Even though I've touched on feline body image issues before, I've been wanting to address the idea of a double standard for some time now. The Hollywood Dog/Cat double standard has reared its ugly head again this weekend in the form of me getting passed over for an action/adventure movie role by a major studio. They cast a dog in my place.
I know! I was shocked, too!
They told me that, because the role required me to do so many stunts and because I am, by feline standards, a smidge "rotund," they felt I was a health risk that would cause their insurance to skyrocket. Can you say, "Bullshit?" Because I can. And did. I don't think the risk of doing stunts had anything to do with me not getting cast at all. At all!
This situation is just another example of the double standard that exists in Hollywood. Cats are supposed to be thin as a rails and dogs are admired when they pack on the pounds!
For example, when people see a Rottweiler who is 100+ pounds, they marvel at the power, strength, stamina and force the statuesque animal possesses. Yet, if they were to see a domestic feline that was 100+ pounds, they would criticize the owners of the cat for allowing it to get so tubby (and they would probably call the Guinness World Records people because, come on...a 100-pound cat is pretty shocking).
When people see a large dog, they feel safe. "Protective" and "Watch Dog" are the types of phrases you hear as they moon over their portly canine. When they see a large house cat, they feel sick. "Lazy" and "Chronic Napper" are some of the things you'll hear about us!
Even some cats betray their own! Most of the cats that appear in commercials are dangerously thin. I'm going to say the taboo word here, folks: ANOREXIC. I honestly don't blame these cats. There is not a support system out there for felines with eating disorders. If no one is offering you help, you get non-stop praise and admiration for your bony body, and you are fed a minimal amount of food when your humans deem it necessary, what else is there for you to do but starve yourself and act in commercials?
Am I upset to learn they hired a Golden Retriever for my movie role? Yes. A little bit. You know, though, if the only roles I will ever be able to get are my Rubenesque rolls, I'll still be a happy cat.
Because, really...why would I want to risk my manicure on stunt work?