Monday, January 08, 2007

If you're like us...

If you find yourself loving Lifetime movies about eating disorders and whatnot, I think you will enjoy what the channel for women is premiering tonight. It's called To Be Fat Like Me and it stars some girl from some show I never watched and Caroline Rhea (who still holds a place in my heart for making a joke about how her mother told her every time she felt bad about herself or her life to just "put on a little lipstick" and then proceeds to mimic herself scribbling lipstick all over her body).

The made for tv movie is about a high school girl with a fat mother and a fat younger brother who thinks they are lazy and doesn't get why they just don't lose the weight. What's so hard about being fat she asks herself? Well, obviously she'll find out. Oh and there's also something about a scholarship and her doing some documentary. But, lets get to the point: she wears a fat suit to school to see the responses she gets living the life of a fat girl. Sort of like that movie Just One of the Guys, but it's Just One of the Fat Girls.

I often have problems with shows where someone puts on a fat suit and feels how hard it is to live as a fat person only to be able to take the fat suit off and forget everything they've learned and felt. Don't even get me started about Shallow Hal. But, I'm going to watch tonight. I sort of can't wait. And not to go too much off topic, but who can't tell that someone is wearing a fat suit? Maybe from afar...maybe...but I'm not buying that. But, it's tv and I will let it slide.

So, I thought it would be fun to let you all know about the made for tv movie and tomorrow, or even after the movie premieres, we can talk about it. Sounds like a good time to me.

Tonight, Monday, January 8th, 2007 at 9pm on Lifetime...check your local listings.


Anonymous said...

I saw the previews for this movie when I was home for Christmas. The girl you don't know is Kaley Cuoco from 8 Simple Rules and the final season of Charmed (Clearly I watch too much TV!!!!!). Even though I thought it looked corny and predictable, I sadly can't even watch it to see if my original opinion was true because I don't have Lifetime here in the UK... Blast!!!! I guess I'll just read all about it from everyone ... I can't wait.

Shallow Hal actually really depressed me - and not because it was perfect Gwyneth in a fat suit pretense, but because some of the dialogue and emotion and perception of self was a little too real and cut pretty close to home. I have never been able to watch it after that one time in the cinema when I forced myself through it. I'm still a little sad thinking about it now - even though she did get the guy in the end.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Worst celeb so far in a fat suit is Tyra Banks ... loved the tears though.
Check out my new blog From YAWN to Come Hither.

Thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

I'm so there! Don't even get me *started* about thin people in fat suits. Spending less than 24 hours in a fat suit does not give you any insight whatsoever about what it's like to be fat. I don't get to take off my fat suit when I get home.

I wanted to punch Tyra Banks in the face.

Diana said...

I live blogged this on my own blog. It was very therapeutic.

It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but then again, my expectations were extraordinarily low.

Anonymous said...

I watched the show and thought it was good. At first, I was perturbed that the mom was being labeled as fat when she really wasn't. But then they explained that she used to be obese and fights every day to keep at her now healthy weight.

I guess I am fortunate b/c even though I am fat, I don't seem to have the experienced of people making blatant fun of me. Perhaps they say things behind my back, but nobody is outwardly cruel (no MOOs). Of course, I am in my 30s. I'm sure it would have been a different story if I had been heavy when I was a teen.

tara said...

anon 6:11

I think it is definately because you are grown, although I know grown fat people who are mocked. But I noticed that though I was tortured as a fat kid my entire time in school-to the point of contemplating suicide, things changed drastically when I grew up. On occasion I would still get mocked, but it wasn't every day like when I was a kid.
I don't know, maybe it looked like I was a great big woman who could kick ass as an adult. But kids get the worst of it I think.


Toni said...

No fat suit was worse than Vanessa Minnillo on ET.

Her body was a size 12, but they gave her a face of someone who was a hundred or more pounds heavier. Pretty much every fat suit show I've seen does this, even though it's not how naturally heavy women look.

I didn't watch the show last night, but I checked out the web site, and it looks like this movie was guilty of it, too.

Also, why do they insist on giving these women bad makeup, bad hair, and horrible clothes? Why can't they show what normal overweight women really look like? I've always been heavy, but I always take time to have up-to-date, properly applied makeup, a good hairstyle, and nice, well fitting, flattering clothes and shoes.

Until they start portraying these women just like any other, except with a larger body, it's just a joke.

Anonymous said...

By the end of each season, Caroline Rhea is the fattest person on "The Biggest Loser."

Heather said...

Tara...I think that in general, kids are just more mean than adults. It probably comes from them being so insecure in their own bodies with all of the hormones and changes going on. If they focus on someone else's flaws, it's easier to overlook their own.

Toni...I agree 100% about the fact that they can't just put a fat suit on someone without "uglying" them up in other ways. It's like people link the fat=ugly in their minds......even the ones that are trying to help!!!

I really thought that the actress who played the actual overweight girl (with the red hair) absolutely beautiful!

Not sure how many people actually watched the show, but there was one part that was a bit of a light-bulb moment for me. The fat-suit girl (can't remember actress or character's names!) made the connection as to why she thought people were so vicious to fat people. It's because deep down inside, the haters actually are afraid of becoming that way. And with a lot of people, fear becomes loathing. I know that I am not expressing it as well as they did on the show, it really hit home with me.

