Oh, New York Times. Are you for real with this bullshit?
NYT put together a slideshow of actresses who are ~*plump and proud*~, including Mindy Kaling, Lina Dunham, and Lady Gaga (yes, that Lady Gaga), all of which, you will notice, aren’t fat (or even “plump”). In fact, they have body types that are perfectly accepted by society. I don’t know their personal struggles, but I think it’s safe to bet that their thin privilege overfloweth.
What about the other women included?
Says the NYT about Retta, who plays Donna on “Parks and Recreation”:
Overweight women are no longer being cast solely as the fat friend. Donna on “Parks and Recreation,” who is played by the actress and comedian Retta, “has an active love life and a naughty streak,” Ms. Stanley writes.
That “active love life and a naughty streak” mentioned above is a reoccurring joke on Parks and Rec. Let me emphasize that last point: the concept that this character could be romantically or sexually involved with people is considered by viewers and writers to be a joke. That is not an achievement by any stretch of the imagination.
And Rebel Wilson? NYT says:
Rebel Wilson, an Australian actress and comedy writer, […] plays “the plus-size bride who gets a dashing, adoring groom in ‘Bachelorette.’ ”
‘The Bachelorette’, just so we’re all on the same page here, is at its core, one entire fat joke: how could a fat girl get a traditionally handsome man to marry her? LOL RIGHT? An entire movie based around a fat joke (with hundreds of additional fat jokes thrown in for good measure) is ACTUALLY not an achievement for anybody!
Additionally, the inclusion of the above two actresses and the rolls they play reinforces the idea that it’s totally okay to be fat, but, you know, only if you are funny. The idea that a fat woman must be funny in order to be worthy in Hollywood isn’t doing any women any favors anywhere.
When we have TV shows and movies where the lead is a fat woman and her weight is never, ever mentioned (ever!!), where she is portrayed as a human who is valuable with other qualities besides being funny, just as thin women are every damn day, then we will have achieved something.
Until then, no, I will not accept this terrible, insulting, first-wave excuse for body positivity. NYT can take it and get bent.