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August 2009

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Sarah M.

Wow... I might just have to watch an episode of this.

I like that he included himself in his speech about having been judged on his size, too. And it's weirdly reassuring that they picked women who are just as materialistic and ridiculous as those on the other shows (the expensive diamond felt like a hug.)

However, I think it's pretty absurd that they felt the need to list each woman's weight on the screen under her name. Isn't it enough that she's already singled out for being larger than average?

Xta

"But if this is really about expanding our concept of a normal size, then why are there so many shots of fat women crying about how much they weigh?"

Because they seem to actually feel sad that they weigh that much despite its being normal (what's normal in real life is definitely not normal, in, say, advertising).

I am like five years behind the times, but I wonder about this sometimes regarding Hurley on Lost, whose weight is often ridiculed or joked about. He is given feelings and motivations instead of only being a running fat joke, but is the joking included just to make people feel more comfortable watching an overweight person act? Do TV writers think we can't handle watching an overweight person who isn't occasionally ridiculed?

Alice

Juliana - Great article. I too had written off this show as just another show about our fascination and fear of fat.

I agree that it would be great if more normal sized women could be integrated into tv shows (reality or otherwise). I understand that we all want to watch people more attractive than ourselves on TV, but we can do this without setting insane standards of beauty.

As much as it irks me to call them "plus size", I think that ANTM has brought some stunning women into the entertainment (if not modelling) industry who would not meet the current model look. Whitney was beautiful (if not a little irritating) at the size she was at and far from "overweight" (http://tinyurl.com/q9f43a). Toccara was also completely stunning, but then continued on to Celebrity Fit Club (although she is much more arguably in the "health risk" category).

Thanks for the thoughtful and funny read!

Sissy Panty Buns

Fat-sploitation is a valid concern. There are some who feel that encouraging women to eat and get heavy is a way to manipulate them into being subservient due to a lack of self esteem. While being heavy may not help with insecurity it does not cause subservience. It is good to see that women who are not anorexic or barbie figured stereotypical models are being cast in a show. I'm not quite as enthusiastic about the idea them competing for the affections of men. What did you think of Margaret Cho in Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime? I love those clips and the plot is less sexist.

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