Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What's With All the Cats?

While I tote a gung-ho attitude towards healthy living and the upsides of weight loss, I am annoyed how "heavy" women are represented in the media.

When I was in school the ring-leaders weren't all slender. The ones with the most personality and charm also happened to be, well, zaftig. 

In all honesty, I am rather puzzled how heavier gals were depicted on television: The nuchshlep, perpetually alone, susceptible to serial killers. Then there's the cats. Goodness, the cats. Like Sonia on the new NBC series, Go On. An entire episode is dedicated to her need for feline company. 
Take Drop Dead Diva. Despite the fact that Jane was a brilliant lawyer, she had no social life, owned cats (of course), and was crippled with crappy self-esteem. Only when infused with the soul of a ditzy skinny girl does she begin to act out with charm and confidence.

Countless episodes of Law & Order do the same thing to numerous size 18 characters. Needy, ignored, easily manipulated by a bad guy actually working for the Russian mob and he needs a place to crash. 

In the film Bachelorette, as pointed out in this NY Times article, the previous social structure has been upended (thankfully). From a group of high school friends, it is the overweight one who is getting married first. And no, she's not "settling."
That's right, Kirsten is single.
It happens in real life, too. That classmate from high school who was neither skinny nor pretty, but hysterical and magnetic—man, I had to hold onto something when I saw her husband. Tall, gorgeous, nice, and he didn't stop gazing at her.

The entertainment industry has finally smelled a little reality. But it is not home-free just yet; it's more like an accommodation of extremes, as Mindy Kaling puts so well.
“Since I am not model-skinny, but also not superfat and fabulously owning my hugeness, I fall into that nebulous ‘Normal American Woman Size’ that legions of fashion stylists detest. For the record, I’m a Size 8 (this week, anyway). Many stylists hate that size because, I think, to them, I lack the self-discipline to be an aesthetic, or the sassy confidence to be a total fatty hedonist. They’re like ‘Pick a lane.’ ” 
Slowly but surely. At least they're getting rid of all those cats.    


MIghty Garnel Ironheart said...

Anorexia is the American ideal.
Frankly I don't get it. Cameron Diaz in The Mask was beautiful. In Charlie's Angels she was just gross. I mean, you could count her ribs through her shirt!
Guys live curves so who are these waifs catering to?
What's more, there's self-interest too. I mean, guys want girls who will make them food. Who's more likely to do that, the 78 lb starvation victim who only eats salad or the curvy 150 lb'er?

Sweet Profusion said...

A big pet peeve was the choice of Toni Collette for the fat sister in the movie "In Her Shoes". I wasn't a huge fan of the book, but it was specifically the story of an overweight woman, written by an overweight woman, who had previously told her more autobiographical story in "Good in Bed". Apparently the people in Hollywood didn't think this story would fly on film with a fat character, so they changed her to thin (really thin!) but plain of face and personality. Uch!!!!!!

ZP said...

Great article! I actually have one in my drafts labeled "Is FAT the new IN?", since TV/media seems to be more "accepting" of "larger" women.

I am Hispanic so this comment might be biased, but I think curves are womanly.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we should make the effort to look our best, but that might be different for different people.

Its unfortunate that not only men have horrible standards for women's bodies but that women have crazy standards for their own bodies.

Princess Lea said...

MGI: I don't think Hollywood is taking men's taste into consideration; I think it's stemming from the fashion industry. Models, I think, are required to be, well, hangers. Although, going through Vogue and Bazaar magazines, I noticed the models are looking distinctly more healthy.

But there are all sorts of people and body types out there. Nor is pleasing the men first on our lists. ;)

SP: I've never been a fan of Toni. Nothing personal, but I could never comprehend her success, when she was heavier or skinnier.

ZP: Men are, in many ways, clueless. It is the women who make ourselves crazy. We should make our priority to be healthy first (whether too skinny or too heavy) and then let our bodies be as they are. Which is often tough.