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Shonda Rhimes Says Losing 150 Pounds Changed How People Treated Her: 'Men Spoke to Me'

by Jackie Willis 11:11 AM PDT, June 27, 2017
Photo: Getty Images

Shonda Rhimes wasn't ready for all the attention she has received by men and women alike upon losing "closer to 150 pounds."

In her Shondaland newsletter, the Grey's Anatomy and Scandal showrunner is quite candid about how slimming down changed how people treated her. "Women I barely knew gushed. And I mean GUSHED. Like I was holding-a-new-baby-gushed,” Rhimes writes. “Only there was no new baby. It was just me. In a dress. With makeup on and my hair all did, yes. But…still the same me. In one of my same dresses (cause why am I gonna buy a NEW dress when I can take this to a seamstress and she can just make it smaller? Who am I, The Crown? No, I’m from the Midwest, baby, and I come with coupons). Women gushed anyway."

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As for the men, the 47-year-old writer continues, "They spoke to me. THEY SPOKE TO ME. Like stood still and had long conversations with me about things. It was disconcerting."

Left: Shonda Rhimes at the 5th Annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon on February 23, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.

Right: Shonda Rhimes at the Planned Parenthood 100th Anniversary Gala on May 2, 2017 in New York City. Photo: Getty Images

Rhimes admits that she found many people's reaction to her weight loss off-putting. "But even more disconcerting was that all these people suddenly felt completely comfortable talking to me about my body," she explains. "Telling me I looked ‘pretty’ or that they were ‘proud of me’ or that, ‘Wow, you are so hot now’ or, ‘You look amazing!'”

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The Year of Yes author confides that she was very surprised by the response to her new figure. "I discovered that NOW people saw me as a PERSON,” she notes. “What the hell did they see me as before? How invisible was I to them then? How hard did they work to avoid me? What words did they use to describe me? What value did they put on my presence at a party, a lunch, a discussion? When I was fat, I wasn’t a PERSON to these people. Like I had been an invisible woman who suddenly materialized in front of them. Poof! There I am. Thin and ready for a chat.”

Rhimes further proclaims, "Being thinner doesn’t make you a different person. It just makes you thinner."

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Actress Gabourey Sidibe also recently shared how her weight loss has affected her interactions with others. "You don't need to congratulate me on it," Sidibe said of her weight loss during an interview with Robin Roberts on the podcast Everybody's Got Something. "You don't congratulate me every time I blow my nose, I needed to, it's in my body."

The 34-year-old actress added, "Mind your own body. People want to feel like they have some sort of ownership over your body, even though you're a stranger. And it's even worse when you're recognizable like me."

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