Ashley Benson: ‘I was just told I was too fat for a part. I’m a size 2!’

ashley2

I really don’t know much about Ashley Benson, one of the stars of Pretty Little Liars. One of my big introductions to Benson was this Canadian magazine interview she did back in May 2015, where she boldly declared that she could never, ever date a high-profile actor like Angelina Jolie has. It struck me (as it struck many commenters) that Benson was saying that she was very much like Angelina Jolie (as in, she was just as famous), but Ashley could never date anyone like Brad Pitt because it would just get too intense, with the fame and everything. It was a funny interview and so my general feeling about her was “bless her heart.” But Ashley has a new interview and I actually have a pang of genuine sympathy for her now.

She was told she was too fat: “I was just told I was too fat for a part. I’m a size 2! I cried for 30 minutes, but then you have to let it roll off your shoulders or it could cause a serious eating disorder. A lot of people in this industry hear they need to lose weight more times than they should. It does make you stronger, though. Because if you let that affect you, you can’t be in this industry—you’d go crazy.”

She hates being Photoshopped: “I saw photos from a shoot of myself just the other day and thought, What the hell? That doesn’t even look like me! I was so disappointed. I hate to think that girls are like, ‘She’s so skinny! Her skin is so perfect!’ I have pimples just like they do.”

Early stardom: “I definitely see why some people can go a little nuts. Being successful at such a young age—and I feel I never got to that level, but I’ve seen friends who have—is very difficult because you’re being told yes a thousand times more than you’re being told no. You’re making a lot of money, there are a lot of temptations, and there are no consequences no matter what you’re doing.”

She’s not into the LA scene: “It’s fun to have drinks with friends, but I would never want to do anything that would sabotage my career. I’d rather have dinner and drinks at someone’s house than go batshit crazy in public. It’s not my scene.”

[From Ocean Drive]

She was told she was “too fat”? Stories like that always make me so angry about Hollywood. She’s NOT fat!! Of course, I kind of don’t believe she’s a size 2 either (she looks more like a size 6 to me, which is still NOT FAT in any world). I also wonder if people think she’s “bigger” because she still has a baby-face. I thought she was maybe 19 or 20 years old, but she’s 26. Anyway, even though she’s a bit eye-rolly and bless-her-hearty, I feel sympathy for her. It’s impressive that she’s been in Hollywood since she was 14 years old and she still has a relatively calm, confident head on her shoulders.

ashley1

Photos courtesy of Ocean Drive.

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114 Responses to “Ashley Benson: ‘I was just told I was too fat for a part. I’m a size 2!’”

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  1. Holly says:

    She’s short, so she could be an actual 2, not a Kardashian 2.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I don’t know if the best thing we can do in this situation is further critique her body and banter back and forth about what size we think she “really” is. That seems like contributing to the problem.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      A US size 2 is what, an European 38? 36? Does anyone know?

      • mp says:

        A 2 would be a UK 6, i have no idea what the EUR equivalent would be. But a 2 is very small right?

      • mp says:

        I think it’s a 34?

      • Lolita_Merz says:

        I think 32 EU which is nuts

      • Val says:

        I don’t even know what sizes mean tbh – it depends on the garment, the designer, the country… sometimes I need a larger size, sometimes a smaller… it really means so little! Plus it’s so stupid to quantify things like that, because it shouldn’t matter! Just like I hate the misogynistic rating of women on a scale.

    • raincoaster says:

      She LOOKS like a 6, but it’s cameras so she’s probably a 4 or even possibly really a 2. I’ve seen Calista Flockhart in the flesh, and literally at first glance I thought it was a homeless junkie, she was so skinny. Then I caught her looking at me with an “I dare you” gaze, and realized she thought I was a creepy fan. But the camera does add those pounds.

    • Samtha says:

      I’ve met Ashley, and I’d say she’s around the 2-4 area. Not a 6. She’s pretty tiny in person. She looks “bigger” because so many girls and women in the industry are 0 or less.

