7 Lessons We Learned From Sookie St. James (A.K.A. Melissa McCarthy in 'Gilmore Girls') About Fashion and Positive Body Image

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With Netflix (FINALLY!) releasing Gilmore Girls this month, we've all been feeling a little nostalgic for early millennium television. Seriously, I've been binge-watching Everwood and Lizzie McGuire every day for most of October.

Gilmore Girls was, and is, something special though. We often think of it as the greatest mother-daughter show ever made. We consider Lorelai Gilmore an epic feminist. And we reminisce about the show's best moments, like Lane dyeing her hair purple or the precious seconds that were Lorelai and Luke's first kiss. But there was also Sookie St. James — the character that will forever make Melissa McCarthy something of a heroine.

Sookie St. James was the first plus-size character I saw on television whose role had nothing to do with being the center of jokes, the exceptionally introverted best friend (though she was an incredible best friend) or the designated, pitiable co-character, doomed to live a life of loneliness, self-hatred, and irrevocable misery. Her weight was never an issue or an affliction. It wasn't something talked about, because it just didn't matter.

I was only 10 when Gilmore Girls aired, but even then I could tell that Sookie was confident and strong. She had personality. And she was of a similar body type to me (and that wasn't something I was used to seeing on TV). Since the finale in 2007, Melissa McCarthy has become a voice for positive body image. But there was a lot to be learned from Sookie, too. She instilled lessons in fashion and in confidence and in self-love, and she is not forgotten.

Images: The WB

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