What the Fuck is Fuckable

Seriously? What the fuck is fuckable?? I don’t know if I can answer that question for you, but I can share my own experience.

When I was 19 or so, I was standing in a Starbucks in West Hollywood with a director, talking about the upcoming film we were about to shoot. It had been a long road, but we had finally made it. Waiting for our coffee, I could see that he seemed a bit uneasy. I asked him if everything was ok. He said yes. I didn’t believe him, so I asked him again. He looked at me and said “Heather, I’m sorry, we have to give your role to another actor. The producers don’t want you.” I didn’t understand. I had been attached to this project for two years, and now two weeks before filming, I’m being let go. I asked him why. He looked me dead in the eyes and said “They say you’re not fuckable.” Well, fuck me. Even as I write this, I can still feel the pain, shame, and humiliation that came over me in that moment. This is a part that I had been so excited to play. She was bold, witty, sarcastic, sexy, but more importantly, she had a deeper vulnerability underneath. She had layers, she was complex.

I don’t really remember what happened moments later, except for a few words from the director like “sorry” “Investors” “love you”. Later that day, he said ” I still want you to do this movie. We have another part for you, that we think you’d be great for. Right now its small, but I’ll make it bigger, so it’s worth your while.” What does a girl do? Do you say yes, okay, because the script is amazing, and great people are attached, or do you say, go fuck yourself, fuck no, because I have my pride, and thanks for wasting the last two years of my life.

I said yes. I said yes. It was hard. It was difficult, but I did it because I loved the script, and the people who were on the project. What I didn’t love was the politics, and what would be my first real taste of what gross fucks financers can be. And no, they are not real producers. Scott Rudin, Christine Vachon, Jane Rosenthal, those are producers. There is a difference.

You don’t really know what moments are going to help shape who you are going to become. I didn’t know then just how damaging those words would be. Three words. “You’re not fuckable”.

Other words I attached to “You’re not fuckable” were ugly, disgusting, loser, failure, DISGUSTING…. That was the biggest word. It made me feel as though people wondered why I should even be taking up space. “Who the fuck are you to be taking up space on this planet you unfuckable fucking fuck?”

I carried this with me into my late 20’s. Along with that, I had continual conformation that I was indeed not fuckable based on the fact that the phone wasn’t ringing very often, and my agents at the time were only sending me roles for “plain janes” or “very large women”. Mind you, I’m 5’4 and weigh 120.  And as I write this, I also have the thought, I want to eat some pizza.

Oprah talks about how all we want is to be seen. Well, I didn’t think my agents were seeing me, I didn’t think casting directors were seeing me and I began to truly wonder, am I NOT seeing me? Am I ugly? Am I this unfuckable, gross, disgusting creature who should only be cast as the fat girl, or the freak? But then I realized something. Of course they were seeing me, because that’s exactly how I saw myself. That’s how I saw myself from the time I was 11, around the time I did Dollhouse. Until then, the definitions of beauty hadn’t registered in my brain. I just knew it when I saw it, usually when I had a crush. After Dollhouse came out, I read the reviews. I was asked a lot of questions by reporters, such as, “How does it feel to play the ugly duckling?”  “How does it feel to play someone so unattractive?”  and in my little 13 year old head, all I heard was, how does it feel to BE ugly? So it was that much more devastating when it was confirmed yet again, by someone whom I respected, who I thought saw me, saw my beauty, saw my sexiness, saw my power, saw my capability.

Truthfully, I feel that all women go thru this, especially actors. Will we be seen?

For me, I had to stop sitting shiva, remove the blanket from my mirror and look. I had to look at my gorgeous face, with my piercing blue eyes, my pouty lips, small chin, slightly crooked nose, full teeth and smile. I had to really look at myself and see my beauty, and once I could accept the harsh reality that I was indeed, not only fuckable, but fucking beautiful, everything started to change. The roles I started to get called in for were women who were ” beautiful, confident, secure”, they were complex, they had bite, they had depth.

So,I am grateful that I got to have that experience. I’m grateful to all of the people, whether they are producers, casting directors, agents, investors who said, “Nope, she’s not fuckable, she’s talented, we love her, but she’s not fuckable,” Because, I am. I am fuckable. And no, you can’t fuck me. I’m taken.