  2. Lexi says:

    I’ve seen her in person before and she is TINY in real life. The camera adds a few pounds but I totally believe she is a size 2 and I can’t believe she was told she was too fat.

    • perplexed says:

      That’s what I was thinking. She most likely looks much smaller in person. She looks slim in photos, so I’m sure she looks slim in person too.

    • Katija says:

      I had a friend who worked on a PLL special interview or something, and he said two are pint-sized and two are model-tall, LOL. I’m assuming Ashley is one of the pint-sized ones. They even them out by putting the tall ones in flats and the little ones in heels.

    • Samtha says:

      I just posted the same thing. She’s tiny in person.

  3. Jayna says:

    She looks like a size four to me. Although, if she has no hips, she could be a two in pants, and just her upper body is a little bigger.

    A lot of labels now are not reflective of what a true size two or four is anymore. A four is now a two. A true two is now a zero. A six is now a four. Then they sell clothes and women get to go around saying they are a two when they aren’t really, just certain labels.

    She’s got a nice figure, and it’s bizarre to be told that. But Scarlett Johanssen used to get roles not being a size two. But I’m sure the norm is being put under pressure to be very thin.

    • raptor says:

      I think it’s also worth noting that size varies so much based on both brand and cut. I went shopping this weekend and the clothing I bought ranged from size 2 to size 8. The 2 and the 8 are actually from the same brand; they’re just cut differently. I tried on a 6 from another brand and couldn’t squeeze into it, yet I fit into size 2 pants from that same brand. Saying, “I’m a size 2″ doesn’t really mean anything, because what is a size 2? There’s no real consistency there.

      TL;DR version: I hate the size 2 defense (even though I understand it), because it doesn’t mean anything. We can use our eyes to see that you’re tiny.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Raptor, it’s like looking in a mirror! I’m short with a small waist and big hips, so I’m also a size 2-4-6-8, depending on brand & cut. And don’t get me started on petite vs regular length pants.

    • pumbi says:

      I think so too. I was a size 2 in pans and rocks, but no way I could sqeez myself into a size 2 shirt or top. Now that I’ m pregnant of course it is all changed.

      In the other hand if she says she is size 2 why not belive it? As somebody told before me it is not like a Kardashian said size 2.

  4. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Wow. If she’s too fat they would faint if they saw me.

    • Sixer says:

      Ha! I’ve always been the skinniest of skinny rats, GNAT. But slowly, post-chemo-enforced-early-menopause, I have been putting on weight. I had to buy new jeans, much to Mr Sixer’s amusement (shopping for clothes is not my thing). And new bras. What the what?! They might also faint if they saw me now. I’m a UK size 12. But what that is in Hollywood sizes, I have no idea.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I’m a U.S. 10 or 12, which is what they would call “ginormous” I’m sure! I feel like sitting on them.

      • Sixer says:

        It’s all so dispiriting, isn’t it? I’m just glad for myself that, while I have as many insecurities as the next person, none of them are about appearance or weight. I feel for all those that suffer body-image insecurities, though. It’s an unhealthy environment that we’re living in.

      • We Are All Made of Stars says:

        A UK 12 is supposed to be a US 8…but I notice that the UK must have changed its sizing as well since many websites now claim only a one-size discrepancy between UK and US sizes…go figure.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I actually feel pretty good about my body – finally. For years I struggled to be a size 4 or 6 and went on every crazy diet known to man and punished myself mentally and physically for not being naturally thin. Now, I try to look at myself like I would look at a friend. There are nice things about my body and I focus on those. If necessary, I can be in public without disgracing myself. And also, with age, I just don’t care so much what other people think. But yes, we live in a world where we are constantly told that our value comes from our appearance, and it can wear you down if you don’t fight it, or if you’re susceptible to that.

      • Boston Green Eyes says:

        @Sixer, I think it’s most dispiriting to young women/girls. I don’t care that I’m, ahem, big boned, because I REALLY could give two f’s what you think of me, thank you very much.

