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You can make a heavy woman a movie star and get her an Oscar nomination… but apparently you can't sell her next movie by showing off her actual face.
Everyone knows what Melissa McCarthy really looks like, and unless CGI technologies have advanced to an unprecedented to degree, her actual face will be on display when the comedy The Heat opens later this month. But the above poster for the movie seems to be attempting to change McCarthy's face entirely. As pointed out by The Shitznit, this is a hilarious and also terrifying bit of Photoshop Dieting, slimming McCarthy's cheeks and neck to the point that she doesn't just not look like herself… she doesn't look human. Click over there to see their bit of Photoshop that puts her actual face in place of that mutant to see just how dramatic this is-- or check out this still from the film, with McCarthy in roughly the same clothing she is in the poster:
Of course, McCarthy's co-star Sandra Bullock is Photoshopped too-- you don't see a single line on her 46-year-old face, for example-- but it's rare to see women as famous as either of them altered to the degree that McCarthy is here. It's not hard to imagine why they did it. McCarthy, famous and hugely successful as she is, is still a sharp deviation from the standard we apply to women in Hollywood, and even though people paying to see one of her movies is expecting her, round cheeks and all, studios remain afraid of showing any women-- not just McCarthy-- as they really are. You're not going to see the lines on Sandra Bullock's forehead, or the roundness under Melissa McCarthy's chin. And it's been that way for a while-- compare this character poster from Bridesmaids to an actual still from the film (in which, to be fair, McCarthy is made to look far less attractive than she is in real life).
Weirdly, McCarthy's Identity Thief poster is much truer to her real-life appearance. Maybe that's because she's wearing pounds and pounds of makeup that at least puts her a bit closer to standard female beauty?
Melissa McCarthy has been acting on film and television for nearly 15 years, and has surely gotten used to bizarre attitudes toward her looks that are way more insidious and insulting than some bad Photoshopping. But you'd think that becoming a bona fide movie star would spare her at least a little bit of this indignity. Fox is selling The Heat based on the chance to see Bullock and McCarthy team up, but they're making it hard to even recognize one half of their star duo.