CW: discussion of a proposed reality TV show that focuses on the fatness of women as a problem for their relationships. Followed up by fiery righteous ranting (by me and the rest of the Twitterverse). Oh, and also lots of memes of Jean-Luc Picard. Use discretion.
You may have seen news stories about a TLC proposed reality show called (please forgive me; I just work here) “Hot and Heavy”. The premise is to gawk at couples of straight-sized men and fat women, to better understand how such a relationship can be functional and loving.
There is so much wrong with this idea– where shall I start? Well, how about letting our Twitter neighbors kick off the outraged totally-justified objection-fest?
TLC refers to the couples as “mixed-weight”. Twitter rightly called them out and named what this term actually means. Herewith a brief but mighty Twitter post:
Jean-Luc PIcard, upon reading the TLC story, had no words.
Here’s my take on this: any TV show focusing on the larger-than-some-made-up-photoshopped -ideal size of anyone as a challenge or obstacle in the course of their doing anything in their lives is engaging in out-and-out fat shaming. Using the made-up term “mixed-weight couples” is an unsuccessful attempt at disguising the fat-shaming.
It also brings to mind other terms (for instance, “mixed race”) to refer to couples whose relationships that powerful groups have disapproved of, made illegal, and perpetrated violence against. That show is using a term that will remind lots of people about serious injustice against many populations. I’m not qualified to speak for lots of populations. But I’m calling out the show on this.
And one more thing: NO. No more. We’re done with that. The same way we’re done with trying to make this recipe work:
Maybe some day, Fit is a Feminist Issue could be made into its own reality show. And who would be on it? Everyone who wanted to share their stories about fitness-according-to-them, in all its realistic glory. This would include experiences of movement, injury, illness, loss, gratitude, friendship, adventure, fear, napping, training, going solo, venturing with groups, moving while aging, moving while pregnant, not moving when we really wish we could, etc.
I asked Jean-Luc Picard what he thought about this idea.
I agree. What would you want to see in a Fit is a Feminist Issue reality show? Or podcast? Just curious…