaming up with Daniella Pearl, the designer of her 2011 Emmy’s gown, to create the line. It will be called Pearl and hopefully will help women“feel good about themselves.”
Props to McCarthy for turning a huge disappointment into an opportunity. If it’s anything like her, the line will be classy, beautiful — and bold.