Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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Washington, DC, United States
I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

If Fat People Can't Kiss on TV, Then Skinny People Shouldn't Eat.

I don't watch the show Mike & Molly.  I don't have a great interest, and my queue is already overflowing with shows that I have fallen behind on, so a new sitcom isn't on the top of my list of things to watch.  But far be it from me to stay silent on a controversy!  And this article I found on Yahoo really really angered me:

You don't want to see fat people kissing, don't watch!  TV is free will; no one can force you to watch a show you don't want to.  I love that in this article Preachy McMeany-Pants encouraged fat people to walk more just paragraphs after she said she doesn't like seeing fat people walk across the room.  So, get more exercise, just make sure the skinnies don't see you?  

(Now granted, the above writer was responding to this article, which actually points out a trend in entertainment that is worth thinking about:  )

I'm okay with the fact that the majority of people on TV are more attractive than me, and in fact, I think that might be part of the escapism that most people are tuning in for.  I think that there are many interesting debates one could have about weight and entertainment, but "should fat people kiss on TV?" isn't one of them.

So let me bring up another side of the issue: how about shows that go out of their way to glorify slothful behavior without any consequences?

Gilmore Girls, 30 Rock, Cougar Town all present women and men who eat and drink extremely unhealthy foods and beverages without participating in any sort of regular exercise and are still somehow a Size 0.  Lorelei and Rory ate every single meal either out or had it delivered, were constantly chugging caffeine, occasionally made a huge production of getting a minimal amount of exercise and were both rail thin.  In every single episode, Liz Lemon mentions some gastronomic monstrosity that she consumes on a regular basis and it isn't until SEASON 4 that she even tries to go to the gym (which she never makes it to), yet she is trim and her hair has the body accomplished by a well balanced diet.  Except for Travis, every character on Cougar Town is booze-soaked, yet not a one of those calories seems to stick.  Don't get me wrong, I have at one point in the past or the present throughly enjoyed all of these shows, but when people are up in arms that there are fat characters on TV who are not stoned in the street for their morally reprehensible physical state, then it seems utterly dishonest to convey the idea that what you put in your mouth has no effect on body, that if you were just one of the blessed then you could behave however you choose and would perpetually be the precise example of socially dictated beauty.  If the mere presence of fat people on TV "glorifies obesity," what  message does it send to have skinny people who make all the behavioral choices that lead to obesity?

The TV Girl


Calah said...

I totally agree. Gilmore Girls in particular used to drive me nuts; I couldn't figure out how they could eat all that crap and still look like that, because while I was at home, eating the same crap, I certainly did not remain Lorelei-thin.

The Rowles said...

A-freaking-men. Sex in the City always annoyed me to that point. All three women are constantly eating out, never cooking, and ALWAYS boozing.

Along those lines, it also annoys me when characters on tv have kids and they have hardly changed their pre-baby lives. There are so many shows that have this image that once you have a baby, your life doesn't change- from their bodies to their social lives. Shows like Friends, Cougar Town and even Everybody Loves Raymond. You hardly ever see Ross and Rachel's new baby after they have her and also Ellie's baby on Cougar Town. Annoys me! But I digress...
GREAT post!

Kathleen said...

I think the same can be said for other unhealthy life style choices as well. Hardly ever do you see a promiscuous character get STDs or pregnant. I also dislike how awesome 12-18 year olds look. What happened to awkwardness during puberty. A few zits or braces would be nice from time to time! Justin Bieber is ruining the psyches of 14 year old boys everywhere!