July 29, 2009

I wonder if they’ll play Sir Mix-a-Lot

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:56 am by Dagny Taggart

I know everyone’s talking about it – that show.  On Fox.  With the guy, and the women, and the size-realted clichés, and it surprises me not at all that this show is on this network.  After a trip to the gym and some quality time with Jillian Michaels, I turned to this show as unironically as possible while consuming a protein shake and some Kashi cereal.

One of those indelible memories that I wish were anything but, is of my biology class, freshman year of high school.  My lab partner was a sophomore guy.  And our class was two sessions long, every other day, to accomodate lab time.  The four minutes of travel time were ours to use for restroom breaks or gossip.

During one such four-minute break, my lab partner’s friend slipped into the seat left vacant by a classmate, the seat directly behind my lab partner.  I don’t know what else they talked about, but I remember this:

“Your lab partner has a fat ass.”

I’m not saying that he was lying.  At 5’8″ (still not done growing at 14) and 185/190 pounds, I wasn’t slim.  This was just the first (probably not) most memorable time someone had acted as though I wasn’t a person, right there in front of them.  As though the weight made me a different species, incapable of understanding the speech and customs of The Thin.

My lab partner stopped joking with me after that.  The cameraderie we’d established by mocking our professor’s atrocious spelling, by agreeing to alternate the handling of the more disgusting tasks, faded away.  I became Lab Partner (XL edition), the personality-free automaton next to whom he sat every day.  I was Fat, and therefore Other, and therefore not worthy of association.

But when I saw this show, I thought about this story, and I wondered if we would find ourselves having separate proms, distinguishable only by the BMIs of those in attendance.  Oh, right.  From the preview reel at the end, it looks like they’ve already got that planned.



  1. Virgle Kent said,

    hmmmm…. it’s interesting how this show has brought up so many post/ stories from women about their past. In a way it’s almost like theropy if you think about it. Also though, it sucks growing up a certain way, not being popular, rich, skinny or whatever shapes us and pushes us to become that way as adults. I mean look at Rap stars… anyway, don’t kick me in the nuts but in a way growing up small and skinny and seeing the jocks get the girls, I some what can relate.. no? Wait what?

  2. Lisa said,

    I am so out of it. I don’t know anything about this show.

    And high school is such a fragile time, and people can be so mean.

    Shocking and somehow not, considering it’s Mississippi. After my time at Carolina I have such prejudice against the south, and particularly the deep south.

    But you know, with the population of the US getting larger and heavier, and more plus-sized models and more designers offering clothes in plus sizes, I wonder if eventually big will be the norm and skinny will not?

  3. Virgle Kent: I definitely think that the show sparked therapy-like reactions for a lot of people. And yes, I’m sure lots of people have used those hurt feelings to overcome obstacles and become incredibly successful, which is great for them.

    But proving people wrong will only motivate you for so long, ya know? You have to find another reason to succeed at some point, I think.

    Lisa: Well on the show, the women are from all over the country – I’m just appalled that someone would take that “separate but equal” concept and start applying it to anything else, ever, at all. Like are we soon going to have special “civil unions” for heavier people?

    I think that skinny hasn’t been the norm for a while, but that hasn’t changed it from being the goal. *sigh*

  4. lemmonex said,

    I relate to this deeply, just as most of us can. Short, tall, thin, fat…No one wants to be othered or less than.

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