Opinion: Exploiting fat as funny is insulting and inaccurate

Posted on Mar 10 2017 - 8:01am by Mikala Turner

If you are a complete Netflix or Disney fanatic like me, then you obviously know that the 1995 original Disney film “Heavyweights” was recently added to Netflix.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, allow me to explain. Basically, “Heavyweights” is about a bunch of kids who are sent to a fat camp that gets overrun by an obsessively fit, crazy trainer portrayed by Ben Stiller. After they have had enough of the trainer’s fat-shaming and unorthodox methods of weight loss, the campers revolt.

At first, it sounded like a pretty entertaining movie to me, but then I started to notice exactly how the movie chooses to portray plus-size people. For example, after the campers take over the camp again, they go on a junk food rager all night and wake up with a chocolately, deep-fried hangover.

I do not know about any other plus-size person out there, but I have never done something like that. That sort of thing never actually happens, and it creates a false stereotype about fat people.

Now, we must address the question of why Disney choose to portray fat people in this way. The simplest explanation is that fat is funny to most people (other than actual fat people). Since this movie is a bit outdated and may not be accurate for the current times, I began looking at more recent examples.

The first thing that came to mind was the new Mama June transformation that I have been seeing everywhere. Mama June gained public attention on the reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” surrounding her plus-size pageant daughter. Mama June was never society’s idea of beautiful, so production companies believed it would be a great idea to exploit that and gain money off changing her.

The same thing goes with “Revenge Bodies with Khloe Kardashian,” “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” “My 600-lb. Life,” “Mike and Molly” and movies like “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” and “Tammy.” These shows and movies are lying to the public. Most fat people are not like that! We do not sit there and eat all day. Honestly, we probably eat the exact same amount – if not less — as everyone else in a day.

Why must they exploit us as a flaw on the face of society on such a large scale?

Sure, there are some people who do overeat, but exploiting that and saying all fat people do that is completely ridiculous and unrealistic.

The fat stereotypes production companies create are what we must deal with every day of our lives, and they make it so much harder to feel normal. Stop making fat out to be funny when there is truly nothing comical about the bodies in which we live.