So, while watching TV the other day, a trailer comes on for a new Eddie Murphy movie. Its one of those ones where Eddie Murphy plays all of the leads himself. You know, like the Nutty Professor. Remember how fun that was for fat people? Well, the fat suit's back. But now its switched genders and apparently gotten a LOT more negative. From the trailer, it looks like it'll make his Nutty Professory character look like a fat acceptance approved role model. While there, his fat character was still the hero, when the fat drag makes him a fat woman, its all bad.
In the movie, Murphy plays a nerdish man who is involved with a quite fat woman who is portrayed as extremely self-important and extremely domineering. Aside from the standard mocking of the notion that a fat woman could think she was beautiful, its mines all of the stupid fat jokes and stereotypes that Martin Lawrence had been busily dishing out with the "Big Momma" movies. I guess Murphy wanted a piece of that action, so here we are.
The fat suit is, of course, absurdly unrealistic. This is made especially obvious in some scenes as its clear the more body focused bits used a body double with Murphy's head attached. I've always felt that a major contributing factor to heightened discrimination against fat women was the fact that you simply never see a fat woman in any state of undress in popular media. Fat guys, you do see. Oh, it isn't positive, but their bodies are allowed a reality which is withheld from fat women. Their bodies aren't even accepted enough to poke fun at. They must be completely hidden away. But, I'll admit, this wasn't what I was thinking of when I thought it'd be nice to see more fat women treated like, well, that they exist. When I was hoping to see more diversity in the portrayal of fat women's bodies, I wasn't expecting those fat women to be Eddie Murphy and Gwyneth Paltrow. Sure, those films both featured actual fat women's bodies instead of poorly made suits. But, they are still denied a pressence by using them as cheap stand-ins for actors in fat drag. And, of course, the object of cheap jokes. In the trailer, we see Murphy's character flattening her boyfriend during sex, flying like a cannonball off a waterslide, and there is an especially easy gag about her belly apron in a bikini.
I'm certainly not looking forward to having to endure the likely success of this film and the period of omnipresent fat gags that will ensue. No punches are going to get pulled here. Unlike Nutty Professor or Shallow Hall, the fat suit here is for the bad guy of the picture and one can expect the "humor" to be quite severe, very cheap, and an annoying reminder of the degree with which fat women are denied the opportunity to exist in the world of TV and movies. No, no. We'll have to get Eddie Murphy to play the fat woman.