161 thoughts on “What the Fuck is Fuckable

  1. Thank you,you give me confidence. Since I have the courage to look myself straight in the mirror, I never ever dare to use mirror except the one in my sober bathroom. I gain the confidence the admire my own beauty, and trying to be fuckable…..

  2. Wow! I really enjoyed reading this post. Not only does it apply in the acting world but to women in all walks of life. I am an athlete and I daily struggle with having confidence in my body as an athlete (being strong and toned) but then also going about my daily life and worrying about being too bulky and ashamed of my figure when I go out in dresses and no sporting clothes.

  3. Not an actress, but this hits home for me more than you know. I’m still coming to terms with the hand I was dealt in the looks department, but posts like this are really encouraging. Thanks and good luck with whatever you’re up to now.

  4. Just another example of how women are objectified. It doesn’t matter how talented, intelligent, and able she is. If some man doesn’t view her as good enough for him to have a go at, she is ignored completely. Just sickening.

  5. I’m sorry you had to hear such a thing after working on the project for so long. Did you already have some idea about the people’s character in Hollywood, they are notorious. Now its spread to our larger culture, this continuous judgment of a woman’s outward appearance. And especially as we age (I’m in my 50s) this becomes very hard on the self esteem. Thanks for your important post and everybody, please remember to compliment women on things like: kindness, humor, intelligence, grace, smile, eyes, etc etc —not the image of effing her –I hate that effing F effing F-word.

  6. Thank you for writing this and sharing! I think it’s absolutely disgusting that any producer would say such a thing, and reduce your worth to your ‘fuckability.’ I would have absolutely no desire to work with said-people. You are fantastic at what you do, and let no-one tell you differently!
    Keep believing in yourself!

  7. Well spoken and poignant. And remember you are not the person you are today without having experienced the pain and hurt. What I love is that you’ve moved past it. Good luck to you! Hope to see you delivering performances that reflect ‘real’ women and not Hollywood’s fantasy of who we should be.

  8. This is a beautiful post. I feel like it doesn’t matter what size or anything people are because no matter what people will always judge you.

    I have the opposite problem. I am not overweight but I am skinny. I’m naturally skinny and it’s just the same as being overweight. You can’t find clothes that fit you. And people whisper behind your back. For years, I was called Anorexic. For years, men said I was unattractive because I don’t have a big booty or big boobs.

    So I guess anyone can be considered “unfuckable”, regardless of size. What matters is YOU being confident IN YOURSELF. Who cares if you’re 100lbs or 500lbs. Confidence is sexy.

  9. Reblogged this on Crawl. Jog. Run. and commented:
    Bravo. Well said. It goes to show we need see ourselves from within and find happiness and acceptance. If we think negative about ourselves and our image that is exactly what you’ll be seen as from the outside. We cannot feed into our negative thoughts. Society forces us to believe a certain image of beauty is the standard. Excuse me for my crude words but TO HELL with that. There is no standard to beauty. Only we hold the power to limit how beautiful we feel and think we are. Think of that power for a moment. We hold the power, not society, or in the example of the blog post, not some dumb producers.


  10. Love this. So many creative deployments of “fuck.” And I’m grateful you landed on your feet–as it were. A well deserved Freshly Pressed. Peace and best, John

  11. Another fucking way men fucking label and marginalize women… These men might just be the most punchable fucking douche bags alive. Yuck. I’m linking this article to my recent post about that silly “ideal women body type” BS… Fuck ’em.

  12. It’s great to see someone in the industry write about this. I work in the Japanese entertainment industry and women also get objectified: I was hired based solely on my looks because I happen to fit the preferences of our clients~ Even in academic environments I am judged by my appearance. It seems that women’s worth is equivalent to their looks. I loath the fact that every day I have to fight off the stigma perpetuated by men’s eyes…


  13. I agree with the responses. I can add is that sometimes it is embarassing to be male. That statement is a very sad commentary on “media” in general. There is way too much pressure on women to be “Fuckable” that is weigh 100 lbs, no brain and only concerned with men. How very, very sad. It’s a sophmoric example of those setting the cultural expectations. My wife and I have an ongoing conversation of the treatment of women in society. Even though the “west” has some good points they all come crumbling down with statements like this. Keep up the good work, thanks for posting and know that there are many who feel exactly the way you do. We are getting better as a society but it’s only baby steps and can be washed away in a second. We must be diligent in our responses to these outrages. The fight goes on.

Leave a Reply