Fat People Are Still People

I’ve been binge-watching New Girl on Netflix (don’t judge me too harshly – I know it’s a terrible show, I’m just in a bad state of mind and want something stupid to kill time) and in the last episode I watched, there was a flashback scene to one of the male roommates, the currently-cut, working, sleeping-with-a-model Jewish frat boy, when he was fat. He was on the couch, making out with a girl, also fat. Of course, this scene was intended to be funny. Fat people are funny, right?

As someone who’s basically always been overweight, this portrayal of “fat people” on TV and in movies is quite aggravating. Rebel Wilson, Melissa McCarthy, even “Fat Monica” from Friends…the list of “fat characters” and “fat actresses” (and actors, but in particular, actresses, let’s be real) goes and on and on and there is one common factor: all of the characters are meant to be, pun intended, big fat jokes.

Fat people portrayed in the media are not portrayed like “thin” people or rather, “normal” people. “Normal” people and characters are allowed to have romantic and sexual feelings, have good and “normal” sex with other “normal” people, go on dates, have good jobs, and are treated fairly in the world, generally speaking. Fat people and characters, on the other hand, are not allowed to have romantic or sexual feelings – that would humanize them too much. A “normal” man going on a date with a “fat” girl? That’s a joke. Literally. It’s okay for the guy to fall in love with the nerdy girl, but never the fat girl. It’s okay for the girl to fall in love with the nerdy “nice” guy, but never the fat guy.

I know people have discussed this on the internet time and time again, but I actually never felt personally affected by it until today. Because I am insecure. And I am “fat”. And seeing these sad, inaccurate, hurtful portrayals of “fat” people in the media only fuels my own personal thinking that I AM NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE ROMANTIC OR SEXUAL FEELINGS. And that’s wrong. It’s so, so wrong. But it seriously just makes my own argument stronger in my twisted, emotionally damaged, fat mind – why should someone ever take me seriously or love me or want to be with me and how dare I want someone or want to be loved or want to be taken seriously when I am fat?

Fat people are still people. We do have feelings. We do fall in love. We do want to be loved back, also. And I, among others, really need to learn that that is okay.

– Z

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7 thoughts on “Fat People Are Still People

  1. Spot-on. And have you noticed that unlike in British films, if fat people aren’t being made fun of in American cinema, they don’t even exist? We have an obesity epidemic in the U.S., but we’re singularly afraid to show fat people onscreen for fear that they’ll offend the retinas of skinny people. I started gaining weight like crazy because of my OCD meds, and at almost 250 lbs. (I’m twenty) running is too damn painful for me, so I don’t do it. It’s not like I eat candy and cakes and big macs every day (although I don’t exactly make an effort to slim down either.) People say it’s okay to make fun of us fat folks because we choose to be fat. That might be true to some extent in some cases (not all,) but that’s no reason to be cruel to someone.

    You’re kinda right about ‘Fat Monica,’ but I liked the fact that in the alternate reality episode Chandler gets together with her anyway. It just took him a little longer :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. Overweight people are all over the US (not a great thing in terms of health, but YES WE EXIST) but we’re not represented. Fat people are never portrayed as normal people, doing normal things. I go to class, I have normal jobs, I talk to people, etc. But in the media, if someone my size is on tv, they’re an outcast. They’re awkward. They’re unlike the others. It is a fear issue – people are afraid to show that fat people are human. And thats hurtful. And why is it that only our “lifestyles” are nitpicked? I know plenty of average/skinny people who are terribly unhealthy but since I LOOK unhealthy, it’s a problem. People don’t care about our health, they care that we don’t fit the standard definition of beauty.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Melissa McCarthy actually played in a role where she was absolutely adorable, portrayed flatteringly, and not used for laughs based on her weight- Sookie in “Gilmore Girls.” Sookie was a clumsy but talented chef and her weight was not mentioned in any of the episodes I’ve seen. I was not overly pleased when I saw the preview of “Tammy” with McCarthy holding up the fast food restaurant for Big Macs. I mean, Really?! And et cetera

        Just wondering? Are you a guy or a girl It doesn’t really matter, but I can’t get any clear indication of your gender from your page. 🙂

        Like

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