Ladies – it’s time to celebrate. We are close to achieving a society in which women are no longer judged by their waistline or the number on the scale. A society in which young girls never, ever diet. A society in which fat ladies star on hit TV shows.
Or so the New York Times seems to think.
In a ridiculous article titled “Women On TV Step Off The Scale,” New York Times writer Alessandra Stanley argues that “Self-acceptance has become a new form of defiance on television, especially among younger female comedians.” She backs up her case by listing “overweight” stars who’ve found success on TV, including Molly Tarlov, Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Lady Gaga, Kat Dennings, Christina Hendricks, and Christina Aguilera.
Yeah, you read that right. These women – who may not be thin as most models, but are still thinner than most American woman – are the fatties the New York Times is up in arms about.
The whole article is filled with fat-shaming language: “flab” is used multiple times, and Stanley calls Lena Dunham and Mindy Kaling “seditious” for daring to have “extra pounds.” The article is accompanied by a slideshow titled “Plump and Proud.”
Stanley claims that being fat on TV more shocking than “profanity, obscenity, or intolerance,” and that gaining weight is “the most outrageous stunt Lady Gaga has pulled to date.” Really? More outrageous than wearing a meat dress, performing as her male alter ego Joe Calderone, or hatching from an egg at the Grammys?
Shocking. Not shocking.
If you have any delusions about society’s intense scrutiny of women’s bodies and the unbelievable pressure for women to be thin, just read the New York Times: the fact that it’s newsworthy that a woman of Mindy Kaling's size could dare to be seen on TV is proof that we have so, so, so far to go.
Images from zap2it.com, mtvpress.com, imdb.com, thesun.co.uk, poptower.com