Amber Tamblyn Recalls Being Told to Lose Weight After ‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’

Amber Tamblyn
Photo: Mike Pont/Getty Images.

From Jennifer Lawrence to Julianne Hough, the list of women in Hollywood who have been told to lose weight to become successful is never-ending. Now, Amber Tamblyn, best known for her role in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies, is adding her name to the growing pack of actresses who are done with Hollywood’s unfair beauty standards.

In an interview with The New York Times writer Jodi Kantor on Tuesday, the 35-year-old actress and activist opened up about her experience with size discrimination in the entertainment industry. Specifically, Tamblyn recalled one conversation with her agent who was told by a Warner Bros. executive that Tamblyn had the chance to become a huge star after 2008’s “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2″—if she lost weight.

“I think at that point I was 128 pounds and I’m 5-7. I remember my agent saying to me and she was a woman, ‘You have a real choice here. You can either be Nicole Kidman or you can be a character actress,'” Tamblyn said. “And at that time, I was like 21 years old, so if you look at that and use that as an example and imagine that for over two decades, forms of that from when you’re a child to all the way up, it does something to you.”

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Tamblyn, who is a vocal member of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, believes that the moment was indicative of the discrimination that women face in Hollywood to be “shut out” of certain opportunities if they don’t meet the industry’s beauty standards.

“They were always different forms of being shut out of conversations or being boxed out of different places in which I know my voice should exist or being told under certain circumstances I had to look a certain way or I was going to fail,” Tamblyn said.Tamblyn, who played Tibby Rollins, a snarky aspiring director, in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies, has opened up about Hollywood’s body-image pressures before. In an essay for The New York Times, Tamblyn recalled a director telling her to lose five pounds before they began shooting.

“He said the film studio would provide a trainer and a meal plan for me,” she wrote. “I was 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighed just 120 pounds. I remember this number precisely because five pounds lighter would make me 115 pounds, which is the number I ended up achieving after I spent two weeks eating only the deli meat off Subway sandwiches and skipping dinners altogether.”

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As much as the entertainment industry is progressing in terms of size diversity and acceptance, there is still a long way to go. Thankfully, people such as Tamblyn are here to help move that process along.