Friday, October 29, 2010

Overweight Actors on TV

Lindsey and I took several classes together at BCC where we discussed diversity... she sent me this link to an article in Marie Clarie that has me all riled up now.

Go read it HERE, then come back and read my reaction.

Like racism.... this is fatism. I hate it. Every word of her article made me cringe. And honestly, I stopped reading 1/2 way thru it because it pissed me off so much.

She said anorexia was okay because some people are naturally thin... but seriously, some people are naturally bigger too.

And... I think that EVERYONE, regardless of size, color, ethnicity... deserve starring roles in TV. We need more diversity in the media to show the beautiful differences that make up human kind.

Would you be disgusted with two larger people making out in front of you? Maybe if they had their rolls hanging out or were dirty or were doing something disgusting. But Mike & Molly are well dressed, groomed and I'm sure smell fantastic. Screw Marie Claire and their writers.

I won't ever be reading their magazine again if that's their view on people who aren't what society deems as acceptable or beautiful.

Ok... So, deep breath Betsy.  Breathe in slowly and read the rest of the article... it could get better, right?


In the article the writer says, "I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over. It's something they can change, if only they put their minds to it."

Yes, because for my entire life, I never dieted, exercised or tired a million different ways to lose weight.  I guess my mind was never really set enough on losing the weight.  I guess I just didn't try hard enough. *eye rolling* I think that for some people who don't struggle with weight, they don't understand how hard it really is being fat.  It's a struggle every day.  And it's not a matter of "putting my mind to it" that will allow me to lose weight.  For me, it took a surgery to physically force my body to lose weight.  Diet and exercise were no longer a viable option for me.  I tried and there were too many other physical ailments in my way.  I think that if the author were to live in my life for a week when I was 100lbs heavier, she might change her mind about it being such an easily controllable issue.

And then she goes on to give some advice on how to lose weight and exercise.  One of my doctors tried to give me that speech once before I had my surgery.  I laughed at him and said, "Do you not think I haven't already tried that?  Been down that road before, several times? Do you really think I'd be asking you to cut me open and rearrange my insides if diet and exercise worked for me?"  SERIOUSLY.  Get a CLUE.  Diet and exercise don't vigorously work for severely overweight people.

Now, I know you might say well it worked for the people on "The Biggest Loser".  You're right.  It did work.  But they lived at the fat camp for several weeks, had trainers and devoted all their time to weight loss.  What average person has that time?  I know I don't.

The author of this article is a big bully.  Who, I'm sure has self esteem and body image issues of her own.  I feel sorry for her really.  She is the one who is probably hurting inside more than any fat person on TV or that I know.

She apologizes at the end in an update for hurting peoples feelings.  But, as my friend Lindsay said, "too little, too late."

I think that shows like "Mike and Molly," "Huge," and "Drop Dead Diva" are important parts of our culture and they show diversity in size.  These shows show that people who are overweight lead lives that are just as normal as everyone else.  They don't say that being overweight is good, healthy or what everyone should strive for... they show us that diversity can be beautiful.

I think back to my Body Image & Art class I took at UWT where I was introduced to a book called, "Fat? So?" (they've got a website too!) where I was able to learn about accepting myself and my body at any size.  The tag line is "For fat people who don't apologize for their size".  It's definitely a book worth looking at, for people big and small.

*BIG SIGH*  Ok... I think I've gotten it all out of my system now.  I'm almost 100lbs lighter, but still... I will always feel like a "fat girl".  I will always be sensitive to issues like these... and I hope that maybe, I can help people see that being overweight isn't a choice.  No one wants to be fat.  But sometimes... it's just the hand we were dealt in life.

It gets better.

If you feel like it... leave me a comment and let me know what you thought of the article, my reaction, or what you think about overweight actors on TV.

Weight Loss Recap
Today's weight: 227bs
Total weight loss: 98bs
Weight loss since surgery: 87lbs


Lindsey said...

Well said, friend. Self acceptance is underrated-- and view points such as this one are what contribute to so many women/people's negative self image. It's sick. There is no reason wny anyone should think they are anything less than beauitful and perfect just the way we are-obviously most of us aren't there yet but we should be- we have society and mass media to thank for this disconnect.

☾ Ash ♡ said...

What you look like does not constitute who you are inside and who you are capable of. I think she is shallow minded for writing this article on such a public forum as opposed to a private blog where she can say whatever she damn well pleases.

tonibrenning said...

I agree with you. However, just saying, I think the same thing could be said about people making out in general, big or small. People always pitch a fit about public displays of affection in regards to just about anyone, do they not? So really, the point they are trying to make about their size isn't even a valid point and isn't even worth the time to write about, because people throw fits about it when thin people do it too.

Also, having struggled with a weight issue myself, I too was a little distraught when she stated that people have control over their weight loss and they can change if they put their mind to it. I put my heart, mind, soul, and all my extra time into weight loss and NOTHING worked. I tried everything. I ate excessively and all healthy unprocessed foods, I sometimes didn't eat at all, I did the south beach diet, a 3 day diet for diabetics and worked out for 1-2 hours daily and saw no results. It took me 7 months to lose ONE pound. Don't tell me there wasn't something chemically and medically wrong with me... because I knew there was after 7 months and numerous attempts at weight loss. I was finally put on an anti-diabetic medication and it finally helped my baby weight melt away in conjunction with healthy eating habits and exercise. I am by no means what people would call "skinny" or super model material, but I'm back in a healthy weight range... and my husband thinks I'm beautiful so that's all that matters. I still have some extra rolls from pregnancy, as well as tons of stretch marks and I will wear the proudly.

The point is, some people HAVE tried, and given all they have to try to change to be more what society deems attractive or sexy. For someone who clearly never had a severe issue with being over-weight to say those ignorant things, is just completely uncalled for. At least get some facts and learn a few things before writing such an insulting article. For some people, diet and exercise may work. But for the vast majority, it takes more drastic measures to see results whether that be WLS or pills, or whatever. Diet and exercise plain doesn't work for everyone. I wish it worked for me, but if I didn't take those pills I would be almost 70 pounds heavier I'm certain.

Okay, sorry about the novel. This article pissed me off and I had to put in my two cents. lol

MichelleBallard said...

A couple of things..first one being that I like the tv shows with real people ( skinny or over weight or just right ) in them. The shows that show real people being real. If I only wanted to see "perfect" I would watch the soaps ( which I think should be all be cancelled. )

I believe that when people are uncomfortable or rude about/with other people for something that is different than themselves that it shows their own fears. Having worked with many different mental and physically challenged people and watching people close to me and strangers react to them, I do believe that fear leads most of the actions. Often I see a lack of understanding of something lead to a fear of it which often comes out nasty. I believe the reason is that being mean, in our words or actions, is more acceptable than admitting that we are afraid in this society.

We all need to start loving ourselves for who we are and to be very aware all the time of how and why we are acting/reacting to things. I know that there are women I see who are so beautiful and "perfect" size wise.. and yet they see themselves as fat or ugly... we need to all know that we all have the same issues in life no matter what we appear on the outside. There is a bond waiting to happen between all women, and all people.. when we all learn to accept and to work together.