Saturday, January 06, 2007

There's been a trend in entertainment recently, and it's something I actually feel pretty strongly about (for once). No, it doesn't have the global import of of Oprah's new school for girls (and where the hell is the boys' school? Doesn't Oprah care about them?), or Bono saving African children from global debt, but dammit, it's important to me, and as this is my blog, so I'm writing about it.

I'm honestly getting fed up with "news" programs and talk shows taking the most beautiful women, and putting them in fat suits. Then they go out on the streets--usually in New York City--and use hidden cameras to see how people react to the "fat" women in different scenarios.

Goddammit, if you want to see how people really react to fat folk, get an honest-to-God fat person. Don't take someone who's pretty and pad them. Trust me, a fat person knows more about what it's like to be a fat person than Tyra Banks EVER will. If you want to see how fat people get treated daily, I suggest you turn off Extra or Access Hollywood and turn on the Discovery Health channel. Roughly eleven hours a day, they have shows about weight loss, with people who have stories that will break your heart.

If that's a little too real, I have a couple of suggestions. First off, let's get some realistic scenarios. Survey takers are the most annoying people in the world (next to republicans), and most people ignore them or make snide comments. So what do you think will happen when you put Vanessa Manillo in a fat suit and send her out to be an annoying survey taker? By God, people are ignoring her! That story needs to go on before the first commercial break!

Secondly, if you absolutely NEED to have fat suits, let's make it so these pretty women can't go back to being pretty after an hour. Let's remove that safety net and make them live in these fat suits for a month. Honestly, I think Tyra would have a much better idea how it feels to be fat if she didn't know inside that she'd be a supermodel again in a matter of minutes.

Finally, let's see the other side of the coin. Let's take a fat person, get them a dietetian and an exercise program, and then send THEM on the street with hidden cameras. Let's by God find out how it REALLY feels to be in a different body.

Of course, I'd like to see this sort of thing go away completely, but now it's being replaced by the "Ugly" makeover. Again, I blame the media--putting a unibrow on America Ferrera doesn't make her ugly, anymore than putting a blue sweater on Anne Hathaway makes her dowdy. So STOP DOING IT. All that this does is reinforce the negative body image that American girls have shoved in their collective face every day. "Ugly" and "Fat" makeovers don't help anyone--all they do is hurt young girls (and some boys, too) and salve the conscience of people who really think they're better than you are because they look good.

Thanks for looking at my wall of text. If you've come this far, I'm going to bet you have some interest in this little corner of the blogosphere, so I'll make you a deal. I know it can be inconvenient to check back here all the time to see if I've made one of my infrequent updates, so here's what I'll do. Send me an email to, and I'll add you to the mailing list. When I update, you get a nice little note saying so. No more wasted time, and I--frankly--get to see if anyone out there's actually reading my stuff.