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Claire hosted 16 live readings across the country in 2019 — and the reviews are in!

"It's the MEAN GIRLS of today—funny, kind, inspiring, and powerful. It tackles body image issues in a way that hasn't been seen before!"

— Alana, Washington D.C.

"Deeply moving and sharply funny. A movie the world needs to see."

— Chris, Chicago

"Fat heroines and leads across racial backgrounds. Queer Black icons. Badass characters with visible disabilities minus the Hallmark pity. Complicated antagonists who show the real pervasiveness of fatphobic culture (and that we are ALL victims of it). I couldn't love this more. "

— Jen, NYC

"Claire succeeds in writing lovable characters. She never punches down, shows body image struggles in a kind and gentle yet funny way, and her script is also so hilarious. I can't wait to see this film."

— Minda, Austin

"EMPIRE WAIST was f*cking hilarious and also unbelievably heartfelt. Nobody would be a bigger critic of preachiness than me, but this film gets its message across in a way that feels fun, real, and sincere."

— Foster, Vanderbilt University

"This story is a triumphant struggle for self-acceptance that everyone, especially young people, should see."

— Anne, Chicago

"I love a story that can blend comedy with a serious issue. . . In addition to pure entertainment value, it would be a great conversation starter for any group that does outreach with kids dealing with body image issues."

— Stephanie, Austin

"I went in with high expectations and they were surpassed! I laughed, I cried (a few times), and I left feeling so excited about seeing this film one day!"

— Erin, Washington D.C.

"I laughed and cried. EMPIRE WAIST is an entertaining story for all women, young and old, who have ever dealt with body issues or loving themselves. This is a powerful story about loving yourself for whatever kind of body you have." 

—Illyana, Austin

"EMPIRE WAIST is everything I look for in a movie: smart, funny, and poignant. Young women deserve to see themselves represented in film!"

— Rachel, San Francisco

“Claire Ayoub has taken a high school punchline—a girl's weight—and filled it with so much heart. And it's FUNNY! You'll laugh til you drool, and you'll feel right at home while you do it.”

— Melanie, NYC

“With Empire Waist, Claire Ayoub has created a world in which a teen girl on the margins quite literally fashions herself her own cape."

— Shelley, Detroit

"I got to attend a script reading early in my first pregnancy, right as my own body was starting to change drastically. Not only did the humor and characters bring me genuine joy, but it gave me a chance to understand and reflect on all the external voices that were influencing my ideas of myself." 

—Andie, Boston

"A magical film about being an outsider, only to realize everyone feels exactly the same way you do. The movie we all need, right now." 

— Olivia, Los Angeles

"The room was filled with laughter. Not the kind at the expense of others but the kind that comes from an astute lens that sees the truth in pain and its remedy—self-acceptance mixed with a healthy dose of human connection."

— Tony, San Francisco


"The film tackles a very relevant, difficult topic in a very sensitive and engaging way. An important message for teenage girls that hasn't really been addressed."

— Kristen, NYC

"EMPIRE WAIST is the voice and story I needed as a teen and young adult figuring out my identity . . . The world needs EMPIRE WAIST!"

— Makayla, Los Angeles

“Empire Waist isn't your typical coming-of-age dramedy. Everyone will find a piece of themselves in these lovable and three-dimensional characters.”

— Eden, NYC

“I hope that young girls now will have the chance to connect with this film and have an opportunity to love their bodies, starting from an earlier age than me."

— Elise, Wellesley College

“As a self-embraced fat woman, I wish that I could have seen this film while growing up and being bullied in middle school. It would have given me strength.”

— Lizzy, NYC

“I would have loved to have seen this movie when I was grappling with being a 6 foot skinny, gawky girl standing against the gymnasium wall alone during school dances. No matter your age, you will immediately connect to Lenore and the other characters.”

— Penny, NYC

“Empire Waist is a funny, heartwarming, authentic coming of age story that leaves you wanting more. The characters are so fun to read, and I can't wait to see this on the big screen!” 

—Angel, NYC


“As the mother of four girls, I read the Empire Waist script voraciously because I recognized so many of the issues my girls faced coming through on the pages of this funny, but super serious script. It confronts the tough issues of growing up with enough lightheartedness that the message doesn’t feel preachy.”

— Jennifer, CT

“It should be made into a movie so that I can attend an opening night in Hollywood!!!!”

— My dad

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