Under Pressure

Several years ago, I got to be an extra in a movie. The scenes took place in an abandoned hospital. I got called to the set a handful of times (dressed as a nurse in blue scrubs), and for one two-hour stretch I stood in a hallway with another extra, just around the corner from the scene being filmed. They wanted us on hand in case they needed us (they didn’t – that time).

The star of the movie was a young actress, primarily known for her work on a television show. When we arrived on set, we were told not to make eye contact with or talk to her (of course I broke those “rules” the first chance I got). She was one of the (if not the) skinniest people I’ve ever seen in real life.

What does this have to do with Big Fit Deal? Well, when I was standing in that hallway, a production assistant hurried by, carrying a plastic grocery bag. Another PA stopped him to talk, and I saw that the bag contained, among other things, lemons, a knife, and a bottle of maple syrup. I couldn’t imagine what this was for. Then the first PA announced that he had to get the bag to the star’s dressing room, as she was on a cleanse.

I hadn’t heard of the Master Cleanse back then. I’m sure you know it: You consume nothing but a concoction of maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. Nothing else. No solid food. Proponents of the Master Cleanse claim it will “detoxify” the body and rid it of excess fat. This actress did not have any excess fat. Maybe she was on the cleanse for detoxifying reasons? Somehow I doubt it.

It’s really sad that someone as tiny as this actress felt pressure to be even smaller. Where does it end? We’ve gone from the curvy body types of the 1960s (think Marilyn Monroe) to starlets who are considered fat (the worst thing you could possibly be in the whole world, right?) if they are bigger than a zero. I’m sure that most actresses are naturally on the smaller side, but I can’t imagine what they put themselves through on a daily basis to make their bodies “acceptable” by Hollywood standards. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

Oh, and that movie? I am in it! Blink and you’ll miss me – I appear for about two seconds. Here’s a screen grab:

Have you ever tried a cleanse? Have you considered doing one? Tell me in the comments!