The Five Most Offensive Fat People Movies
4. Bridget Jones' Diary: This could easily top this list, if you have a healthy sense of moral outrage. Because the reason why Bridget Jones' Diary is so offensive is because Bridget Jones isn't actually overweight, at least by any reasonable person's definition. Renee Zellwegger actually had to gain 50 pounds to look like a normal human being, and then spends half the goddamn movie bitching about how overweight she is. Sister, please. In a way, it's worse than fashion magazines, which offer an unachievable allusion: Bridget Jones gives people of average weight a bad sense of self identity. Except for the part where she ends up with Colin Firth, which suggests only that Jane Austen wasn't overly concerned with the weight of her heroine.
3. Shallow Hal: This is another movie that's actually doubly offensive, because it purports to offer some sort of sympathetic insight into a fat person's psyche, all the while suggesting that beauty is on the inside, and beauty is, of course, exemplified by a rail-thin Gwyneth Paltrow. The audience is comfortable with the notion that obesity is OK, so long as they understand that Paltrow is underneath the fat suit. I wonder how well the conceit would've worked if they'd actually cast an honest-to-goodness overweight person -- is it not tenable to suggest that an overweight person could actually be beautiful on the outside, too?
2. Paul Blart: Mall Cop: Take out the fat jokes in Paul Blart, and you've got a 45-second movie. Worse, there's nothing really redeeming about his obesity, except for the punchlines. Paul Blart is a pathetic mall cop; Paul Blart is fat. Ergo, fat equals pathetic. And though he manages to save the day in the end, he does so despite his obesity, and not because of it. How empowering. And why is it that Hollywood wants us to believe that overweight people are the only ones who fart? You know what's really gaseous? Beans, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods, which is to say that flatulence is not related to how much you eat, but what you eat.
1. Norbit: Norbit is a perfect illustration of the double standard Americans have toward obesity. Fat man = funny. Skinny man dressed as a fat woman = funny. Skinny woman disguised as a fat woman = funny. Fat woman playing a fat woman? Abso-fucking-lutely not. Norbit manages to hit every crass fat joke in the book, plus half the African-American jokes (and a few Asian ones), but it's allegedly funny because Rasputina isn't actually fat. It's just a perfectly fit Eddie Murphy in a fat suit. I'd have liked to have seen the audience reaction if Mo'Nique had been cast. Or better yet, if they'd cast Camryn Manheim in the role, and put her through the Kirk Lazerus treatment. The lesson in offensiveness: Fat women are hilarious, as long as they're not actually fat, because that's just gross. Oh, and fuck Eddie Murphy.
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