        But girls who are a healthy, sporty size 8, 10 or 12. This will drive them to bulimia and other not so healthy habits. They care so deeply about what others think/say about them.

        And I swear that I’m overweight now because I starved myself when I was in my early teens.

      • Sixer says:

        Good for you, GNAT. I aim to be fairly healthy and beyond that, I don’t care. I neither love my body nor hate it; it’s just there. Mind you, if we were on the topic of the things I do worry about, I have neuroses to rule them all!

        BGE: yes. Because you’re more vulnerable to it when you’re young. Because you use all the dressing up and fashion and celebrities to follow/emulate as one of many ways to try on various identities to see which one is going to fit the adult you. That’s entirely healthy. But if it all gets twisted up with all this weight nonsense, as it does, it can do profound and completely unnecessary damage.

      • Bae says:

        Most of my insecurities while growing up were about my weight. I was a chubby kid who turned into a fat teenager who turned into a slightly chubby adult. The media played a huge role in those insecurities because women who looked like me were always the butt of the joke or very unhappy. It gives you the impression that the only way to be happy is to be skinny. I always lived like my life was paused – when I lose weight I will do this, when I lose weight I will do that. It’s not a very healthy way of living your life. The fact that my parents acted like they would sell their kidneys if that would make me skinny also didn’t help.

      • Crumpet says:

        Ugh, Bae, that is terrible. I’m sorry you have been put through the wringer like that. It sounds like you’ve moved past it though – good for you!

      • Charlotte15 says:

        GNAT I am also a US 10 or 12 and it is obscene how some designers don’t even fit me. I can range from an XS shirt at the Gap or Old Navy (I got a good laugh out of that one; I have never been an XS in my life!) but then can’t even fit into a shirt at, say, Zara. It is crazy that there’s no uniform sizing guidelines.

  5. vauvert says:

    Leaving aside other eye-rolley things she may have said or not, she does not need to defend herself by claiming she is size 2. Whether she is 2 or 6 or 8, this is not a fat woman. Not to sound mean Kaiser, but does it matter what size she is? I cringed at your “she looks like a 6 to me” because it brings the discussion to what we should avoid, namely a size. We all keep saying on this site that size is not important and as long as someone is healthy and happy with herself it is all good, but too often there are comments implying that the smaller the size the better.

  6. Alex says:

    Yea she’s really small so the fact that’s she’s fat is crazy to me. I like the PLL girls all of them are relatively calm and zero drama. And her costar Troian is a big supporter of this very topic because she came out about having an eating disorder herself. It’s just insane how the industry can do that to anyone really

  7. Mrs. Wellen Melon says:

    We live in a world where women’s high-end clothing is judged to photograph best on the body of a teen boy with a small frame.

    Compared to that, this actress is heavy. It’s absurd.

    • Shambles says:

      You said it all.

      I hope Jaden Smith is having fun frolicking around in his Louis Vuitton while the women who aren’t the size of teenage boys are still being made to feel bad about their bodies.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Right? They finally just admitted that they design clothes for teenage boys. They rest of us can go to hell and take our unattractive hips and breast with us. We’re so unworthy.

      • Boston Green Eyes says:

        Gay men do the majority of clothing design for women. Need I say more.

      • Liberty says:

        Wouldn’t it classic if the part she auditioned for goes to Jaden? Just waiting for the news.

      • V4Real says:

        This led me to believe that this is another reason Black actresses are not getting many roles. I’m not being funny; hear me out. If a thin White actress is told she needs to lose weight what do you think they would say to a Black actress. Most of the Black actresses in Hollywood are a bit curvier than most White actresses. Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan, Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Lupita, Megan Goode, Nia Long, Kimberly Elise (she’s so talented and I bet most people haven’t heard of her),Vivica A. Fox and Regina Hall just to name a few are nowhere near fat. But, they are a bit curvier when compared to actresses such as JLaw, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Gwen Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Charlize Theron, Keira Knightly, Anne Hathaway, Rachel McAdams and Julia Roberts.

