If you’re plugged in to BoPo Twitter, then you’ve probably seen the trailer for Netflix’s latest teenage exploit TV show, Insatiable. Chances are, you’ve already read several op-eds on the trailer and it’s mockery of fat characters. It stars Debby Ryan in a fat suit (Hello, people, we cancelled fat suits a long time ago!) as Patty, a fat teenager bullied for her weight and overall disgust she triggers as a fat human. Then, by a twist of fate, she is in an accident, has her jaw wired shut, becomes skinny, and starts enacting revenge on anyone who has ever wronged her.
The show, its cast, and its writers have already been dragged to hell and back based on the trailer. I’m not here to add fuel to that fire. This piece goes out to all the “fat girls” walking the halls of every high school around the world.
You don’t have to wire your jaw shut and drop one hundred pounds to have worth. Although many people have probably told you that drastic measures will cure you forever, you are deserving of love and friendship in the exact body that you have right now. The fat shaming and body shaming that Insatiable promotes, while it might not be where they intended to place the humor, still exist in toxic levels that you do not have to consume.
Your body deserves to be represented on camera just as much as the thin, blonde actresses they hire to portray your curves with a pillow around their waist. You deserve to see fat people win on screen, love on screen, get promoted, travel, and change the world without their fatness serving as a key plot point.
Netflix has let fat teenagers down. Netflix has let fat adults who could never afford the luxury of wiring their jaws shut to drop 100 pounds down. Authentic fat narratives and fat representation on screen are so important for the teenager who only eats 600 calories a day to try and fit in or for the 24 year old stuck in community college because she didn’t want to be seen at a big campus as “the fat friend.” Do better, Hollywood.