Big Sexy?

 

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.)

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6 thoughts on “Big Sexy?

  1. Yeesh. The ‘Thunder Thighs’ contest?! I would’ve shut it right off then and there. Fat fetishes drive me crazy because that was the only type of response I got on POF. I am SO MUCH MORE than my weight and it drove me crazy that that’s all those men wanted. I’m not fat because it’s so much fun, it’s a battle and I’m dealing with it. I could never be with a fat fetishist because I wouldn’t be a person, just a body. It makes me sad. But I have never seen the show and want to believe that they are making it okay to be big and sexy. I know it’s true, I’ve seen it (looking at you Miss Campbell). I want the world to be more understanding. And shit, that’s a longshot.

    • Thanks Meredith! lol
      I know what you mean. It’s like being a trophy, in the most degrading sense. I generally don’t respond to those types of messages. I don’t mind if they tell me they find me attractive and are attracted to big women, but when it’s all that they talk about it, no thanks. Get over it already! I appreciate it even more when they tell me they messaged me because they liked something I wrote in my profile or that I have pretty eyes or a nice smile.
      I think the show is helping women to feel better about themselves for sure. And really, who else can you talk to about fat girl issues except other fat girls, or former fat girls? But at the same time, why do I have to be big and sexy? Can’t I just be sexy? It’s like that always has to be part of my identity. With online dating, you want to be clear on what you look like or else you’ll just wind up in awkward and hurtful situations. And don’t you often wonder about what your identifier is? For instance, if someone is trying to describe you or point you out to someone, what are the words they choose first?

  2. You both make excellent points. On one of the episodes of big sexy( where they are in Miami) there was some d-bag yelling “heavy” at them. So awful that some felt compelled to say something so hurtful.

    I also think your question re: how other people would describe you is very interesting. I think that it would depend on the person viewing you. Arguably their accuracy would be dependent on their onw issues and experiences with weight, no?

    • Possibly. I guess the word they use would be dependant on their own issues, but not necessarily the feature. For instance, fat bitch vs the heavy/big girl. I think descriptors are what stand out about us most. Like, oh you’re talking about the girl with the big tits. Or, you mean the black guy? Or, the ginger down the block.

  3. Great post…and conversations. I haven’t seen the show but one thing that frustrates me about most shows that glorify being fat is that I feel like most of the women continuously say that they’re perfectly happy with their size. I think its great to be confident at any size but EVERYONE should always be striving to be better. I just kinda think they’re lying. I often say that anyone who says they don’t want to be skinny (ie. Just a normal size) is lying. I definitely think we can be overweight and feel confident and live normal, happy lives but I don’t think it means that we don’t wish we were thinner.

    And I totally wonder how people describe me sometimes. I could imagine my friends saying something like “shes got reddish hair….and shes a little bigger.” makes me cringe just thinking about it.

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