I have heard some talk about my new show “Drop Dead Diva.” People are concerned that we are making fun of fat people or that it is a show about fat jokes or something ridiculous like that. I want to reach out and assure our potential audience that I would never condone or be involved with a project like that. The reason I took the job in the first place was because it dealt with issues of body image with such respect and grace. I have been affected negatively by ‘fat jokes’ and the status quo of women’s bodies for as long as I can remember. I almost killed myself dieting, once in my early twenties, after being told by network executives that my ‘face was too full’ to play the role of myself on my first television show, “All American Girl.” All I wanted to be was thin enough to – well, play myself! I didn’t eat for weeks and exercised day and night and wound up in the hospital. My TV show was eventually canceled – and replaced by Drew Carey’s show – you know, because he is so thin.
“Drop Dead Diva” is a show about us. For those of us who struggle to be visible. I never lived up to the thin, blonde beauty queen ideal – the image I saw in magazines and movies and television. Because of this, I always felt invisible. “Drop Dead Diva” is about learning to become visible. Through the character Jane Bingum, played masterfully and eloquently by Brooke Elliott, we triumph because we see her beauty, we share her beauty, we show everyone her beauty. Sometimes when I have a break in a scene, I will go behind the camera and watch Brooke on the monitors, and I want to cry because she always wins, she always shines. She makes me feel like I exist. And she is beautiful. Save your judgments until you watch our show. Do it for yourself and all the young girls out there who feel like they don’t exist because they are not a size 0.