Recently Netflix announced a new series set to premiere in August. Insatiable.
At the time of writing, almost 200,000 people have signed a change.org petition demanding the series be dropped, claiming the ‘fat shaming’ plot sends the message that slimness = success.
This is a mighty torrent of contempt considering the program has never been seen by its detractors.
Talk about judging a book by its cover…or a program by its 1 min 52 second trailer.
Insatiable is about an overweight girl (Fatty Patty) who is the victim of bullying. Over the holidays, Patty loses weight (after having her jaw wired shut, no less). A triumphantly slim Patty returns to school determined to exact revenge on her bullies.
So, is it fair or right that Insatiable be attracting so much premature criticism?
Movies and TV have always been microcosmic snow globes of our existence.
Rightly or wrongly, this means they can be nocuous for vulnerable populations.
Once Were Warriors likely triggered survivors of domestic violence.
Snowtown likely triggered victims of paedophilia.
Pulp Fiction likely triggered recovering drug addicts.
Black Swan likely triggered sufferers of anorexia.
The above have all been popularly and critically acclaimed in no small part for shining a light on the gritty underbelly of human life.
In other words,
No matter how bleak.
And the reality is, most people know that thinness does not equate to self-worth.
Yet society continues to peddle this dangerous farce.
Female objectification and thin-spiration is rife.
They all perpetuate an unhealthy narrative.
But is sanitising the entertainment industry a realistic answer?
I ask this with the utmost empathy.
I myself was hospitalised for anorexia.
For me, it was never about looking like “that girl in the movie”.
My emaciation was the by-product of a deeper problem, not the goal.
Admittedly, everyone’s struggles are unique.
If we start cancelling television programs due to popular outrage, we risk condemning ourselves to a Brady-Bunch-watching politically-correct existence in which we sidestep tough topics.
How very Pleasantville.