Style Beauty
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • +
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email
SHARE THIS
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email

We all know Twitter is a place for all manner of, ahem, let’s just call it lively discussion – be it on sporting events, TV show updates, or breaking news. And sometimes it’s the perfect forum for a thorough cultural examination, which means excavating some pretty ugly sides of pop culture phenomena that we’d perhaps rather not think about.

When one user, @KivaBay, recently decided it was time to call out just how badly the media fat shames, he invited the Twitterverse to share instances of fat shaming in the media that stuck with them. And boy did the Twitterverse deliver, because within 48 hours, the thread was ablaze with well over a thousand comments, with example after example of subtle and not so subtle fat shaming. And we’re not talking in obscure little indie movies or shows. No, we’re talking in mainstream, large-scale hits and cult faves. And once they started, they just wouldn’t stop rollin’ in.

The discussion was kicked off with a heart-breaking mention of the Harry Potter series, with the opening sequence of the third movie singled out for being played for comic effect:

One of the most beloved sitcoms of the past two decades, Friends, popped up with several users mentioning Monica’s storyline, as well as off-screen ‘Ugly Naked Guy’:

Of course, there was the time British rom-coms seriously let the side down by labelling pretty regular sized women overweight, in both Bridget Jones’s Diary, and the much-adored Love, Actually:

The film adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic Matilda was also mentioned, with the simultaneous goading and shaming of overweight characters:

Another user followed up with their thoughts on the same example:

One user was quick to point some shows didn’t even bother to disguise their shaming, with an example from mega-hit Seinfeld:

Sadly, even cult favourites, noted for their feminist credentials and generally positive values, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 30 Rock and Brooklyn 99 were called out:

And another TV show which was purportedly body-positive didn’t escape scrutiny:

Sadly, the Pitch Perfect movies didn’t escape some users’ notice, either:

And who could forget the treatment of Anne Hathaway’s character in The Devil Wears Prada, albeit as a scathing satire of the fashion industry’s ridiculous standards:

And the premise of the recently released Amy Schumer movie, I Feel Pretty, had some users scratching their heads:

Let’s not forget the utterly distasteful Shallow Hal, which went quite some way to normalizing body shaming back in 2001:

And there were a few unexpected culprits too, like The Mindy Project, which makes frequent (negative) reference to its protagonist’s body shape and size:

So… basically all of our favourites have contributed to fat-shaming in some way or other. It’s a reminder that the problems we scarcely notice are often the most insidious ones, camouflaging damaging behaviour as acceptable and normal. But the good news is that the first step towards incremental cultural change is noticing and highlighting problematic patterns. That’s how we challenge, and hopefully create a new ‘normal’. One in which shaming anybody, for their size, shape, weight, or general appearance, is not only noticed, but actively challenged.