In the movies and on television, fat girls have it pretty bad. Frankly, fat girls are fucked. End of story. I personally have died twice, as a poor, stupid, sad, fat girl.
The first time I died, it was because my boyfriend was in the Al Qaeda. He was using me to get some kind of Al Qaeda shenanigans going. I had met him on the internet, in an “I like fat chicks” website that my fat friend and I trolled. He thought I discovered his plot and had me killed. The killer was a handsome stranger who flirted with me in a liquor store, whom I followed and, presumably gave a blowjob to in hopes of true love (because that’s what fat girls do), but was strangled and left in a boiler room in Brooklyn instead.
The second time I died, Cuba Gooding, Jr. found me at my job at an elementary school, and he charmed me into meeting him later for dinner by jump starting my car and flashing a toothy grin. He comes to pick me up at my apartment and my roommate tells him that I got freaked out, thinking I wasn’t attractive enough for him and I went off unaccompanied. So, I’m all alone in the bar, looking sad, when the dashing Neil McDonaugh (a time-traveling murderer) sidles up and begins a friendly conversation. I welcome that, because I hardly ever get attention paid to me. I go to the bathroom, Neil follows me, Cuba gets there too late and I get eviscerated. I’m serious. I had a big “Y” cut into my chest. I looked like a bullfrog, in a nice dress, who wandered into a science class.
This wasn’t real-life, of course, but two acting jobs I had. I have noticed that this happens with most movies and TV shows: fat girl ends up with not-fat guy because he is using her or she is so desperate that she doesn’t realize he is a serial killer/rapist/puppy eater. Most of these characters are flattered and flustered when a white, physically fit, non-UPS driver pays them any mind. It’s like they’re looking at a work of art that they can never afford. And who would sell it to them, anyway?
Mostly, I get stuck as the 911 operator, patrol-car cop or EMT. You know, the sit down jobs. We can’t run, you know. That’s why you never see us on “The Walking Dead”, we done got ate. Once, I was cast as a lawyer who was not described as “heavyset” in the breakdown. I was just a normal, money hungry, ambulance-chasing attorney representing a killer. It felt progressive. Then, a few years later, I’m in Baton Rouge, getting dissected by a handsome actor.
The poor, stupid, fat girl doesn’t dare date or flirt with someone who is above her station in the looks department. Case in point: an episode of Criminal Minds where Garcia, the plump, shut-in computer genius (who sits), gets a date with an incredibly hot guy. First of all, she can’t believe it! It’s insane! What the fuck is wrong with this guy? Well, a lot, actually, because he shoots her in the head. He wanted her out of the way so he wouldn’t get figured out as the bad guy. No-ho-ho-ho-ho… the hot guy did not want to sleep with, or even really get to know, the clueless chubbette. He wanted to shoot her in the head. I don’t know how else to emphasize this: the only reason she got a date with a beautiful man is because he wanted her dead.
I once saw and episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent where the fat girl got duped by her boyfriend, Frank Whaley, and was devastated. At the end, he was saying how beneath him she was because she was fat. She was desperately clinging to a relationship with Frank Whaley?!!? Google him. Even a whale, an ugly whale, covered in barnacles and kelp, could do better than Frank Whaley. George Clooney, he is not. Great actor, but not gonna appear in an “Ocean’s Whatever” movie anytime soon. Yet here was this cute-as-a-button, overweight girl protecting him, defending him… because it is so hard for us to find love. Thankfully, she didn’t die, but I’m sure a later scene would have shown her eating raw cookie dough and crying on the couch.
It’s not just the dramas that want us to suffer: I recently watched a repeat of American Dad where Steve gets a girlfriend… who is fat. His dad, Stan, hates her. He even places a gun on the dining table in front of her and encourages her to kill herself. That’s pretty much the joke. I know, I know, it’s supposed to reflect badly on Stan. Ha ha ha. Fat girls shouldn’t love. Anyone. There’s a Family Guy episode where Quagmire’s date is fat. He hates her. What an asshole. She dies. Thank God. Ha ha ha. Fat girls shouldn’t live. They should just die. Sometimes, it feels like there’s a part of the country that would like to see us all shot. From Fashion Police to Love, Actually, the fat girl is the booby prize, the joke, and always oh-so-eager to please any man who comes through the door. But the likes of Evan Handler (Californication) and Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) are apparently a catch for young, nubile girls to land in bed. Personally, I wouldn’t fuck Evan Hander with Kevin Spacey’s dick.
The media are showing what and whom men need to avoid. It’s not the girl with a scar, because look at her tits! She’s a butter face. It’s not the crazy, younger, suicidal bitch, because her thighs don’t touch. Yeah, she’s nuts, but she’s gorgeous! The older woman who has a face to rival Mickey Rooney on a bender? Her bod is banging, dude! But the fat girl, don’t do it, son. Or, if you do, if you have to, do it because all the hot girls are taken, she’s the last one left at the party and you’ve got no other choice. “Take one for the team,” scream your friends, “Do her a favor!”
A size over 10 and they’re Quasimodo.
The exception, it seems, is the beautiful Melissa McCarthy. Granted, her “Mike” on “Mike and Molly” matches her in size, but not so much in looks. If anything, the show tries to give the impression that she scored bigger than he did, no pun intended. Fat girls everywhere rejoiced as she won an Emmy; was even nominated for an Oscar for Bridesmaids. In Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy gets a guy; a smaller guy (McCarthy’s husband in real life)! She ends up with a cute guy and she doesn’t have to be simpering or pathetic! Hallelujah! But stay for the credits and you see her making a sex tape that involves… wait for it… a six -foot sandwich. I was truly upset at how quickly she went from being a hero to eating one.
Two steps forward, one waddling back. How does this cycle end? Do we stop accepting roles in protest? Do we insist on auditioning for “regular size” roles and hope casting agents can get past the fat? Do we boycott Joan Rivers, Seth McFarlane, and Dick Wolf? Maybe the answer is to create our own movies and television shows. There are plenty of talented and creative plus-sized writers and actresses, after all. Maybe we create a scenario where the fat girl gets the guy; not just any guy, but Channing Tatum or Bradley Cooper, based on her confidence, intelligence and beauty. Yes, beauty.
Or maybe we should just start with the basics: roll out our handsome and fit boyfriends and husbands proudly, proving to the world that we are happy, normal, human beings who are just as wanted and needed as the hot girl who happens to be an axe murderer.
Adrianne Frost is a professional actress and writer who lives in New York, NY. She has appeared on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, all of the Law and Order’s and was a panelist on VH-1’s Best Week Ever for three years. She was carved up by Neil McDonough in “Ticking Clock”. Most recently, she was recurring on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie as an EMT. Her latest project is “The Early Works Series”, which takes a humorous look at famous artists’ earliest childhood works. http://earlyworksseries.tumblr.com/
Her humor book, I Hate Other People’s Kids, was published by Simon and Schuster in 2006. Adrianne’s writing has appeared in the anthologies The 2004 Signet Book of American Humor (Signet) and Rejected: Tales of The Failed, Dumped and Cancelled (Villard). She has written for www.askejean.com’s “Dope Astrology” and www.newsmakeup.com.