In an op-ed for the New York Times, Bialik writes about growing up in an industry that rewards looks and how, in so many words, her own appearance “protected” her from sexual harassment.
But in her argument, Bialik has completely missed an often ignored truth about sexual harassment. Sexual harassment and sexual assault is never the fault of the victim and these crimes have nothing to do with how a woman presents herself.
In the piece, the former Blossom star writes about how she entered the industry in 1986 as “a prominent-nosed, awkward, geeky, Jewish 11-year-old — basically a scrawnier version of the person I am today”.
Bialik says she immediately knew she was different to the other women in the industry.
“Back then we didn’t have the internet or social media or reality TV, but I didn’t need any of that to understand that I didn’t look or act like other girls in my industry, and that I was immersing myself in a business that rewarded physical beauty and sex appeal above all else,” she writes.
As a preteen actress, Bialik says she very quickly learnt “that young girls with doe eyes and pouty lips” were the ones that got the best roles.
Bialik eventually left the industry for 12 years before returning to play the role of Amy Farrah Fowler in The Big Bang Theory.
The 41-year-old says she now gets to experience the “upside” of not being considered traditionally attractive.
“As a proud feminist with little desire to diet, get plastic surgery or hire a personal trainer, I have almost no personal experience with men asking me to meetings in their hotel rooms.
“Those of us in Hollywood who don’t represent an impossible standard of beauty have the “luxury” of being overlooked and, in many cases, ignored by men in power unless we can make them money.”