My cynical opinion of Chrissy Metz, actress most known for playing the fat freak on American Horror Story, generated several threads of interesting debates about why it is fat people aren’t seen more on TV and movies. People know full well that TV and movies typically cast people with “thin privilege” over curvy, full-bodied people, except for when a role calls for fat.
But why is it that fat need not apply even in fiction. Fiction! A medium in which an author can create literally anything and everything. A medium that allows authors to create flesh-eating asshole dwelling trolls, green goblins that haunt blonde bimbos on the moon, and women with monster vaginas that literally eat people. Yet, fiction does not seem all that welcoming to fat characters. Well, fat protagonists, anyway.
Hold on. Put down the pitchforks. I know that fiction is MORE tolerant and accepting of fat characters than its visual counter part. But even with the fat midget Hobbits and the occasional fat hero, skinny or “average” characters dominate the fiction landscape. Why is that? Could it be that fat is just not accepted by large? Is there some sort of grand anti-fat conspiracy?
Feminists, calm down and check yourself. Romance and erotica, genres written by and for women, are giant examples of authors AND publishers milking the more popular and more appealing stereotypes dry to the bone. Romance and erotica are written for women, and yet women buy into the stereotypes. You’ll never find a top selling romance novel or erotica with a main male attraction that looks like he’s been gorging on Taco Bell for the last 20 years. Unless it’s some sort of satire. Search if you don’t believe me. The popular romance and erotic novels are NOT body positive and fluffy SJW stuff. The romanice and erotic novels that sell are the ones that have muscle hunks and attractive skinny women. Now, some romance novels might have “curvy” women, but even the “curvy” type aren’t the physical embodiment of The Blob.
Am I wrong? Prove it. I use romance and erotica because those genres are catered to women. Women buy into the hot steaming stereotypes. The same stereotypes that “shame” fat types by exclusion. But the lack of fat representation goes beyond romance and erotica. Not even female horror writers can create compelling fiction where an obese person flees from a stalker without it becoming a joke.
I would also love to see more fiction novels with fat characters reach top numbers. I seriously would. So, I propose a challenge for those that are royally pissed off about this horrible fatist trend. I propose that you take the initiative and write stories with fat main characters. Be the change.