So, there is a new fat themed dance show on TV. A reality series about Big Moves and their brand of politically subvercive musical theater? Maybe a profile of China's "Fat and Cool" dance troupe or Cuba's Danza Voluminosa? A visit to one of the hundreds of fat social clubs around the country where fat women can be found dacing and flirting (just like real people!)? A follow-up on former America's Got Talent contestants The Glamazons? Or an insufferable mash-up of "The Biggest Loser" and "Dancing with the Stars"?
Yeah, its "Dancing with Fat Stigmatization".
I knew it was too good to be true when YouTube was promoting a video with what appeared to be scantily attired fat men and women on a TV show. Had to be a catch. Sure enough, YouTube is quickly yelling at me about how I'm going to die if I don't dance myself thin. I heard about this show coming a year ago but I hoped it died in development, but no such luck. The promo video was a cavelcade of fat hate cliche's (where the winner is a loser, DEATH FAT, no one likes fatties, blah blah blah). Its all so boring, but naturally gets dressed up as inspirational and moving. The "sexy" clothing in a show like this takes on a different meaning, because the purpose is not to celebrate one's body but to demean it. Thus, the intention is not to acknowledge the sexuality of fat people, but to mock the notion of a fat person as sexual. At the most, the contestants are only afforded toleration so long as they acknowledge the wrongness of their bodies.
I'm so sick of these shows. Its demeaning and dehumanizing. The only time you see a fat body is when its being paraded about for catcalls and scorn. Screw that. I used to think that the total lack of fat flesh in our popular culture served to turn fat people into an "other", something literally unfathomable for most people because our culture catagorically withheld any pressence of an undressed fat body. Even the fleeting appearances of unclothed fat men for comedic purpose might counteract that, something fat women never saw. They weren't even allowed to be laughed at. Merely pitied and ignored. Well, suffice to say, this BS is not what I was hoping for. There is no context for seeing a fat woman in any state of undress on TV that is not about explicitly and unflinchingly about stigmatizing them. Fat men aren't far behind at this point, either. This isn't humanizing fat people. Its just further entrenching the idea that we are desexualized monsters fit for the disgust of pity of a crowd. I know this is a lot of complaining with little constructive, but right now I feel like the complaint just needs to be aired. Since gosh knows anything that makes fun of fat people has no trouble getting aired.
And don't get me started on the Fat Bachelor (with Fat Bachelorettes). As an FA (Fat Admirer), I'm dreading the inevitable "twist" where the show pretty much disrespects my identity as prefering a fat partner. You know its coming. I hope I'm wrong. Its bad enough that it seems to imply that fat people can only hope to be with fat people, though the promo does suggest that the Fatchelor is an FA. I just don't expect the show to respect that. I think it'll downplay it in favor of a more simplistic notion of fat ghettoization and then dangle out the prospect of doing "better" than a fat partner to either the female suitors our the male bachelor. I just don't trust TV to deal with fat people with any respect. Would love to be proven wrong, but its not like our popular culture doesn't have a VERY consistant track record.