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Dear Everybody Who Makes Entertainment:
Please, please, please, stop taking the stupid, trite, outdated way out, making "Fat Girl" comedic shorthand for "Ugly, Undesirable, and Probably Terrifyingly Man-Hungry." (And, for that matter, "stop making Fat Guy" equivalent to "Inept, Shallow, and Undesirable")
Seriously. It's depressing. Watching _Puss in Boots_, an otherwise delightful show, with the kids... and bam, unhappy exiled Puss gets stuck dancing with the fat princess, while his happy comrades get thinner girls. Watching _Blackadder_, which is *also* delightful... and poor, sucky Edmund I gets engaged to the short-and-stocky, sexually agressive Infanta of Spain, whereupon the rest of the episode revolves around trying to sabotage the marriage. Playing a rather... racy video-game, and muscle- and fat-loaded innkeeper is portrayed as intriguing and dangerous and canny, while his prostitute/madam girlfriend--the only overweight woman in the game--is not only large, but ridiculously cartoonishly ugly, with poor fashion sense to boot. Oh, and when our hero has sex with her, it's of course the most harrowing experience ever. Oh, yeah, and I get like four episodes in to _The Devil is a Part-Timer!_, and I'm really starting to enjoy it... aaaand cue the fat-lady-in-a-swimsuit-nausea gag. red or ruby mermaid trumpet garments for prom
Fucking stop. Seriously. Just Fucking Stop. I'm married to a fat woman--and I'm sure my describing her as such makes a bunch of you instantly uncomfortable, because Wow! that's pejorative, right? Well, suck it, 'cause it shouldn't be. But it *is*, thanks to you jack-wagons making fat jokes because you're too lazy to change tropes. Thanks to you, I've gotta juggle letting my daughter know that her mom is just fine, regardless of how large she is, but... um... please stop calling the cat fat, and don't say that to somebody in public, 'cause actually talking about fatness is taboo, but fatness itself is okay, so don't mix up the fact that you can hurt peoples' feelings by calling them fat with the fact that actually *being* fat is okay, but you're only six, so... huh.
Yeah, let me tell you, it's a freaking blast watching a show with my kids, and trying not to cringe every time they see somebody who's shaped like their mom used to humorously disgust the heroes of our drama. 'Cause that's what my kids need, a vague sense of shame because they love their mom but she's apparently embarrassing and not to be taken seriously. That's totally how I love spending my limited TV and movie time.
Don't get me wrong. It shouldn't be taboo to imply that fat people can also be ugly, or inept, or sex-crazed. But using their size as the punchline and joke all in one is lazy, hurtful, and frankly, enraging.
So, do your jobs and write something worth watching/reading/playing, rather than relying on tired old tropes. Stop trying to make my wife, my kids, my friends embarrassed because of their bodies. Stop making the people I love feel like they're letting me down by going out in public with me. Stop making people feel like they have to explain away their stockiness, say self-deprecating things to show that they Understand Their Place as the pariah overweight.
And the sad thing is, I could give lots of examples of times when fat tropes are handled well, but I won't, because that gives a smoke-screen for all the assholes who fat-bash because it's easy, makes their hurtful and shallow jokes "just part of the scene" and perpetuates this hateful, shitty cycle.
I'm not going to be part of that. I'm *DONE* with the pained chuckle, the squirming, uncomfortable "I'll just wait and soon this part of the show will be over!" accommodation.
And let me clue you in on a little secret: There are more books, movies, and TV shows than you could ever watch in a lifetime. No matter how good something is, no matter how much you're enjoying it... there's a thousand other things out there, just as good, that won't make you cringe at the ham-fisted fat-jokes. Give *those* artists your time and money. Proclaim loudly why you're choosing one thing over another. Don't be afraid to say, "Yeah, I stopped watching _That Popular Show_ because the fat-jokes were bullshit and tired and didn't make me feel good."
That's how things change, and it's time they do. You don't get to hurt my kids, my wife, my co-workers and get a free pass anymore, not from me.
And I hope, my friends, not from you either.