Cathryn Michon wrote, directed and starred in the independent comedy Muffin Top: A Love Story, a movie about women embracing who they are that also stars Hairspray‘s Marissa Jaret Winokur.

Marissa Jaret Winokur, Cathryn Michon On ‘Muffin Top’

Central to Minchon’s film is women’s struggle with body image – a phenomenon that the filmmaker credits to the bombardment of false imagery of the female body. “We do see 200 to 400 advertising images a day. Now, with Photoshop – how it’s gone – these are cartoons,” Michon told uInterview in an exclusive interview. “Then, we internalize that and we say, ‘Oh I feel bad because I don’t look like that image.’ But, what we should say is, ‘I don’t look like that cartoon. I don’t look like Jessica Rabbit.'”

Michon pointed out a survey that found 96 of 100 women think at least one bad thought about their body per day. Bewildered by the thought of only thinking one bad thought per day, Winokur said, “It’s like, you think one bad thought about yourself once a day? I’m like I want to be that person. I want to be the person that only thinks one bad thing about myself today.”

The actress added, “That’s like my goal, to think 10 bad things about myself.  I’d be like, ‘Oh my god, today is an amazing day I only thought of 10 bad things about myself.’ I thought 10 bad things about myself just sitting in this chair now!”

Check Out Winokur & Michon’s uRant On Muffin Tops HERE!

Though Winokur and Michon joked about the leveling of the body image status quo – relishing in the idea that the other sex was fast becoming just as insecure about their looks as women – they turned a bit more serious when discussing the feminist message in Muffin Top. 

“I think there is a really good point in the movie where it’s like to be a feminist, to be proud of who you are, you don’t change your hair color. I am definitely a feminist and have friends who I’m like, “Oh my god, you guys are like total suffragettes,” ya know. I love make up and hair and I love looking like a drag queen all the time,” Winokur explained. “I think this is the first time a movie says, you don’t have to be the stereotypical feminist to be a feminist, to believe that women should be doing more than we get to do. I think that’s a really huge message that’s never really been told.”

Muffin Top: A Love Story is currently available on-demand.


Q: Why do you think women have such extreme ideas about body image? -

Cathryn Michon: Because we do see 200 to 400 advertising images a day. Now, with Photoshop – how it’s gone – these are cartoons. Then, we internalize that and we say, “Oh I feel bad because I don’t look like that image.” But, what we should say is, “I don’t look like that cartoon. I don’t look like Jessica Rabbit.” Marissa Jaret Winokur: But, I want to look like Jessica Rabbit.Michon: Yeah, but nobody does. It’s a fake image. That’s what the movie is about, letting go of the cartoon. Winokur: After actually going to the movie last night, we were in the car going home and I was like, I just have to edit this before I post it. I just wanted to color correct it and the guy was like, “Didn’t you learn anything from that movie?” I was like, “Oh, I’m enhancing this photo before I post it”. He was like, “What is wrong with you?” Michon: Hey, if you have control of the fake, do the fake. Do I look real? This is my hair color from when I was two. My hair has been naturally restored to my natural hair color from when I was two. I am good with fake. I am good with fashion and artifice if it’s fun, if you feel good. If it makes you feel bad about yourself, then let it go.

Q: Where did the idea for Muffin Top come from? -

Michon: The movie is adapted from a book I wrote called The Grrl Genius Guide To Sex With Other People. It’s a book about a bad divorce. I really wanted to make a film that focused on this issue that real women think about everyday. There’s a survey done that said 96 out of 100 women think at least one bad thought about their body everyday. Winokur: It’s like in every minute of everyday. It’s like, you think one bad thought about yourself once a day? I’m like I want to be that person. I want to be the person that only thinks one bad thing about myself today. That’s like my goal, to think 10 bad things about myself. Michon: That would be a victory. Winokur: I’d be like, “Oh my god, today is an amazing day I only thought of 10 bad things about myself.” I thought 10 bad things about myself just sitting in this chair now! Michon: The other four girls are liars. If you say you have not had a bad thought about yourself today, you are lying.

Q: Do you think men are becoming more concerned with their body image? -

I think men are starting to feel bad about themselves too! So that’s the goal! That’s what we want. We just want to be even with men. We just want them to think really bad things about themselves, right?! That’s what we want! Oh, the other way.

Q: How long did it take to shoot Muffintop? -

This was a very fast shoot. This was an independent movie. We shot three weeks to make the movie, but I had a cast of amazing actors, mostly theatre trained, improv trained, people who are fast on their feet. People like Marissa, Tony Winner, that knows how to show up and give it in one take, so that’s how we were able to do it.

Q: What is the message of the film? -

I keep saying, “It’s love your self now, not 5 pounds from now.” Winokur: I keep re-quoting that quote of hers, but that’s what it is. It really is about figuring out who you are, embracing yourself, and moving on. I think there is a really good point in the movie where it’s like to be a feminist, to be proud of who you are, you don’t change your hair color. In the movie you’re like, no, I love who I am and if there’s things I want to change it doesn’t make me less of a feminist. I am definitely a feminist and have friends who I’m like, “Oh my god, you guys are like total suffragettes,” ya know. I feel like, I love make up and hair and I love looking like a drag queen all the time. I think this is the first time a movie says, you don’t have to be the stereotypical feminist to be a feminist, to believe that women should be doing more then we get to do. I think that’s a really huge message that’s never really been told. I mean there’s a lot of times, of like, don’t stereotype for many different reasons and this is a new one. Don’t stereotype what a feminist needs to be. I think, that, yes, the message is “love yourself now not 5 pounds from now and embrace your body whatever shape and size it is,” but I also think it’s “be true and be strong with what you believe in.” It doesn’t mean you have to fit into any stereotype. There are many of those, so to just be who you are and be proud of that. Michon: The thing, also, for the feminism angle of the film is, you can be a feminist and not be angry at men. Men are not the enemy. A lot of times we are the ones that hold ourselves back. I was saying this last night. I was talking to Dot- Marie Jones, who plays the transgender character in the film, Christina. She’s a big advocate for LGBT and anti-bullying for teens and she said, when we were making the film, usually the biggest bully in your life is you. You’re the one that beats yourself up. That to me is a feminist stance, which is to stop doing that, to stop holding yourself back, to not try for that bigger job and that’s a big message in the movie too.