        Even Halle Berry had to tighten up a bit when she was chosen to play a Bond girl and we know she already had an amazing body. But she wasn’t as thin as the other Bond girls such as Denise Richards or Rosamund Pike. Just food for thought for me. It’s like a double whammy against Black actresses.

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah that’s an interesting point, V4Real, and not one I’d considered until you mentioned it.

        Although I still maintain that Danai Gurira has the most amazing body–if I’m allowed to say that—she’s definitely my fitness inspiration.
        She’s kind of a combination of curvy (hip-to-waist ratio and she has a butt) and really toned and strong-looking.

      • V4Real says:

        Yes she does look strong and fit. I wouldn’t mind having her body. Having her body type I mean. LOL..

      • kri says:

        @Shambles..YES!YES!YES! This! My god, has nothing changed??! Why is there debate about wht size she is and what size she looks like she is to some people? That is a serious issue and very telling. She “looks” bigger than a 2 to some, some say she looks like a 2. God. Maybe she sucks as an actress. Maybe that should matter. Since I was 10 years old, I have been battling bulimia/anorexia. To win, I had to stop it all, and I gained 60 lbs. I had to re-train my body, and it wasn’t easy. How many of us have suffered to “Look” thin enough? I’m so sick of it all. The worst part is nothing has changed in 30 years. Disgusted.

    • swak says:

      Was this not a hot discussion yesterday about Jaden Smith modeling womenswear and how it distorted the image of what women should aspire to be? Again, this is why Jaden modeling womenswear is not a good idea.

      • Colette says:

        So Jaden is the problem? The problem started yesterday? What about the other three equally thin,boyish shaped female models in the LV campaign? There are thousands of thin models with no hips or breasts BUT Jaden is the problem.LMAO

      • Tifygodess says:

        @collette no one said jaden is the problem. Did we just read the same thing? The article on Jaden started A discussion on the site but no one was blaming him for the way the fashion industry treats women or that the issue just happened. It just adds more fact to the reality.

      • dagdag says:

        I googled the Louis Vuitton Women Spring Summer 2016 Show and every single model had the body of an average to skinny 12 to 13 year old one, just much taller than the average girl in this age range.

      • swak says:

        @colette, not going to argue but one last opinion, by putting those waif-like girls in the photo with Jaden just reinforces that one must be skinny with no shape at all to wear the clothes.

      • Farhi says:

        Those girls with Jayden weren’t just skinny. They are clearly starving themselves. They had practically concave chests, Jayden was the only one who looked normal.

  8. Kiki says:

    I kind of like her. I think she has a good head on her shoulder, especially the first part of the interview. Now if only she could tell that to Alicia Vikander.

    Anyway, she should keep doing what she is doing and enjoy life while she can.

  9. Ana A. says:

    Just looked it up. She’s just 5’3”. So she definitely can be a size 2.

    I think we shouldn’t forget that height is important. 5′ size 4 is normal, while 6′ size 4 is underweight. If Jennifer Lawrence claims a size 2 I’d roll my eyes, even though she is really slim, but also quite tall for an actress.

  10. cleveland girl says:

    I don’t understand. isn’t that Ashley Olsen? Did I miss something?

  11. Talie says:

    On Pretty Little Liars, she is the “fat” one…although they used to use padding. I thought her career would be a bit more on an upswing after Spring Breakers, but it didn’t happen.

    • me says:

      Wait a minute, so she used “padding” to make herself look heavier for her show? Why couldn’t they just hire an actress that was the actual weight of the character instead? So she’s ok with hiring “skinnier actresses” when it suits her though.

      • Luna says:

        @me: that’s because her character, Hanna, was fat in the past, as shown in a series of flashbacks. Hanna has been thin ever since the show started.

        The character suffered from an eating disorder, which I found interesting but they barely touched on the subject on the show. I wish they’d explored it more because I saw a lot of myself in Hanna.

