You know that the mainstream media just loves to mock the plus-size audience. It is just fine and dandy to condescend and ridicule chubby people and several new shows are in the works or on TV that just seem to reinforce this noxious attitude.
Oxygen’s new show “Dance Your Ass Off” purports to support plus people but it seems that it does anything but. It is described as a combination of “The Biggest Loser” and “You Think You Can Dance.” Each week another plus contestant is eliminated after being judged on a combination of weight loss and dancing ability. Well why couldn’t it just be about the dancing? Why should a big girl get a chance to dance in a regular competition? There is a definite odor of snide condescension in this production. They claim that you can combine having fun and losing weight. But they are really telling these women that there is something wrong with them. They have to want to be skinny… Very skinny. That’s the only way to be? Right? God forbid they can be happy and well adjusted if they are big. Now of course you should be healthy and everyone wants to lose some weight. But is this the way to go about it? I can’t understand why anyone would want to go on a reality show and this is definitely one whose appeal escapes me.
FOX is promoting a show that seems much more promising. It is called “More to Love” and it comes from the same idiot who brought us “The Bachelor.” In it a plus-sized guy chooses from a harem of what is described as “confident and secure” plus-sized women. If this is true, then it would truly be a breakthrough. Because you certainly could be confident and secure and yes even sexy when you are plus-size. Every day women come to my store that can be described this way. They know that they are sexy and they have loving and committed relationships with partners who love and respect them. They buy clothes that make them feel sexy because they are sexy. They are not cowering in fear and loathing while covering themselves up in the hope that no one will notice them. This show has not aired yet and is just being promoted so we will have to see if they are actually going to do what they say they are going to do. I have a question: Why couldn’t a “confident and secure” plus-size woman just be one of the contestants in "The Bachelor" without having to set up an entire separate show? If they are worried that they are going to catch something, maybe they can just give her a separate drinking fountain! I can’t believe that it will be hosted by the model Emme. Thank God they didn’t opt for Beth Ditto.
The trend of plus-sized celebrities has been remarked upon with disdain by several publications. In a recent article in the Daily Mail they remark on how “Fat Stars’ are feeding the obesity epidemic by proving it is possible to be fat and famous.” How cute. They are “feeding” the obesity epidemic. Naturally who do they feature? Our old friend Beth Ditto. Their thesis is that the popularity of fat celebrities makes it “ok” to be obese. As though chubby celebrities are something new. Hey did you ever hear of Jackie Gleason, Mae West, John Candy, Dom Deluise or Shelly Winters? Hey, Kirstie Alley, Hello? Delta Burke! We can go on and on with names of celebs we love that are chubby! This article in an English newspaper is Eurocentric but the same vein of thinly veiled contempt flows through much of the coverage of the plus women in this country. They seek out the same few celebrities as though that is all there is to say about the plus community. There are so many stories but they are just not going to be told. It is much easier to mock and belittle us with snide little articles and shows that purport to be sympathetic but seem to be doing something different.
Lifetime has a new comedy called "Drop Dead Diva” in which a model gets in an accident and as some sort of cosmic punishment is transported into the body of a plus-sized attorney. As though being plus-sized is a crime or some sort of prison sentence!! Now these people came to shop in my store for clothing before they began filming but based on that experience and their casual stupidity I doubt that this crap will even last out the first season. But it shows you where people’s heads are at. Even a network like Lifetime which is supposed to be about women and for women has no problem treating being plus-sized as a punishment. Thanks Ladies!
I just hope that someone will make a show that shows plus-sized women as who we are. Your mother. Your sister. Your best friend. You. Normal people with normal lives and normal problems. Not a freak show. Not a chance to laugh up your sleeve. Just people.
Are you going to watch any of these shows?