Tag Archives: the way drugs are protrayed are protrayed in films

A Fat(e) Worse Than Death?

2 Jan

I just watched the film ‘Bridesmaids’ and although I laughed almost the whole way through it brought one big thing home to me – being fat is one of the funniest grossest things a person can be. I’m not going to lie, I found the characters Brynn and Megan to be amusing and I enjoyed a lot of the jokes that played around the fact that they were bigger, but why could they not have been funny for other reasons, why couldn’t they have been better looking and better dressed like the rest of the characters?

However one of my favourite and most inspiring quotes does come from Megan, the fat funny sister of the groom:

“Megan: I think you’re ready now to hear a little story about a girl…girl named Megan. Girl named Megan that didn’t have a very good time in high school. I’m referring to myself. When I say Megan, it’s me Megan.
Annie: Yeah, I got it.
Megan: I know you look at me now and think, boy she must have breezed through high school. Not the case, Annie.
[pointing to herself]
Megan: No, this was not easy going up and down the halls. Okay? They used to try to blow me up. They threw fire crackers at my head. Fire crackers. I mean literally. I’m not saying that figuratively. I got fire crackers thrown at my head. They called me a freak. Do you think I let that break me? Think I went home to my mommy crying; ‘Oh, I don’t have any friends. Oh, Megan doesn’t have any friends.’ No, I did not. You know what I did? I pulled myself up. I studied really hard. I read every book in the library and now I work for the government. I have the highest possible security clearance. Don’t repeat that!”

Being fat does not make you a failure. I think there are many other things a person can be that could be considered to be a negative thing by some people and yet often these things are given glorification in films.

Topics such as unprotected sex, adultery, drug abuse, car jacking, deceit, eating disorders and many others are touched in in films and TV shows and they are not always given a negative spin. In “Pulp Fiction” Uma Thurman is the sexy wife of a gang leader who indulges in a few Class A trips every so often. The fact that she is almost killed by abusing a substance wrongly is portrayed in quite a light way to my eyes. Countless chick flick movies involve a slim female character talking about starving herself to lose those extra ten pounds to fit into her prom dress or something similar – quite notably in “Mean Girls”. In “A Fish Called Wanda” Jamie Lee Curtis is seen as being very clever and cunning, despite using sex and her feminine ways to get 3 different men to do what she wants – and she succeeds. James Bond is a serial womaniser who seems to bed every slim young pretty female character in the films and there are never any negative consequences – unwanted babies, diseases, being called a ‘slag’. Yet to be fat in a film is to be unattractive and to rarely be the heroine or hero. Maybe this is why I love the film “Mall Cop” so much – because Paul Blart is the saviour of the day AND he gets the sweet sexy girl! I also loved “The Inbetweeners Movie” even though I initially I disliked how the larger girl was protrayed. But the end message was clear – it doesn’t matter how big you are, you can still get the guy and show up an attractive idiot with an ugly personality.

It’s the same with celebrities. It is common knowledge that many celebs abuse drink and drugs, cheat, lie, have unnecessary amounts of plastic surgery and lead rather debauched lifestyles, but the one singular goal that most seem to aim towards is to be slim. To be successful in movies and the pop industry you mainly need to have a good body. Stars such as Adele, James Corden and Susan Boyle stand out because they ignore that trend – and fair play to them. Victoria Beckham is said to never smile much in case she gets wrinkles and keeps herself on strict diet. Adele smiles all the time and looks healthy and happy. I know who I’d rather look up too.

Why can’t a few more films break the mould and chose some plumper characters for the starring roles. Why do fat people have to be portrayed as being something non aspirational, why is it normal to insult people by calling them ‘fat’ and ‘heffa’ but you don’t see many people being told how they are ‘selfish’ and ‘cruel’ and many other much worse traits within our control. I am fat, I get called fat, I’ve had comments on here letting me know just that:

And what amused me was that both of those comments were made without the people involved reading the posts! The ‘Real Women Have Curves’ post was not hating on skinny chicas, and the Simply Yours bras were actually too loose around the band or just right! I think that in those cases both of those commenters were far worse people than me because yes I may be fat and tattooed, but at least I don’t go out of my way to be cruel in order to make other people upset.

So next time someone insults you by calling you fat (if you are that way inclined) just smile and thank them. Because being fat is a whole lot less evil than what some other people have chosen to do with their lives – and judging them on their physical appearance is one of them. Plus personally I’d rather be called ‘fat’ – because I am, rather than a ‘slag’ simply because I have large boobs.

I have written some other posts on this subject.
Check out: Embrace Your Curves,
Rationalising Aspirations,
Do We Judge Too Quickly? and
Absolutely Flabulous.