I’ve been meaning to write a post about this show since I heard about it. Let me start by saying the women they’ve decided to feature are amazing. They’re smart, funny, beautiful, and yes, sexy. I’ve seen the first 2 episodes and my thoughts on it still aren’t quite clear. No, let me rephrase that. My thoughts are clear, I’m just not sure which side of the fence I’m on about it yet. I was recently having a conversation about it with my friend Maria and she said this in regards to the women when they were on the beaches in Miami in episode 3, walking around with confidence, hitting on boys, playing sports…” Isn’t that normal…? Why does it have to be highlighted that big girls do all the same things skinny girls do and feel sexy and confident [while doing them]?” And why does it? I mean, they may as well call the show “It Turns Out I CAN Live Life, Even Though I’m Fat. Thanks World”
I feel the same way about other shows that follow plus size women around. How about TLC’s show ‘Say Yes To The Dress: Big Bliss’? Why is there even a different branch of the show for this? Are the struggles of a plus size bride really all that different from other brides? Sure, it’s harder to try the dresses on since there are way fewer samples to try, but the issues are still the same. Finding a dress that highlights your good features and hides the ones you feel self-conscious about. You can’t tell me that the hottest supermodel in the world doesn’t have a body part she doesn’t want to hide. I remember watching an episode from the first season of Project Runway Canada when the challenge was to design a red carpet dress for Iman and she told them exactly what she likes and doesn’t like and that there is a body part she never shows because it bothers her so much. She wouldn’t reveal what it was, but if Iman can be self-conscious about her body, clearly the rest of us are going to have some issues.
Back to ‘Big Sexy’. The name annoys me. Would they call a show ‘Thin and Sexy’? Or ‘Sexy Skinny’? No, they would not, because it would promote an unfair and unrealistic view of what women should look like. (Plus, they already made ‘Sex and the City’ ;)) So instead they made a show called ‘Big Sexy’ which has managed to offend, empower, as well as support obesity (in some opinions).
In general, I think it’s a fairly realistic view of plus size women in terms of confidence and behaviour, but what exactly are they promoting? I’ve read a few blogs here and there about the show and there seem to be two views…one is that the show is great and plus size women like seeing other women they can relate to, who are confident, but still struggle with body issue, just like EVERY OTHER WOMAN in the world, regardless of size. The other view is that they’re promoting obesity. I don’t exactly agree with that, but I can see where that view is coming from. We don’t see these women working out or eating healthy. You don’t have to be skinny to be healthy and you don’t have to be fat to be unhealthy, but TLC is walking a fine line here. I think 3 episodes really isn’t enough to showcase whatever viewpoint they are trying to show and I hope they film some more. Because whatever the point is, I think it always helps to see someone like you who you can relate to, on tv and in the media. Believe me, seeing plus size women on tv isn’t going to make overweight and obese woman stop trying to lose weight. Just like watching The Biggest Loser doesn’t inspire every overweight person watching to lose weight. Or how watching Super Size Me didn’t stop the masses from eating McDonalds.
So, in conclusion, I have no conclusion. I love the women on the show, but I don’t love the show. How about that? Anyone else watch the show? Thoughts?
PS. The scenes from the BBW party from the first episode? Disgusting and degrading. (If you haven’t watched, there is a “thunder thighs” contest where the women participating, not the women featured on the show, hike up their skirts and shorts and slap their jiggly thighs around while men with fat fetishes watch with hungry eyes.)