I think that some of the worst fat-bashers out there are people who used to be fat. It's a combination of "well if I lost weight and you didn't, I must be better than you" and "I hated myself when I was fat and you remind me of that, therefore I hate you".

Susan said...

I think that some of the worst fat-bashers out there are people who used to be fat. It's a combination of "well if I lost weight and you didn't, I must be better than you" and "I hated myself when I was fat and you remind me of that, therefore I hate you".

Yep. Totally agree!

Heather said...

For anyone who missed it, Lifetime is showing it again this Sunday (not sure what time though).

buffpuff said...

Fortunately, satellite-free and UK-based, I was spared this pile of condescending schmaltz, though I did read Diana's blog about it and found that very entertaining.

The use of something as lame as a fat suit in the context of supposedly socially aware drama is, I suppose, ironic - but it does also beg the question just who exactly is this movie supposed to be aimed at? Despite its content it surely can't be intended as some kind of public information film for fat people. Because - newsflash! - we already know fat discrimination sucks; that teenagers are fearful, insecure and frequently shallow beings anxious to avoid social ostracisation - and that being fat and inactive can lead to health problems. Is the movie then meant to be some kind of wake-up call to the fortunate fat-free? Well, I guess it might be construed that way, though why faff about concocting some contrived and implausible plot when they could have produced a meticulously researched, sound piece of drama based on the real life experiences of actual fat people, casting a genuine fat person in the lead?

My guess is that this would be perceived as irresponsible film making. Leads are rarely unattractive, which would mean finding a personable fat actress, (no mean feat in Hollywood), and dressing and styling her in a flattering way. Assuming the lead is also sympathetic and you've got a veritable recipe for disaster; the woman becomes a role model – and the next thing you know fat girls everywhere start thinking they might stand a chance of making it in Holywood or, worse still, that it's okay – or even cool – to be fat. The horror!! Far better to play safe and make-believe with latex; you don't piss off your sponsors or invite lawsuits; movie stardom remains an unattainable fantasy for anyone weighing more than six-and-a-half stone dripping wet, and everyone stays snug as a bug in their comfort zone.

Anonymous said...

I watched a lot of this. My favorite part? The sponser was Jenny Craig.

Hmm. I guess it was aimed at fat girls like me. Maybe Jenny Craig thinks I've gotten to used to being fat and I need to be freshly reminded of how bad it really is.

Gloria said...

I agree with Toni, about the " why do they have to give them bad clothing and hairstyles". I also have to wonder about the poor posture, strange walk, and body language that actresses/actors display when playing plus-sized peoples. Even at my largest weight I always carried excellent posture and had a quick confident walking gate.

Heather said...

Gloria...I would imagine some of the issues with thin actresses playing in fat-suit (awkward walk, psoture, etc) come from the fact that they are are not used to carrying the extra weight. Also, I'm sure a fat suit doesn't move fluidly with you. Yet another example of why doing a show like this with a person who is actually overweight as opposed to being made up to look fat would have a lot more merit.

ShortDave said...

If they put an actual fat girl in this role then the entire point of the movie would change. The point is that a skinny girl experiences social interactions as a fat girl, having a fat girl reprise that role would be similar to having a black person as the lead in 'Black Like Me'.

The whole point is to experience things from another persons point of view as best you can. Walk a mile in their shoes and all that.

I do agree that she didn't have to be 'uglied up' though, thats just odd.


Anonymous said...

They "ugly 'em up" to get reactions from people around them.

See, being obese isn't really something most strangers give a shit about, really. Most people just walk right on by because they don't care. It's their business. Unless the fat person is in their way, that is.

They ugly 'em up because they want to "PROVE" prejudice.

If I saw a thin person dressing, walking, acting like them I'd give a second glance and wonder if they rode the short bus.

Anonymous said...

it has always baffled me when they put a reporter or a person in someones shoes for a set amount of time. The person knows that they can go back to living their life after the time is up. Like a reporter reporting on homelessness,and living like a homeless person for 30 days. They know the time will soon be up and they can get back home and have their things, money and food.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Vanessa Minnillo on ET, in the (alleged) size 12 fat suit. YIKES! She looked way way way huger than size 12.

Anonymous said...

With regards to Shallow Hal, it wasn't Gwyneth in a fat suit, they actually hired another actress ( naturally large) to play the fat girl.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I was wrong about the last comment.. I I had seen a photo of the other actress, but maybe she was a stand-in.. it was gwyneth in a fat suit in the movie. Oops.

Ness said...

Customs officers apparently can't spot a fat suit. I'm big, and happen to have a great career that requires travel from Amsterdam to London. I once endured a customs officer patting down my BARE LEGS. At the time I couldn't figure it out... then later realised they were checking whether I had a drug-couriering fat suit on. Nope, I'm
really that fat.

William Fatner said...

Oh yes, fat people are treated so unfairly. It's sort of like how blacks and Jews were treated for so long. This movie is as important as Roots and Schindler's List