A little birdy told me…
Insatiable, a new show about fat-shaming, was joining the Netflix originals ensemble. At first glance, I didn’t care for it because (sorry) it was another white girl’s tale.
If you haven’t been online, you’ll know initial reactions to the show’s trailer were less than impressed. You’d think a show like this, in 2018, would be pushing the conversation about fat-shaming forward. Instead, it pushed over 200,000 signatures to petition its cancellation for its fatphobic messages.
As a fat woman, I felt the premise of Insatiable was whack from the rip
The show’s “satirical” synopsis centers around 17-year-old “Fatty Patty”. She hates her life because she’s not skinny (relatable) and is punched in the face as a result. She gets her jaw wired shut for 3 months, too.
Thus her skinny legend story unfolds. Mind you, if you’ve never seen the musical “Camp”, this storyline has ABD (already been done) written all over it. Anyways, she seeks revenge on her classmates, blah blah blah she’s skinny and still hates herself (can’t relate and never will).
The so-called satire is filled with endless affirmations and aspirations to be skinny
The almost never-ending list of cheap shot jokes to make an example of Patty is what irritated me the most. “She’s very serious about her food” or “It can’t be easy looking like that” and “Skinny is magic”. These are just some of the phrases that are supposed to relate to every fat girl who’s every been bullied.
Personally, I hate Patty
I think her character is completely unrealistic. Like, really, there’s only one fat girl in the entire school suffering from body image issues? C’mon now. Also, I can’t sympathize with Patty because she’s now achieved thin privilege, regardless of how she achieved it. And with that privilege, she didn’t rally her band of thickies or help others to feel better about themselves, but decided to seek out revenge. I don’t know about you, but that’s petty as hell to me and beyond any demographic within the show’s reach.
To be more brutally honest, I think the show makes the divide between plus-size and straight-size girls more prevalent. “I’m thinner, but I still need to lose like 100 pounds before I’ll get in a bikini.” This is just one of many quotes that enhance the underlying frustrations fat women have with thinner women. Patty can’t fathom or appreciate now being up on the pedestal of society’s image of a good-looking woman. Are we supposed to empathize of Patty’s newfound thinness despite her self-hatred? I don’t and I can’t.
Frankly, I don’t see what’s satirical about ‘Instastiable’…like, at all
I think the reason Insatiable doesn’t work is because it’s just too soon to make fat-shaming funny when it hasn’t been addressed on more serious terms. Many of us are less pressed when joking about other controversial topics. Whether it’s on race or sexuality, we joke about those more lightheartedly. However, fatphobia is, in my opinion, still in its premature stages of discussion.
We’re just getting used to incorporating different body types, let alone being mindful that they exist at all. The things I write and bitch about here are the things I’d love to see reflected on screen. But until we talk about the fat girl lifestyle, experience and how it seriously differs from the (skinny) girl next door’s, shows like Insatiable won’t get any applause from me.