      • me says:

        @ Luna

        Thanks for clarifying. I have never watched the show so I thought it was odd hearing that she had to use “padding” to appear heavier. Yes, interesting they didn’t touch more on her character’s eating disorder then.

  12. Barrett says:

    She’s very small but in today’s world of extreme vanity sizing is the 2 a 4?

    Vanity sizing is annoying!

  13. Norman Bates's Mother says:

    At this point, after reading so many similar stories – I wouldn’t be surprised if Keira Knightley was told she was too fat for a role. HW casting people are mean and unreasonable. The only situation in which Benson would be too fat is if she was going to play someone ill – but then, they could have asked her to lose weight for the part and explain that the character must look malnourished. If they didn’t want her anyway, why couldn’t they simply say: “We’re looking for someone else. Good luck in the future!”? I just don’t understand this unnecessary meanness and making someone feel like crap without a reason.

  14. Jib says:

    Since she was too fat for the role, maybe they can hire Jaden Smith?!?

  15. CornyBlue says:

    It is horrible that this girl is too “fat” for a role. It is also good of these people to come out and talk about it so that people can stop aspiring for a Hollywood body.

  16. Armenthrowup says:

    She, and every other actress, should get together and name and shame the people that tell them they’re too fat. It’s because this sort of thing is kept secret that it’s allowed to happen. Does Hollywood honestly think that we won’t go to see films because the actress is a normal size?!?!? Sexist idiots.

    • Lucy2 says:

      I would love that. Sadly it will never happen because they’re all too afraid of not getting another job, but someone has to make a change somewhere.

    • Tifygodess says:

      I would love to see what these idiots- oops I mean people- look like who are telling these women they are too fat. I can guarantee that would p*ss us off even more!

    • HoustonGrl says:

      Agreed. Whoever these people are, they are terrorists.

  17. OSTONE says:

    Ugh I hate Hollywood standards. Wonder when was the last time they told an actor he was too fat or too old for a role? Ashley is tiny. Fck Hollywood.

    • Alicia says:

      Leo DiCaprio was told he was too fat for Inception and he needed to drop weight for the role. If the biggest movie star in the world has to take that, then I’m pretty sure everyone does.

    • CornyBlue says:

      I mean not that Hollywood is not inherently sexist but men are put on very strict diets too.. I saw once when they said they had to sign contracts that they would only eat food that the studio provided.

    • K says:

      Ike barenholtz had to lose weight for sisters they told him he was to fat, they wanted him to do it but he had to lose weight. They gave him the part with the order to lose weight. It happens just not as much, and often they are given the opportunity to shed the pounds.

  18. Hejhej says:

    It’s both absurd and depressing that she’s considered too fat for anything :(

  19. sara says:

    This girl is nowhere near fat, even by Hollyweird standards. But, using the ever decreasing, US vanity sizing system to refute that claim doesn’t have the same merit as simply saying I weight 105 lbs. A size 2 is meaningless – it’s yesterday’s size 0 and tomorrow’s size 4. Just sayin.

    • CornyBlue says:

      the size 0,2,4 things are so absurd. We have normal sizes to everything and i cannot imagine how people shop in US.

      • Tifygodess says:

        @cornyblue I wish we would stop vanity sizing here in America and go by actual measurement. I really believe the way we size our clothes here contributes to weight issues as well. Our society relies so much on what size you are wearing, how certain sizes are “acceptable” and deemed goal worthy, that people don’t always realize that the number doesn’t really mean anything since there’s no industry standard. Another issue is that useless little number on our pants is also a way people keep an “eye” on their weight and that skews perception as well. Every year they are slowly making each size bigger and bigger, so what used to be a healthy size 6 (or whatever size) for someone is now a “hey I might need to lose a few pounds size 12″ yet it’s still packaged in a size 6. While it might make someone feel good to go the store and buy a smaller size it’s not helping anyone in reality. It all needs an overhaul including societies attitude about women’s bodies!

