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[Debate] – The ‘Fat’ Debate

 

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Posted June 21, 2014 by

 
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Growing up, I have always been a bit on the bulkier side. Often cited as a chubawub of a baby, it went to a puppy fat toddler, an overweight teen and yes, now, an obese adult. Famously self dubbed as proportionately fat, growing up with a few (or a lot) of extra pounds stuck to my bones has meant I have heard a tiresome tirade of ridicule and abuse from people who are so offended by my physical appearance that they’d rather turn me away then get to know me (I have a stellar personality.) It’s no worry, I have survived long enough to not give a damn about what people say about my looks; I am attempting to become healthier and that’s cool, especially as I know it takes time and I’ll always be a bit chunky.

The problem is, I want to work in the film industry. I want to write about film, I want to pen movies, I want to present film programs and sure, if a walk on opportunity in my Oscar winning masterpiece. But the opportunities for the flabby lady to get into that profession is extremely slim (pun fully intended.) Growing up with actresses such as Sarah Chalke and Dawn French, there was a sliver of hope but they eventually lost weight for whatever fully understandable reason.

And if you do find yourself in the spotlight as a bigger lady, you are still subject to abuse. For sure, now, talent is starting to rise above Octavia Spender scooped up an Academy award alongside Monique. Melissa McCarthy was nominated too and then you find out that designers refused to design her Oscar gown and she had to shop for it. It’s cruelly unfair, placing a massive gap between

If you watch films now, especially comedies, fat chicks are always the punchlines. It’s everywhere and it is painfully sad. One day it’s Barney Stinston saying “no fatties” and everyone nodding along, while in movies, a toned hero is made fun of reputably for porking a porker and lauded as taking pity on her. Delegated to sidekicks too, our fat butts have become the butt of the jokes. Rebel Wilson and McCarthy are actively perpetuating that our stance in Hollywood is important and vital, we’re not to be fodder much longer.

Yes, I am fully onboard with the truth that fat men get stick too. I have seen the butt of jokes that Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill have received as they roast themselves in comedy film. But have you seen that doesn’t entirely matter? They still get the girl, the popularity and get the cascade of fame afterwards. The minute a woman piles on just one pound, they are subjected to questionable abuse and it’s unfair. The only times I have seen a fat girl scoop up a gorgeous guy without her being subjected to the “I love curves” trope was a bleeding Michael Bay film (Anthony Mackie and Rebel Wilson in Pain & Gain) and the motherfucking Hot Chick.

The big problem here is when you grow up as a bigger girl, ther eis no one tell ing you that your weight is your control. There is no one mentally saying “hey, be yourself, your body and your rules. Just be healthy, be round and be happy.” And you are bullied every day because of it. Turning to entertainment culture for solace, it is heart-breaking to find that you are negatively torn down there too.

Oh I know, I could stop whining and lose weight, get off my tubby arse and put down the fried chicken. I know, there are a lot more important things in the cinematic world that needs addressing; feminism, racism and homosexuality get more of a raw end. But at the end of the day, it is about representing a spectrum of bodies that are celebrated and loved. It’s about showcasing a mirage of waists, thighs and tums that represents the whole fucking world and not just a miniscule array of good looking people. That everyone can make it in a film industry, on screen and off, is an important message to showcase to those kids, with a little bit more to offer.

The Earth is round as are some of its people. Let you’re movies be too.

 

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One Comment


  1.  
    Imo

    Nice article. I would however distinguish between ‘fat’ and ‘obese’. Most of the actors you mentioned are fat or perhaps chubby is the right word. Not being ‘ripped’ or even slim is perfectly fine (I’d like to be, but I’m not). However, being obese is not and should never be acceptable.





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