Y’all, this is unbelievable. Yesterday, I got an e-mail from Shapeling Damanique about an ad she saw in a train station in the Netherlands. Writes Damanique (who also goes by Danielle around here): “The idea behind this ad: the fat lady gets distracted by a bag of candy, ‘loses her head’, and people could see her PIN number because she wasn’t paying attention.”
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Really, I don’t know where to begin with how awful this is.
This goes the basic “Fatties are obsessed with food” theme one better, adding the message that fatties are infantile (which is a fairly common theme, too, come to think of it). See, all you have to do is dangle a gross-looking bag of candy in front of a fat woman, and she’ll completely forget she’s an adult performing banking functions! (Hey, maybe that explains the correlation between fat and poverty.) Since we all know fatties have no impulse control, adore cheap junk food, and can’t take responsibility for themselves — just like small children! — it makes all the sense in the world!
And then we have the decapitation. Now, I’m assuming this is part of a series of ads in which other stereotypes also “lose their heads” over seeing something people like them ostensibly enjoy. (I’d bet a whole lot of money there’s one of a young dude losing his head over a hot, barely dressed woman.) So I don’t think they just thought it would be hilarious to cut a fat woman’s head off — though I’m kind of disturbed that they thought the whole “losing your head” premise, expressed this way, was funny at all. But still, for all its cartoonishness, this is a picture of a woman’s goddamned head separated from her body; it’s a violent image. And we’re supposed to laugh at this violent image, because, dude, IT’S SO TRUE! FAT WOMEN CAN’T CONTROL THEMSELVES AROUND CANDY! And also, of course, because fat people are intrinsically funny. Did you see her double chin? SITTING ON THE GROUND? Har har!
I am so fucking sick of this shit. (And quite honestly, half the reason I haven’t blogged much lately is that these days, I can rarely come up with anything more to say than, “I am so fucking sick of this shit.”) I’m sick of being dehumanized and ridiculed, of course, but also, as we’ve said many times before, I’m sick of hearing the same stale jokes, again and again and again. Fat chicks love candy! It’s why they’re fat! Geddit?
It just feels like one of these days, advertising professionals and comedians and sitcom writers, regardless of their personal feelings about fat people, will have to wake up and go, “You know, fat jokes are so fucking played. They’re not funny anymore, because everyone on earth has already heard every one of them. We need something fresh.” And yet, it never happens. Somehow, “fat person is fat” remains an endlessly humorous concept to the makers of our pop culture. “Fat person is fat because fat person really likes food” is even better. And “Fat person is fat because fat person really likes food and also, fat person has no head?” Hey, that’s fresh! That’s all-new! Nice work!