      • swak says:

        @tifygodess -your suggestion of going by actual measurement is spot on. Men’s pants go by measurement (waist, inseam). When I was a teen and had lost weight, I had to buy jeans in the men’s dept because I didn’t have any hips and my legs were long. Most women’s pants were “high water” on me. I also bought men’s docker pants because of the way they would fit. It makes much more sense.

  20. K says:

    Her actual size is irrelevant and we shouldn’t be guessing while shaming the culture that creates the size shaming because by guessing you are perpetuating the culture. Also why accuse her of lying there is just no reason to do that, she says she is a size 2 she is. Regardless she is beautiful, I’ve never seen her show so I don’t know if she is talented (only reason she should or shouldn’t get a part) but she seems smart focused and level headed.

    • ella says:

      Exactly. I cringed at that comment – you can’t really criticize someone for body snarking and then do the same in the next sentence.

  21. Furmom says:

    I feel like she’s lying. Not saying this doesn’t happen because of course it does but I think she’s just saying it… For a sound bite/attention. Hey Ashley, it worked!

  22. laura says:

    Me bf and I were watching a VS show last night (first time I have seen one) and couldn’t get why they use models who are SO skinny. We both found it so unattractive and unrealistic, 99.9% of people buying these clothes don’t look like that so why do the models?!!

  23. MrsNix says:

    This is why I highly value television programs that come out of the UK. If you look at the programming that gets international success out of that country (Happy Valley, The Fall, Peaky Blinders, and on and on), you notice a few cosmetic things beyond just whether or not the writing and acting is good.

    They use “normal-looking” people in their programming.

    By that, I mean that the casts in British dramas vary in height, weight, and level of conventional beauty. The woman who stars in and absolutely carries Happy Valley is about a UK size 12 (maybe even a UK 14). She is not drop-dead gorgeous. She’s a well-groomed, average-looking woman who looks pretty when she dresses for company. And she is an amazing actress who made that show one of the best cop dramas I’ve seen in years.

    The UK doesn’t shelve an actress who weighs more than 110 pounds or ages beyond 25. They use actors of various body types. There are slim, chunky, downright skinny, and occasionally obese actors on the screen there. There are actors of varying degrees of conventional attractiveness. And guess what? The programs are engaging and well-written and very convincingly acted out.

    I love British television. Part of that love involves their use of people who actually look believably like people you could pass on the street. Some of them are gorgeous and slender. Some of them are gorgeous and heavy. Some of them are totally average looking, awkwardly built, have big ears, strange mouths, bad hair, or (gasp!) wrinkles.

    But it works.

    I’m so tired of the fat shaming and the skinny shaming and the age shaming in American film.

    It does nothing to elevate our dramas. I’ll stick with British productions until American productions can sort our stuff out.

    • Krista says:

      Me too. The writing it better and the actors look like people.

    • Beckysuz says:

      Yes!! My sister and I were just talking about this! It’s so refreshing to see “normal” looking people on British tv. Just as you would in real life. I know lots of pretty, interesting people, and just as many average looking but also very interesting ones. Life! I love that. And frankly I think the acting is better for it. Because they are casting on talent and not just looks

    • Locke Lamora says:

      I think that’s the case with most European productions. I think it’s partially due to the fact that there are few model-to-actor types. Like, in my country you have to be a trained actor ( have a master’s degree from the Academy of Dramatic Arts) to act. There are very few people we see on the screen who are not trained.
      The US is completely different, even the people who are trained actors are incredibly beautiful ( Jessica Chastain for an example). Why is that?

      • MrsNix says:

        I think you’re exactly right here. Acting is much more merit-based in Europe. Some of the Scandinavian productions are like this, as well. Average looking people who really steal the show and really knock the story telliing out of the park.

        I find it beyond sad that the only successful crossover Brits in American cinema are the ones who fit the narrow beauty standards.

      • Anne tommy says:

        I agree, and French TV series – like the great Spiral – use female leads who are very attractive but don’t have the fembot / waxwork look that seems the norm for Hollywood. They look like real people, albeit very attractive ones. Quelle horreur!

    • Snowflake says:

      Yeah I watched a show my ex,who is English, said was popular. I thought it was low budget because everyone was average looking but apparently it was quite popular. I was shocked at how average the people looked. No offense intended, nothing wrong with being normal, but it was a big contact to what I’m used to seeing on TV. As a normal, average person, I would appreciate seeing similar on US TV.

    • Sixer says:

      Locke – I watch loads of non-UK European drama and I agree. It’s the US that is different in representing idealisations on TV and everyone else that is pretty much the same in representing relatively normal people. I always wonder if it’s the comparative popularity/acceptability of cosmetic surgery/intervention?

      MrsNix – as a Britisher, you made me smile! I’m just keeping my fingers, toes and everything else crossed that we aren’t just a decade or so behind you in this fashion for stock beauty and our TV stays the unglamorous way it is!

      • me says:

        It’s also funny that American TV is so obsessed with “thin women” as the general American population is quite over-weight and has a huge obesity problem. American TV definitely doesn’t represent what most Americans actually look like.

      • MrsNix says:

        @me: That’s actually a stereotype based in truth but hugely overblown. The US obesity rate is similar to other developed Western nations, and different regions of the US vary widely in those numbers.

        It’s not true that all Americans are fat…and that’s the one stereotype that I really got tired of as an American living out of the country for a number of years. People would look at me and make jokes about it because I am not obese. They would joke about how I was the American who escaped obesity…like I would find that funny. I’m 5’3″ and 145 pounds. By no means skinny or slim, but I’m not fat, either. I wore a UK 10p or 12 if I wanted something loose.

        My point is, the “median” American weight does not represent the average American walking down the street. We have all sorts here. 350 million of us, give or take, and we come in all shapes. Obesity is a problem, absolutely, but that isn’t all we are.

      • MrsNix says:

        @sixer: I’m glad. Your entire country should be very proud in this area. I adore it. It’s the best in the world, in my opinion. The actors are trained, professional, and they do glorious storytelling. America needs to catch up to the UK in this area of art…not vice versa.

      • Sixer says:

        MrsNix – and now you’ve said the magic word “storytelling”, which is why I watch TV – I’m not big on soapy shows or standard procedurals. I like individual stories with beginnings and ends. I think you and I think alike!

      • me says:

        @ MrsNix

        I never said ALL Americans were over-weight or Obese. But the truth is the general population (as the median) is over-weight…that is a fact. The problem is that American TV portrays America as just thin (sometimes under-weight) people as the norm. That is a lie in and of itself. I agree, the population is filled with many different sizes, but American TV won’t admit this !

      • MrsNix says:

        @me: 100% agree!

  24. Micki says:

    She was too fat for a part, others were too beautiful for a part, I was too educated for a part…
    I wonder how HW wraps rejections. Can she be told “you’re too blond for the part”? That’s easy to change, eye colour too. So what’s left? Height, BMI and charisma. I still wait to hear that s.b. was sent home for wooden acting.

  25. Lisa says:

    lol, I love how the first few comments are doubting the size two claim. “Oh no, she HAS to be a four!”

    • candice says:

      When I hear “size 2″ or any other size description for that matter, it’s pretty meaningless as sizes vary from one manufacturer to another. If someone says I weigh 105, that’s more relevant. Especially when sizes keep getting “smaller” due to vanity sizing….Back in the day, a size 12 was “slim” and I can remember when there was nothing smaller than a 4.

      • Lisa says:

        All true, especially when you take height into account. But I think you can also use it abstractly or as a catch-all, since everyone has a pretty good idea of what size 2 looks like, tall or not. So I don’t take it that seriously, and I think it’s a bit lame of people to basically be saying she can’t be that skinny or looks bigger. That just proves her point.

  26. Farhi says:

    She is not too fat, she is not fat, she is slim/ skinny. You have to remember that camera adds 10 pounds.
    I haven’t seen her in anything, so I don’t know if she is a good actress or not. But she is normal for Hollywood.

