Why is Fat Funny?

4 Jun

Today I went and saw the movie Bridesmaids with a friend. It was absolutely hilarious and a great chick flick about friendship and being in a wedding. However, as a former fat person, I was sad to see that the character of Megan, who was very overweight, was reduced to being the tough, funny fat girl.

It seems that whether male or female, overweight characters are always the funny ones in Hollywood movies. We never see a strong, confident, beautiful overweight female get a guy like Bradley Cooper. Actually we never see a confident, beautiful female who is overweight. Megan has to be the funny girl, never the beautiful girl. Yet, Hollywood has a double standard–the overweight man is still the funny guy, but he can still get a beautiful girl like Seth Rogen in Knocked Up.

I know what it’s like to be the funny girl. When I was fat, I was the funny girl among my friends. I knew I could never look good or wear the cute outfits so I made the jokes. But maybe if I had seen a situation in a movie or on a tv show where an overweight girl was more than the funny girl and got a good guy, it might have helped me have a little confidence during a difficult time in my life. It would have been nice to have felt a little self worth and know that maybe while I couldn’t wear a bikini, i wasn’t a completely worthless ugly duckling. Unfortunately, our society doesn’t encourage empowerment at any size.

Just because you’re overweight doesn’t mean you cant have confidence and own a room with your presence. It doesn’t mean you can’t wear a cute outfit, out on makeup and look great. How come we went from an era where Marilyn Monroe, who was a size 16, was a beautiful sex symbol who stopped everyone dead in their tracks to an era where poor Marilyn would dress masculine, make crude jokes and be a tough “guy?”

Maybe one of these days, a girl like Megan will get a guy like Bradley Cooper. And maybe she’ll get to wear a great dress with heels instead of cargo pants with sneakers. And maybe Hollywood will finally understand that the average American woman is a size 12 and needs someone to identify with and giver her confidence when shopping for a new pair of jeans.

2 Responses to “Why is Fat Funny?”

  1. the wuc June 4, 2011 at 10:40 PM #

    Queen Latifah is overweight, beautiful and confident. She is certainly the exception to the rule, but at least there is one out there in Hollywood!

  2. Bob Dolan June 4, 2011 at 10:56 PM #

    Well written and compassionate…love this one!

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