The F@ Diaries: Darnit, Rebel Wilson and Melissa McCarthy!

by the Feisty Fox

Gosh darnit, @rebelwilson. images-2And you know what, I’m throwing @melissamccarthy on the grill too (despite adoring her character in Spy) because they both belong in the hot seat! Why, oh why, do you ladies continually choose roles where the fat woman is, literally, in the case of Pitch Perfect 2 the butt (or vagina, be it as it may) of the joke? You’re so much better than #FatAmy and #Tammy and all of the other characters you’ve played where you perpetuate the stereotypes fat women have to work so hard on a daily basis to dispel and overcome.

And worse, you create new stereotypes! imagesIn the words of Real Housewives of Atlanta’s @kenyamoore; “Let’s set the record straight!”

Just because a woman is fat doesn’t mean she’s:

  • Lazy or Inactive
  • Unhealthy
  • Dopey, Goofy and Clumsy
  • Scattered or Confused
  • Incapable
  • Slovenly
  • Sweaty
  • Out of Control
  • Inappropriate
  • Always Eating
  • Lacking a Moral Compass
  • Self Loathing
  • Desperate
  • Someone to be Mocked or Made Fun of

Like women of any size, fat ladies can be:

showbiz-rebel-wilson images-6

  • Intelligent
  • Talented
  • Successful
  • Active
  • Fit
  • Healthy
  • Beautiful
  • Sexy
  • Both Serious and Fun
  • Deep
  • Competent and Reliable
  • Confident and Self Aware
  • Presentable
  • Professional
  • Appropriate
  • Lovable
  • Worthy and deserving of respect

images-1 Both of you are constantly in the media right now and most of what I read is the same old story. But today I read one on Gawker where the author, Rich Juzwiak (@richjuz), raises the question, “Is Rebel Wilson Fat?” In an interview with @LynnHirschberg of New York Magazine, it is decided that because @rebelwilson embraces her body she has a, “Post-Fat,” state of mind, meaning she doesn’t shy away from her size, but rather views and uses it as an attribute. I was bothered by two people sitting down to decide if @rebelwilson is or isn’t fat, but what I did like is the acknowledgement that @rebelwilson clearly loves her curves and is #bodypositive. Both of you know your look is unique and are smart enough to use it to your advantage.

That’s all well and good, but what concerns me about the characters you play is that they give haters a permission slip to be more hateful. Have you noticed that Halle Berry and Lupitan Yongo aren’t taking roles where they play to negative and damaging stereotypes of black women? That’s because it would be detrimental to a community of women who deserve better. Gabourey Sidibe chooses scripts that are rich and deep and her characters challenge viewers to think harder, both about life and about their preconceived notions.

I get that you’re sort of in a pickle. On the one hand, you want to “make it.” On the other, you want to be a role model. But #Hollywood is a tough crowd. Maybe you feel you can’t be too picky because roles for fat women are too few and far between. You’ve got bills to pay and hey, you didn’t ask to be the representative of fat women worldwide. You’ve established that you’ve got a flair for the goofy and audiences always enjoy a good fat joke, so, like @sallyfield, you think, “What’s the harm? They love me! They really love me!” But giving society the go ahead to continue to treat fat women like disgusting and boorish punchlines is harmful. Dangerously harmful.

I predict that if you continue to choose the same flimsy roles you’ve become known for, audiences are going to lose interest, if they haven’t already. If, however, you choose parts more along the lines of Maggie in St. Vincent or Susan Cooper in Spy that not only show fat women in a nicer light but just in the light – like any other actress – I predict you will keep on soaring. And I will never say no to more Marbles Harsgrove!

*This blog post is the opinion of a particular Fattitude intern or a guest blogger – and does not necessarily reflect the position of Fattitude, Inc.

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