Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fat Love in Primetime

This entry is entirely about the show Glee. It will contain spoilers through the episode that aired tonight. If you care and you're behind, please catch up and then read this episode.

All right, disclaimer out of the way.

I'm a big proponent of fat acceptance. If you're not familiar with that concept, it ties in with the idea of "health at any size," which implies that a person's health isn't solely determined by the size of their body. Overweight people, especially women, have it rough in our world. We're imperfect - far from it - in the eyes of our society. Because we're not thin, we cannot be beautiful - at least that's what we're taught from a very young age.

That's just a bit of background for you (if you're interested in reading up on fat acceptance, check out the website for NAAFA, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance).

Glee is currently one of the most popular shows on TV. It even got the post-Super Bowl spot, which I think is impressive. Granted, that was probably one of the worst Glee episodes ever, but that's ok. The story line I want to talk about really started last week.

My favorite character on Glee is a guy named Puck. He's a tough-guy, bad-boy type, and very good-looking (even with that stupid mohawk thing). Another character is a girl named Lauren. And she's a Big Girl. She's also tough (she's on the school wrestling team).

Last week, Puck announced that he's got a thing for Lauren. Actually, it was an episode this past fall when Puck said that Lauren "rocked his world." I thought that they would just drop that story line. But it was in the Valentine's Day themed episode when they brought it back.

Members of the glee club were supposed to sing love songs. Puck, in his infinite wisdom, decided to sing Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls" to Lauren. I thought it was awesome - as someone who is personally unashamed (most of the time) of her own fat bottom, I find nothing truly offensive about the song. I love that song (along with "Baby Got Back," I think it's one of the best fat anthems out there). But Lauren didn't really take it well. One song about fat girls wasn't enough to win Lauren's heart.

And this is the amazing part - throughout the entire episode, Puck continues to pursue her, and Lauren keeps shooting him down. He's not just after her because she's big - it's because she's "badass." Lauren is a girl who oozes confidence despite how she looks. She's not going to snatch up Puck just because he shows an interest - she isn't going to stoop to that. And I respect her for it.

Though, if Puck were after me, I'd be all over him. Dude is hot. (Don't worry - he may play a teenager on TV, but the actor is in his late 20s).

Anyway, where was I? Right. Puck and Lauren. He actually uttered the phrase "How hot is she?" after she sang her song in tonight's episode.

Hot. A fat girl. On primetime, national television. On one of the most watched shows on TV. We now have a precedent for fat love in primetime.

I love it.

However, I'm worried. I'm afraid they're going to turn it into something... more than just a teenage romance plot line. They're either going to turn it around and make it about Lauren's health, or Puck is going to "wake up" and realize that Lauren isn't conventionally attractive. I doubt they're going to leave it as it is. I just hope they actually get together before they end the story line.

Am I reading too much into this? Maybe this isn't some grand gesture of a trend toward size equality in America. Maybe it's just a TV show.

Either way, I'm enjoying it. I like seeing the hot guy chase the fat girl. Hopefully the rest of the world will follow suit.

EDIT: This doesn't mean that I'm going to give up on the whole weight-loss thing. I have my own reasons for that, and I'm still determined to do it. It's still going well.


  1. I agree, I hope they don't mess it up. I was actually glad to see it continue into this week's storyline and that she is still holding out too. It gives me hope that they will handle it with the sensitivity that they had with Kurt's coming out story.

  2. I finally caught up last weekend, and I agree - Lauren is an awesome character and (within the ridiculousness of the show) Puck's interest in her actually makes sense. Also, "Fat Bottomed Girls" was one of the only two songs I bought from the first three episodes (Facebook gives away what the other one was).