Called “the biggest thing in New York”, TLC is launching a new three-part series tomorrow called Big Sexy. I would like to be able to say I’m OK with a reality show featuring five plus-sized women who feel like they have something to prove to Manhattan and the world, but with the message they’re sending, I’m not.
First of all, let me say that I think it’s great that these women are on a mission to prove that big can still equal sexy and they can make it in the world of fashion design and modeling (an industry that is typically dominated by stick-thin women). I’m not denying that. What I am against is when the message becomes about overweight people versus thin people. In the show’s commercial, one of the women says:
Not all fat girls want to be skinny. Can you handle it? Does that just blow your mind?
Then, at the end of the commercial, another woman says:
Once you go big, you never go twig.
The last statement, in particular, aims to put down thin people and their bodies by saying these women wouldn’t possibly want to look like a thin person. What’s wrong with a thin body? Nothing. But, according to this statement, there is.
Furthermore, the anti-twig message is promoting a notion that being overweight is somehow better than being thin, and once you enter the world of “big” it’s so wonderful that you would never want to go back to a smaller body, which is also an unhealthy message to send to viewers (although we acknowledge that just like a thin person isn’t automatically deemed healthy, an overweight person isn’t automatically unhealthy in some instances). Big isn’t better, just like thin isn’t necessarily better.
The point is: In an era where we are trying to promote acceptance of all body sizes, we shouldn’t have to put down one body type in order to acknowledge another.
Take a look at the commercial for Big Sexy and let us know what you think: