We Bite Back

Fat TV a Plus?
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Author:  Rachelr [ Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Fat TV a Plus?

After years of deliberately excluding fat folk from TV, TV execs are now congratulating themselves on their inclusiveness with a barrage of fat-centric shows. Here’s a line-up of some new shows that say they aim to, as one TLC vice-president put it, “put a human face to what had been, before, a punchline.”

      More to Love - a dating competition show in the style of “The Bachelor” except that contestants are plus-size. Fatshionista has a great rundown of the first couple episodes here. (Fox)
      Drop-Dead Diva - An “Ugly Betty” kind of series in which a model wannabe is reincarnated into the body of a recently deceased fat attorney.* (Lifetime)
      Ruby - The series follows star Ruby Gettinger as she works to reduce her 447-pound weight. (Style)
      The 650-Pound Virgin - Documentary in which David Smith describes how he lost 410-pounds in 26 months (TLC)
      One Big Happy Family - The series, which has yet to air, follows a North Carolina brood in which all four members weigh in at more than 300 pounds. (Discovery)
      Dance Your Ass Off - A dance/weight-loss competition in which 12 finalists “go from an eating machine to a dancing machine.” (Oxygen)
      Making the Curve - Former-Lane-Bryant-model-turned-American Idol-hopeful-turned-Jenny-Craig-spokescelebrity Kimberley Locke is set to host the reality series in which plus-size women “prove that they have what it takes to form a hit pop musical group.” The show has yet to find a network home.

Are these shows a plus for size acceptance? I've posted a poll on my blog with that very question -- add your vote here.

Author:  Becky [ Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:07 pm ]
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Some of them could be. Making the Curve sounds interesting, kinda like Monique's Fat Chance. The rest, I'm not so sure about. I kinda like Ruby though since it's inspiring. It just depends on the subject matter.

The point being? We need to pretty much show the world that fat people are nothing to be scared of. What if it were the other way around? In a way it kinda already is in some countries and at my sister's high school when they all screamed after someone showed them a photo of a very emaciated model. But we must keep in mind that even emaciated people are people too whether they got that way on their own or through a disease, just with fat people. The bottom line is, why can't we all just live in harmony? Can't we all just get along?

Author:  ashleigh [ Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:03 pm ]
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This is the sort of thing that gets to me and not because of the show, more so because of the reactions they get.

So often in this section of the forum people post things like this and everyone goes off about how discusting it is etc.

Personally, I have seen an episode of Drop Dead Diva ( I believe its on Ten for those in Australia, or maybe Prime, u know, i have no idea, its on a free-to-air channel!) I found it quite comical. I enjoyed the show, even though its and old used up idea of switching bodies I enjoyed the show. I didn't think that it was being critical of overweight people, I didn't think it was being degrading, that wasnt the intention, it was funny.

There are TV shows that 'insult' all different kinds of things. In fact I think theres a show to 'insult' every 'difference' that people might have. The ones that 'insult' body size, I just get over it and see it for what the show is intending, to be entertaining, in a light hearted way that, yes, in real life if these things happened you would probably be offended but this is TV!

sorry. had to get that out!

Author:  Rachelr [ Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:08 pm ]
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With the exceptions of Drop Dead Diva and More to Love, all shows revolve around weight-loss, so I don't possibly see how producers could consider them body positive in any remote way. I've only seen the last few minutes of one Drop Dead Diva episode, but I heard from other body acceptance activists that it's not too bad. It co-stars the awesome Margaret Cho who's been very critical of Hollywood beauty standards, so I would be surprised if she starred in a show that reinforced these values. My only issue with it is will the lead character's weight and self-esteem be the central focus of every drama? How boring. And while I'm glad to see plus-sized women represented in a romantic role, the fact that More to Love has segregated them in a show unto itself only makes them seem kind of like a circus freakshow. In all, I don't think any of these shows are a real boon for body acceptance.

Author:  Wolf [ Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:49 am ]
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Overweight people shouldn´t need own TV shows, just like black people shouldn´t need them. I wish all of them could be on "normal" shows...
Shows for one group of people tend to look like Freak Shows :( they´re discriminating.

Author:  AimeeLouise [ Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:05 am ]
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I hate these types of shows. I admit I am prone to watching them from time to time, but they outcast the larger people. It's like they are promoting that these people are different from everybody else.

Author:  teressa [ Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:14 am ]
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I wouldn't have such a big problem with these shows if they weren't set to humiliate people. If they changed the tone, maybe they would be acceptable and entertaining. 'Dance Your Ass Off' really pissed me off. It is set in exactly the way I stated- to humiliate. It's disgusting!

Author:  SamiBTX [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:42 pm ]
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Hmmm, the only one of these I've seen is 'More to Love' & it's not so bad. I don't like dating shows, so I usually get bored with it, but it is refreshing to see.

Author:  epic [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:55 pm ]
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I think they are going for extremes. Putting morbidly obese people on reality television is like putting anorexics of extreme low weight on for the same. It amounts to shock - a ploy to better ratings.

Author:  FadingHippie [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:04 pm ]
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muse wrote:
I think they are going for extremes. Putting morbidly obese people on reality television is like putting anorexics of extreme low weight on for the same. It amounts to shock - a ploy to better ratings.

that is what I was about to say.

well, that and that having these shows out there does not equal tv opportunity based on size make.

equality on tv to me would be a show with thin, average, and heavy people... How life is.

Having it all one or all another is not a balance. That's not how life is. Would a show called "less to love" highlighting dating for those with eating disorders garner the same response? that it's putting a face to a punchline? eating disorders have been used as punchlines and novelties on tv shows including Family Guy... I think it's exploitation.

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