I’m sure most of you are aware of ABC Family’s new series, Huge, which is based on a book of the same name. I know I couldn’t escape Nikki Blonsky’s ashamed, awkward-in-a-bathing-suit pose staring back at me from mall billboards every time I went shopping.
Fat camp is a pretty disgusting concept to me, although I admittedly know nothing of the reality of the situation. I went back and forth wondering if I should give the show a shot or not. I caved: I tried to go into the show as openmindedly as possible, and wanted to share the things that stood out the most to me.
I like that Nikki Blonsky’s “Willamina” character is so outspoken. She claims it’s because she refuses to hate her body, but I can already tell she’s obviously not that comfortable in her own skin. She dresses in hoodies and baggy shorts, and even requests that people call her “Will,” removing any sort of feminine identity from herself. She does a mock-striptease when asked to put on her bathing suit, and I can understand why: for the most part, fat women are extremely desexualized in media.
This is why I actually really like the character of Amber, as portrayed by Hayley Hasselhoff. Even though she is getting a lot of attention from the other campers for allegedly being the “thinnest” camp-goer, let’s face it: the girl takes care of herself. Despite not being completely content with her body, she doesn’t try to hide it. And I’m totally excited to see what happens between her and the ridiculously cute camp counselor. Team Amber!
My main issue with this show is basically the way the show portrays the campers’ relationship with food. Being fat myself, I know that it’s really not that extreme. First of all, I don’t crave sweets; in fact, it’s once in a blue moon that I’m actually in the mood for a piece of cake, and I don’t even touch candy. I certainly don’t frown at vegetables the way all the campers were in the dining hall scene; I actually really like them. I think a typical fat person’s diet is probably quite similar to that of a typical non-fat person – and really, I’m sick and tired of seeing it blown so out of proportion. I kind of think it’s almost dehumanizing for fat people to be perceived as being these constantly ravenous, uncontrollably insatiable animals.
Another thing I didn’t like is the way that the campers felt like they had no chances at finding a date “in the real world”… maybe I just have a different mindset, but I believe it’s totally possible to meet someone in a non-fat camp environment and wind up dating them.
Overall though, I was actually pleasantly surprised by the show! I’ll probably tune in again, to see what happens (*cough* between Amber and George *cough*)… but seriously, the hunger exaggeration really has to go. One thing’s for sure: I won’t be holding my breath for a show where fats and things and inbetweenies coexist as normal people going about their normal lives.
Did anyone else watch? What did you think?