A request for weight loss started a downhill spiral for Grace Lee Whitney
All of the uniforms on Star Trek were known to be form-fitting, except for those on Star Trek: Enterprise. Grace Lee Whitney’s costume as Yeoman Janice Rand on Star Trek: The Original Series was changed from pants to a short skirt at her request because she wanted to show off her legs, and it was made specifically to fit her figure. She’d never had difficulty keeping her weight down for other roles, but that didn’t stop costume designer William Ware Theiss, who designed the mini-dress, to worry about her weight. Surprisingly, even with as slim as Whitney was, he would tell her to lose weight.
The request sent Whitney to her doctor who prescribed amphetamines to help her lose weight, a prescription that started her on the spiral toward addiction. She would take the stimulants during the day, and they would, of course, ramp up her energy. By the time night rolled around, she needed something to quell the edginess, and she turned to alcohol.
Grace Lee Whitney didn’t need to lose weight
No one looking at Whitney back in the 1960s would ever think she would need to lose weight. Her pictures were even used in the promos before the series aired, and her weight wasn’t an issue. It did cost quite a bit of money back in those days to redesign costumes or make adjustments, and the budget for The Original Series wasn’t a large one. So it’s possible Theiss was worried about the bottom line.
It’s still surprising that Whitney was told to lose weight when she was as svelte as she was. Even with the camera adding the supposed “ten pounds,” she clearly didn’t need to make any changes to her figure. It’s unfortunate that the costume designer felt differently.