Lately I’ve been watching Friends reruns on Netflix and I am in that burst of episodes where they keep flashing back to when Monica used to be fat. If she’s not eating or holding food, she’s talking about how she wishes that she were. There is not one trace of the OCD Monica we had all fallen in love with over the course of ten seasons, she is just fat and IT’S HILARIOUS!!
They even filmed the opening credits with the bizarro versions of characters for one episode. When Monica sat down on the edge of the couch at the water fountain, it tipped to the side. Get it? Because she’s fat! So she’s obviously going to tip a couch anchored by five other people! LOL Oh that Monica! What a bold and hilarious sight gag, Friends writers!
I’m so over watching movies where the major plot lines of the fat girl are being gross, falling down constantly while on water skis or flashing their hairy snatch to POTUS while suspended in the air at an a capella competition. People talk about the character of “Fat Amy” from Pitch Perfect as though she is some fat girl hero who is so confident with herself. She’s not. She calls herself “Fat Amy” so other people don’t. How fun!
It would be nice to watch one of those movies about a group of misguided 20-30 year olds who have tech start up jobs and great apartments they can’t afford and have one of the girls be fat. Not just fat, but it’s NEVER EVEN GODDAMNED MENTIONED ONCE ABOUT BEING FAT OR HAS TO GET A MAKEOVER SO PEOPLE SEE HER TRUE BEAUTY NOW fat. Like, it’s not an issue. She’s just a PERSON with a STORY and no one says shit to her about being fat. No one makes a bet regarding her appearance or self worth. It’s not weird when she goes out on dates and her boobs don’t hang out of her shirt when she goes to the club to make her somehow attractive to people and, like that one girl in Fever Pitch, she goes to the gym and it’s not a BIG REVEAL. She does every day human activities that are not questioned or judged. And it’s not a sci-fi film.
Her friends might say things like “That’s a great shirt. Where did you get it?”, “Your boyfriend treats you well” and “Let’s buy tickets to see Janet Jackson!” Can you imagine what would actually happen if fat women were allowed to play characters that were confident and weren’t constantly being laughed at or forced to change themselves? Like, maybe people might feel better about themselves. Can we allow that to happen?
As a fat woman, I am not accurately represented. The day to day of my life is pretty mundane. Unlike most fat lady characters my life does not revolve around staying fat and taking abuse, so I don’t need to be constantly reminded of how societies views towards people like me actually are when I’m up for consuming media. And if I’m at the movies, I sure as hell don’t want to listen to a theatre full of people laugh at those types of jokes. It feels as though it’s at my expense. Characters like Fat Monica create this illusion that fat people are eating always and that’s why fat people are fat. I would just like to have someone that looks like me acting like a real human with feelings other than sad, shame or embarrassment. Thanks.
I’ve been constantly hearing about how all this progress is made and people are opening their minds. A person’s weight is still an open target for ridicule. No one has ever really flipped out about someone making a fat joke. If it was viewed as wrong, people would say something. (Yes, this goes the other way as well. Harassing someone because they’re thin is wrong, too). Fat people have started to protest in their own way and it’s met with the same tired comments it has been since forever and the majority of them are really, really cruel, judgmental and accusatory. We are defenseless.
Sure, awareness is a step in the right direction. We’ve acknowledged that it’s unfair that women are held to such ridiculously high standards. It’s utter insanity that the average size is a 14, yet that is not represented anywhere except during discussions about fat women and advocating for designers to get their heads out of their buttholes.
“My design just doesn’t look the same on bigger women!” First off, how do you know? Did you make a size 22 prototype? I’ll bet one million dollars on “the thought never crossed my mind.” Second, maybe you could make something that would look good on a bigger woman. It’s actually possible. You know what? BRB I’m going to design some clothes.
You know what would also be GREAT!? If there weren’t fat women at all – if there were just women! You know, like how there’s just men? How wonderful would it have been if in high school I could’ve gone shopping in the same stores as my friends. Hell, even the same department in the same store. None of that “I’m just going to go over here, you guys, I’ll come find you in five minutes because the only things in my size have puffy teddy bears on them. Nevermind, I’ll just go buy another hoodie in the men’s department.”
[Plus Size] Model Ashley Graham said it better during her Ted Talk last month. “The fashion industry may persist to label me as ‘plus-size,’ but I like to think of it as ‘my size.’ Curvy models are becoming more and more vocal about the isolating nature of the term ‘plus-size.’ We are calling ourselves what we want to be called – women, with shapes that are our own.” Shockingly, she notes that plus size is considered to be sizes 8-16 in the United States. Take a few moments to process that.
Instead of separating ourselves into different categories to try to understand everyone, why don’t we just continuously treat people with kindness and respect? Let people know that it’s cool to be themselves and they’re 100% supported and not really different. That we are really the same. None of this trying to find an identity within an identity. Yes, I realize that this is not an easy fix and it may never happen, but hey, how cool would it be if we were just people that appreciated each others quirkiness and moved on with our lives to put energy into shit that actually matters. No more wars, probably.
The general public may think they have the authority to weigh in (no pun, honestly) on the “obesity crisis/epidemic” but they really don’t. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is going through a struggle you know nothing about. So for every asshole that says people aren’t trying hard enough and that they’ve seen weight loss be possible and our kids and video games blah blah blah, tell them to shut their stupid mouths and worry about themselves. To me, someone giving their negative opinion on obesity is equivalent to using “the r word” or categorizing all [sub group of people] as [this terrible thing]. Last time I checked I wasn’t fat to offend anyone or force them to spend their energy on putting me down. Everyone is going through something that you know nothing about.
(If you think I am being hypocritical because I am advocating for a group of people that I am slowly distancing myself from through making changes, stop. I’m really advocating for equal representation here within a group that I have been a part of for, like, 85% of my life. I don’t want anyone else to feel as alienated as I did by how society has decided to structure things. Also, this was my choice because if I didn’t make changes, I was going to get really sick. So, yeah, everyone is going through something that you know nothing about.)
Last year I wrote a thing about an episode of Louie where he ignores a fat girl that wants to date him until she gives him tickets to a hockey game. The discussions that came from that post were wonderful. All across the internet people praised the episode and were thankful that someone finally explored the concept of how difficult dating is for chubby girls and… nothing changed.
So, I guess we just keep talking about it? Well, there’s nothing left to talk about. Please change things. I’m exhausted.