Is size acceptance going mainstream?

A bit ago I blogged here about NKoTB’s “Remix” video with the hot fatty. I forgot to mention Sara Bareilles’s “Brave” video, with a couple of fat dancers (and others) doing one person flash mobs. Is this a trend in videos?

If it is, it’s not new. Katy Perry had her “Firework” video a few years ago, featuring (among other things) a fat girl in a bathing suit getting the courage to take off her robe and jump in the pool. And there are certainly more that I’ve forgotten. (Feel free to suggest other examples, dear readers!)

My thinking is that, within the culture of music videos, a certain (you could say superficial) level of fat acceptance is part of that culture. Sort of like being politically correct, but less about doctrine and more about selling the song. If you want to create feelings that are uplifiting and inclusive, displaying fat acceptance is a good way of doing it. And I like that.

Why do you think some videos display fat acceptance? And do you think that’s a good thing?


6 thoughts on “Is size acceptance going mainstream?

  1. I think that anything that gives us representation in a positive light in mass media is actually a good thing, even if an individual example may or may not be exploitive. For too long we’ve mostly seen ourselves represented as either hapless slaves to the fridge or resentful gluttons either of whom can only be ‘saved’ by realizing that it’s all about calories in vs calories out.

    These videos are starting to re-write the script. Fat people can dance. Fat people can swim. Fat people can be attractive. Fat people can do something other than weep in the refrigerator door light whilst gobbling snack cakes.

    In fact, I was heartened this morning when glancing at the Yahoo headlines that not only was there a story decrying the airbrushing hack job done on Melissa McCarthy in the poster for her latest film, but most of the comments I skimmed seemed actively angry that this was done to her image! I read about thirty comments, and not one suggested that McCarthy should lose weight or that they wished she looked more like the photoshopped image!

    The more we’re visible and the more ways we’re visible, the better for us all.

  2. I felt really conflicted about the “fat girl” in “Fireworks.” Mainly because I felt like she was put in a box where we assumed she should feel like shit about herself until she did something “radical” and jumped in the pool anyway. I felt like she was totally “other’d.” Brave, however, doesn’t bother me because Sara’s not making a point about the “fat dancers” being fat, and “dancing anyway.” She’s just showing a bunch of different kinds of people gettin’ jiggy with it. Which is awesome. She’s not necessarily making a point about how “fat people” should feel, but just including images in her conversation that are usually excluded. “Fat people” are “one of” instead of “different from” in the Brave video, which is not the case in Fireworks.

    • Thanks for your comment! There is sort of a general issue with sympathetic portrayal of fatties in that we’re meant to feel sorry for them. Screw that!

  3. True, but it’s at least a step in the right direction. There could have been NO fat people in the “Fireworks” video at all. Maybe it’s meant to be encouraging to all those fat people out there who feel like they have to put their lives on hold until they lose weight – sort of a “Get out there and go for it!”

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