MADE Magazine Spring 2019 May 2019 - Page 58

MADEFEATURE MADEXXX know what? I'm controlling it. This is my work. This is my dream." I put on forty pounds. My body changed, and people reacted to me differently than when you're young and skinny. But you know what? When you have a little more weight on, yet you are still attractive, your skin is clear and your hair is well groomed, you're still going to get some doors opened for you. Allison Kugel: Are you comfortable in your skin at any weight? Pam Grier: At any weight. I can gain weight and lose weight, if I have to, for whatever reason. I remember when I was meeting with Spike Lee for a role while I was still doing Frankie and Johnny. When he saw me with weight on, he said, "Wow! You're a little bit heavier than I thought. Are you okay? Are you sick?" He didn't know I was doing a play. I told him it was appropriate for the character, and that it's working. I didn’t want people to come and see someone skinny and exotic looking and have them not see and hear [my] work. Allison Kugel: I am truly surprised by your point of view. It makes me wonder if people really knew you at the height of your fame. Pam Grier: I don’t know if it's psycho- logical or just human nature, but people are used to seeing certain imagery in advertising continuously, so that's their filter. If I didn't gain the weight, I wouldn't have gotten that job. And women in this business won't gain weight because they're afraid of not working. They want to be attractive and have that value. I'm a person that doesn't look at weight and judge what's beautiful and what's not. I do know that these heavier actors and actresses are always working. Their work is fantastic, and you see this wisdom, you see this value. I know there is a designation within society about who is going to be wise and who isn't; who is going to be stupid. But let me tell you, maybe because I've had a sexuality and I still do now, it's kind of interesting that these young men in their forties are attempting to court me. Allison Kugel: This morning, someone said to me, "Tell her I love her. Tell her I think she is amazing." I said, "Take a number!" Pam Grier: (Laughs) Way back when women had weight on them, they were zaftig and Rubenesque, and very appealing to a lot of men. A lot of rugged, handsome men would have a woman that would be very zaftig, and not thin. They didn't believe thin women could do any- thing, and they would be hungry all the time. If a woman can do something, a man will have more respect for her. Maybe when I was younger, men assumed that I just went shopping and sat around by the pool and didn’t do much. Then they'd be shocked to see me changing my tire, fix- ing screens, putting the fence up, pushing manure and rock. Sometimes I would say to men, "What do you need? Don't have me have to fix this for you." | 58