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Fat = Funny (or we would rather not see you)

March 11, 2015 2 min read

With the hype of the much anticipated Pitch Perfect 2 and the return of a character named “Fat Amy”, an overweight funny character, brings up many societal issues. Fat-Amy-pitch-perfect-32534844-403-403 Are we making fun of fat people? Are you only allowed to be overweight if you are funny? Think about many of the comedies you have laughed out loud to in the last few years, guaranteed there was a funny fat person making all the jokes or being the butt of the jokes. The Hangover stars Zack Galifianakis as Alan a chubby hilarious character, there is a part in the movie when Alan falls and Mr. Chang played by Ken Jeong, laughs and even says “It’s funny cause he’s fat.” I remember laughing really hard to this line because it was funny. But now looking back is it bad that I laughed? Is it even worst that the line was even in the movie in the first place? In Pitch Perfect we are introduced to a character named “Fat Amy” played by Rebel Wilson. She states in the movie that she calls herself “Fat Amy” so that skinny bitches like you don’t do it behind her back. Another funny line at the time but now looking back seems pretty insensitive to laugh at somebody’s body image pain. In Hollywood it seems like the new rule is “if you are fat you better be funny.” We even see this on television with such shows as Mike & Molly, which is basically just a bunch of fat jokes that go on for 30 minutes. Melissa McCarthy is extremely funny in everything she does but again here we are with an overweight actor who is funny. Some may say well at least overweight people are being seen in the media, for years everyone in Hollywood has been stick thin. Is it possible that our idea of beauty is changing? Or did some entertainment executives just figure out the American public wants to see people that look more like they do. After all an estimated 34% of Americans are obese and 24% of Canadians are too, so shouldn’t these people be represented in the media? This is a slippery slope because even though “being fat is funny” it is also unhealthy and we don’t want others to look up to obese actors as an ideal, or do we? This is a tough issue because there are people on both sides of the argument, some say good that our societal beauty ideal is changing from unhealthy stick figures to healthier more realistic looks. But now many obese people are proud of their bodies and not working on living a healthier lifestyle, which idea do you believe is the correct one? Are you pro or con “Fat Amy”?

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