Adorable Nikki Blonsky, of Hairspray and Igigi-wardrobe-I-would-kill-for fame, is going to star in a Lifetime movie called Queen Sized, about a fat teenaged girl who’s elected Homecoming Queen as a joke.
Okay, so that’s something we’ve seen umptybillion times before, but perhaps, in this more enlightened age, it’s getting a new spin? Perhaps, in this version, our heroine will see the nomination for what it is — a tired, witless prank — and decide she’s going to campaign with gusto just to punk the assholes who nominated her? With signs that say something like, “VOTE FATTY — BECAUSE MY MIND’S NOT SMALL, EITHER”? Or maybe, “VOTE FATTY — SO I’LL GET TO PUT ‘HOMECOMING QUEEN’ ON MY COLLEGE APPLICATIONS, AND THE PETTY BITCH WHO PUT MY NAME IN WON’T”?
Alas, that is not the case.
Louisiana.Blogspot.com reports Producer Chris Morgan and Judy Cairo are helming the project: “It’s about an overweight girl who, for a joke, is elected Homecoming queen by the mean girls in the high school,” Morgan said. “She takes it seriously, and she doesn’t see the joke.”
Sigh. To say the least.
It is 2007, y’all. Are there really still people out there who believe that fat people don’t know that not-fat (and less-fat) people make fun of them? Who believe that fat teenaged girls just go through life blithely eating their donuts and never noticing how despised they are?
The motif of the fat chick who’s too clueless to realize people are making fun of her has infuriated me since I was a child, long before I discovered fat acceptance, let alone embraced it. By the time I was 8 years old, all the very special episodes and TV movies based on this ludicrous premise — fat chick gets nominated for Homecoming/Prom Queen and/or asked to The Big Dance by the Big Man on Campus, and somehow fails to see anything wrong with this picture — sent me through the goddamned roof. Have the people who write this shit ever actually MET a fat person? And hell, even if they haven’t, can they seriously think it’s possible for anyone to go through life with people snickering behind her back and saying hateful shit to her face every single day, and not catch on to the possibility that she just might not be the most popular girl in school?
That motif is delusional at best and vicious at worst, and I am flabberfuckinggasted that it’s still being used in the twenty-first century. It doesn’t matter that the mean girls learn a “valuable life lesson” at the end, as they always do. Because said lesson is inevitably that “real beauty is on the inside,” and “fat people have feelings, too” — not ever that a girl who looks like Nikki Blonsky is fucking beautiful on the outside, or that fat girls have brains, eyes, and ears, too, so they aren’t actually oblivious to how their peers feel about them in the first place.
So much fat hatred is predicated on the ridiculous idea that fatties are just astoundingly ignorant — we don’t know anything about nutrition or exercise, we don’t realize that fat is socially unacceptable, we don’t understand that fat is ZOMG UNHEALTHY — so we need the noble thin people to edumucate us. And stories like this are a particularly insidious method of reinforcing that logic-defying myth. But the message is about being nice to fat people! Yeah, after you’ve spent most of the story telling us that fat people are too dumb to understand basic fucking social cues — like, you know, being ostracized and abused every day for years by the very same people who nominated you for Homecoming Queen. I mean, how could anyone expect a fat chick to put that one together? If she knew people hated her for being fat, she would have stopped being fat already, right?
That’s a terrific take-home message about diversity and respect. Thanks ever so much, Hollywood.