THAT Video, THREE Disappointing Miss Piggy FAT Jokes, and Walmart Plump….
SPOILER: In this blog I talk about body awareness and body positivity…something I write about every once in a while…since I have done so, a couple people have written and asked me when I would get back to the funny blogs…huh. In my own sweet ass time, is the answer. So, yes, I do talk about big people here…so if you are sick of the subject you have to go not further…no harm no foul…but it you are NOT, well…read on!
There was a video that was posted online a while ago…and I went out of my way to NOT watch it…I won’t even name it here, because I don’t want to give it any air… as my pal, who begged me to not get in a tangle about it, said…”Don’t give this kookoo person’s fire any more oxygen…” or something like that…okay, what he said was way, way, way, more eloquent. Way. Give me a tiny break here…it is super late…BUT I can’t sleep tonight from thinking about it. I was laying in bed and I walked into the office and opened the computer…let me be honest here…if George was home I would have gone back to sleep…BUT he is not and I just could NOT.
So, this week I was asked to read for a part in a film…the character I was asked to read for was described as “plump”…okay, not just plump but “Walmart Plump”.
Now, don’t get me wrong here…it didn’t bother me too much…like probably, if I am totally honest, barely at all. I know what shape I am…and I audition for roles like this all the time. It is just one of the ways big people are described in TV and Film…sometimes it is worse…sometimes it is sensitive. (I don’t audition for the mean ones) These words or word like them are used as a qualifier for some really fucking well written parts…and some parts that I have had the good luck to play. And I would never let these words, or these descriptions make me feel bad…or shitty…or unworthy…these are just words that are used in that side of the entertainment business.
Believe it or not, this issue is not what I am here to talk about…this is not something that will change anytime soon…not in North America anyhow…and you really have to take it with a grain of salt…and pick your battles.
WHAT I want to talk about this late night, is what I think the body I live in has given me…whatever size I have been… AS I have written about many times…it has blessed me with joys and with shames in equal measure. BUT one of the other things I would like to converse on is that I really do think that insulting big people (and I will never say FAT…I will never own FAT…it is a word wielded with menace and superiority…and I will never let this word enter my life)…and I have said this a number of times…but it ALWAYS can be mentioned again….I think that insulting and making fun of big people is one of the last ALLOWED, sometimes encouraged bigoted behaviours.
FOR INSTANCE: I watched the new “Muppet Show” this past week and there were three FAT jokes about Miss Piggy. So…kids watch this show…and this language is allowed, encouraged, written about, and has made it past fancy executives, and is featured coming out of the puppet mouths of TV most beloved children’s entertainers. What hope do we have of moving forward if children are STILL taught that this line of humour is okay? Aren’t we supposed to evolve…and encourage acceptance of all kinds of people…oh, wait…except BIG people…they are fun to make fun of…they are lazy…and it is okay…after all, Mommy, the Muppets do it.
You get me?
Okay, WHAT HAS BEING A BIG GIRL GIVEN ME?
I feel that being many different sizes has brought a very special sensitivity to my life. I believe it has made me a compassionate person, it has made me fierce, it has made me brave, it has given me moments of brilliantly lit epiphany, it has made me dig deep, it has helped me shield my heart from hurts, it has made me hard to crack, it has made me laugh, it has taught me to stand up, it has made me know who my friends and loves are, it has helped me climb mountains, it has made me learn to love myself every way I am…AND I am not saying I am friggen saint, you guys…but hearing people’s negative and/or hurtful descriptions and comments…changes you…it can harden you…or it can soften you…or both. I have always been shocked when people bring it up in conversation at all…like anyone else’s weight is ANY of your business. I mean, come on.
I met this wonderful entertainer in Puerto Vallarta this past year, he was the most singular performer…he had this way about him. This open heart, this touching compassion…and I knew from meeting him that he was a bigger person at some point in his life…and I was not wrong. He had the mark of someone who had taken a journey and endeavoured to use that journey to love the world a little bit more. I know that sounds trite…but I don’t care…it best describes him. And when we talked about his journey with his weight, I expressed to him that I thought that a good deal of the people I had encountered who were or had been large, who knew what is was like to be treated like the butt of a joke OR just plain insensitively, had a great capacity for accepting people the way they were.
NOW, before you start emailing me…I KNOW there are big people who are jackholes…insensitive…all the shitty things…but, in my experience…in MY experience…I am NOT speaking for everyone…just myself… they mostly are not.
So, let us not give air to assholes…let us give air to acceptance…and inclusion.
I am working on a bunch of new projects this year…there is a lot in the hopper that I AM REALLY EXCITED about…and this message of inclusion and acceptance occurs in a number of them…some quite obviously and others, not so much…but the message is there, believe me…it is there. This week, in a meeting, I mentioned that every time a big girl OR boy is hired on TV or in film and it is NOT about her/his weight an angel gets it’s wings. And I do believe that. When we see ourselves represented…just represented…not pointed out or worn as a badge of honour…(or whatever…I think you know what I mean)…we do braver things…we make braver choices…we speak out…we live our lives like everyone else. What a concept.
Again, where there is not smoke…there is no fire. So, I am going to do my best NOT to give the air…BUT I will continue to be positive in the face of shitty people…and when that shit is put into the universe, counter measure a Beyonce Fan of joy.