So at Fattitude we have decided that rather than gripe and rave about the media we see all week to each other – we are going to share our raves and rants with you! If you think there is something we’ve missed that we so have to see – let us know by either commenting below or messaging us on facebook!
Viri: I’ve started watching The 100. It’s like Battlestar Galactica for teens if teens were the writers and were only educated by the most generic edition of “Screenwriting for Dummies.” It’s as bad as it sounds and I love it. A show with characters that don’t utilize subtext and say everything while they’re doing it can be a lullaby at night. At any rate, it reminded me of the absence of fat people in portrayals of the future. Putting aside the exceptionally problematic Wall-E, a majority of my sci-fi experience is watching a world of uniformity and a part of that is clearly body size. As my mind wandered to answer why this is, I quickly realized that every thought emerging was born out of a socially constructed idea. For example, the argument that they have healthier food enforces the message that “healthy” equals thin. The implication in consistently envisioning the future without fat people is frightening. Is there a missing chapter in the fiction volumes where we were all exiled because they don’t make those white jumpsuit uniforms in our size? Perhaps we should be on guard about this. I’ll take first watch and continue my study of teen heartbreak – as it’s told rather than shown – on a quarantined Earth.
Lindsey: Last week I did the whole traverse the country in a plane thing, and honestly, I am nervous flyer so for me it’s movie watching the whole time. I watched four movies, but the stand out was Melissa McCarthy’s SPY! Melissa M – took the time to write an article about this film for the fattitude blog a while back – and she loved it, but I’ve just been so busy that I didn’t get to see it until I was on that cross country plane. OMG. This is like the best movie I’ve see in a long time – if we’re purely talking fat acceptance. Literally the movie sets up stereotypes and breaks them. Literally, all the set ups are there: Fat can’t be fashionable, sexy, smart, athletic, powerful, savvy etc. And the main character Susan Cooper just slams through each assumption, proving to be the smartest, best and most dynamic spy in the film. YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS MOVIE. I think I need to watch it like everyday. Oh and bonus – it’s funny.
The Feisty Fox: The Real Housewives of Orange County has always featured homogenous women, typically with extremely thin, spray-tanned bodies, bouyantly enhanced breasts, and locks of ratty hair extensions cascading toward the asses they’ve been busting to get tightened and toned. There is one person on the show, however, who doesn’t fit that mold; Briana Culberson, the daughter of Vicki Gunvalson, one of the original housewives. Gunvalson has been filming for Bravo’s Orange County franchise since 2006 which means Briana, who is now 26, grew up in front of viewers. She has become a military wife, a mother of two little ones and an ER nurse who is smart, hard-working, grounded, down-to-earth, fat-ish and beautiful! She was featured a lot on the October 5th episode and, as I watched her, I was really impressed. She’s gotta know she is a prime target for fat hating trolls, yet she owns every scene she’s in. So many of us shy away from being photographed or filmed in our real lives, especially when in the company of the thinnest of the thinnest. In certain situations we edit the foods we eat, discuss or buy for fear of being singled out and scolded. We know what it is like to be the one fat person in the room. Briana could hide her body behind counters or tables, refuse to film scenes while she’s eating or talking about food, or insist she not be filmed at all. Instead, she allows herself to be shown exactly as the authentically badass gal she is and, by doing so, she hits a home run every time.
Melissa M: In case you missed it, Victoria’s Secret was under social media fire this week for bad photoshopping. (Or in my opinion, for excessive photo-shopping of models to begin with) The company posted a photograph on their Facebook page promoting some new cheeky-peek-a-boo panty. One problem though…literally. The model appears to only have one butt cheek. This could be due to her body positioning or the shadow, but one rump cheek looks nnoticeably rounder and plumper than the other. Obviously humans are not made to be totally symmetrical, and by gosh if this lovely lady has one bum larger than the other – good for her! But…I highly doubt that is the case. More likely, Victoria’s Secret felt the need to attempt digitally enhancing and/or diminishing her derriere to sell panties, amongst other things. It makes me sad that the folks running VS really believe that only one, very slim, body type is beautiful and is the only way to make a profit. Of course that is their prerogative, but what a bland and boring outlook. Yes, their models are beautiful, but why do they all have to look the same? There is more than one size of beautiful. But we have this metaphorical societal notion that X = beautiful, period. But what about the rest? There are 25 other freakin’ awesome fun letters to appreciate! Furthermore, valuing and standing up for all of the M, N, O and P’s doesn’t mean I hate X. It just means I see beauty and value in each and every letter, just as they are, without the need to compare and rate them. All bodies are good bodies and every BODY deserves respect! (This message was brought to you today by the letter M).
Amanda: I watched The Martian last weekend with my partner. Frequently, I must make the observation: “Why are all the female’s in that movie glam, whereas the comparable male parts were not?” In this case, I pressed as to why the female astronauts, the female nerd in the control room in Houston, and the PR woman all looked like Vogue models, whereas the men got to look natural – regular. It’s a pattern in sci fi that bothers me. The men get to look haggard and rugged, whereas the women all look thin, frail, and other-worldly (the opposite of natural). Compare “Gravity” to “Martian” and you’ll see the double standard very clearly: Sandra Bullock looks like she’s posing for a ‘weightless’ covershoot, whereas Matt Damon gets transformed into a garly “space pirate” with crusty patches. Too bad your expectations for women haven’t evolved as much as your fictional technologies.
Mandy: I have some mixed feeling about ModCloth dropping the “plus” distinction on their site. The main reason for this according to their co-founder is trying to make everyone feel included. Upon reading most of the titles of articles my first thought was “Great, now I will have to search through all of the small sizes to find garments that come in my size’, but I found out that even though they dropped the “plus” they still have an extended sizes section that will house larger sizes and they say later on will also house the xxs, tall and petite sizes. I guess that’s better but again I feel like that’s just another segregation. What DO we want? I know I sound like I can’t decide. My own emotions go back and forth on this. I guess I am crazy for just wishing that retailers could have all the garments they make come in all the sizes, they can definitely demand that from designers and manufacturers.The co-founder Susan Koger said in an article for Today, “just seeing how exciting and amazing it was for people to come in with their friends and all shop in the same place.” Well yeah, I guess I don’t understand why this is such a novel idea, it seems easy and obvious to me!
Kairo: Excited! So I have just started catching up on my DVR recordings and finally had a chance to watch the premiere episode of The Bastard Executioner. Yes! It is an era piece that ACTUALLY had a fat wife who didn’t get Fat-Shamed (GoT). She was witty, cute, smart and strong. Although her character was only for the one episode, Eva (played by Charlotte Mills) totally delivered. Her scenes were few but they were crucial elements to the story. As her husband, who appears to be the right hand to the main character, is getting set to go raid and kill the Barron’s soldiers the two share witty commentary and then a passionate goodbye kiss. As the men ride off to do mischief you see the main character’s pregnant wife and Eva stand proudly together seeing there men off. There were no fat jokes or commentary. She was simply seen, just as her slimmer counter part, as a strong loving woman. The rest of the show has yet to grow on me but you should check it out for yourself.
SO – WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING OR DOING – AND HOW DO YOUR FAVORITES GET IT WRONG OR GET IT RIGHT WHEN IT COMES TO DIET CULTURE, FAT PEOPLE AND BODY LOVE????
* This blog post includes the opinion of Fattitude interns – and does not necessarily reflect the position of Fattitude, Inc.