    • Beatrice says:

      I don’t think being told she’s too fat is necessarily about her weight or size, but rather how she looks on film. I’m fairly thin but sometimes look a lot heavier in photos.

      • mp says:

        even if she did look “fat” on camera, what would be the big deal though? How would that possibly detract from whatever she was supposed to be doing? As the discussion above notes, BBC has all sized people on it all the time, as well as non-pretty people. That’s more realistic to me…

        If they said, sorry you’re not a good enough actress, fine, but to call her fat is madness, even if she photographs or appears on screen as bigger than in real life.

      • Farhi says:

        I also appreciate the fact that BBC and generally British and European movies and TC have “normal” people in them, maybe just slightly “improved”. Many American actors looks like clones.

  27. nicegirl says:

    i find her quite beautiful.

  28. aang says:

    I watched PLL for a short time with my daughter and her character had an arch about being bullied for her weight. She doesn’t look heavy to me at all in the role, and she seems to do well with a script that is sometimes pretty awful. I like her.

  29. mp says:

    So, Ashley’s 3 costars on PLL had eating disorders (Shay, Lucy, Troian (sp?) Not kidding. It makes me so sad because EDs are the leading cause of death for women 15-24.

    When the majority of the female cast on a popular tv show has had an eating disorder, something needs to change. And if it were males, I would still feel the same way.

    yeah, she’s kind of humble bragging, but she also inhabits a f*cked up world and this is the only way I’ll bet she is permitted to talk about it – otherwise she would be seen as difficult, troublesome, etc.

    I don’t love JLaw, but I do wish it was “let me see your acting ability” followed by “Does this person look the part?”

  30. shannon says:

    As a grown woman who’s gone through some definite physical changes due to some health issues, I agree with what others have said – why are we even debating size? I try stuff on. If it fits and I like how it looks on me, I buy it. I’m not looking at the size on it or caring. I swear, it’s like women will compete over anything. It’s a number on a tag, or a number on a scale. My size doesn’t make me any better or worse than anyone else. It’s DNA and how you eat, which once you’re grown is your own business. Poor girl, but I’m glad she seems to have a healthy attitude about it.

  31. Lolita_Merz says:

    Well, was the role for a starving zombie or something, maybe?

  32. The Mad Zak says:

    Healthy human bodies come in a number of shapes. Miss Benson’s waist is not a lot smaller than her hips. That’s her natural shape. However, some idiot sees that and says “She’s fat”. She isn’t fat. She’s toned, healthy and does NOT have an excessive amount of fat on her body. Those idiots in casting want all people to have the same shape, but we don’t. She is a beautiful young lady and she does not need to change.

  33. MickeyHolland says:

    Such a lovely looking girl. Nuf said.

  34. BrryLimeSublime says:

    So, I AM usually a “size 2″ in companies with normal sizing. And that’s usually the safe bet overall because most companies do still have normal sizes (AKA it’s a Small and a 24 in Seven for All Mankind which does inches.) In vanity sizing (cough Banana Republic/Gap) I’m a XXS Petite. I’m Ashley’s height and my weigh is usually between 108-114.

    Just going by the fact that we both don’t have super exaggerated curves, baby faces as adults, and how I photograph — yes I think she is my size.

    If she had huge fake breasts I’m sure it would make her proportions exaggerated.

    But yes, cameras are deceiving and I also get told I’m freakishly tiny.

    Another flip side of rudeness to be told about your body FYI. Which must make it even more difficult to be told you’re “too fat.”

    But hey, Maggie Gyllenhaal was told she was “too old” at 32 to be the love interest for a 55 year old.

    The larger issue is probably a reflection of the double standards against women VS men in everything, but especially Hollywood.

    I did see the Leo comment too but he was a lot larger proportion compare to Ashley here when told that… And I’m pretty sure that was one of those times he was actually out of shape (“dad bod” anyone?)

    Anyway, just my two cents on the debate of her size.