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“I’m Happy To Be Fat”

July 5, 2009

Roxie

In early 2008 MTV aired an episode of its reality show True Life entitled “I’m Happy To Be Fat”. The episode follows three fat people who love their bodies (and their weight) as they fight fat-haters and try to find their place in a society that does not tolerate fatness. The video hits on many of the major issues that we often blog about, including but not limited to:

– friends and family who think fat=unhealthy
– trying to find fashionable clothes when you’re plus-sized
– finding self confidence at every weight
– discrimination and teasing of fat people
– fighting the impression that fat people are lazy, stupid, and incapable

Probably the best part of this video is just watching the three fatties (I say fatties in the most affectionate sense) talk about loving their bodies. Quick summary of the episode for those who don’t have enough time to watch (spoiler alert):

Sharonda is a woman who gained weight after a failed relationship, but has found that she likes herself better at a higher weight and feels much more attractive fat than she did when she weighed less. Her friends and family are constantly pressuring her to lose weight using the classic “slimmer is healthier” argument. Sharonda loves her weight and is afraid of losing her new found self confidence if she sheds pounds. She also insists that she’s healthy even at a high weight. However, a doctor’s visit does reveal that she has high blood pressure and is at risk for diabetes, so she decides to lose some weight for her health. Probably one of the best parts o the whole episode is when Sharonda starts working out but states explicitly that she’s doing it to lower her blood pressure and risk of diabetes and NOT for any kind of beauty standard.

Mikey is a gay man whose family is very accepting of his choice to be fat. However, he’s having a hard time finding a boyfriend at home in Memphis so he decides to start a “Chubs and Chasers” club in his hometown to help connect fat men to fat-loving men.

Roxie is a college student who sets out to start a size-acceptance movement/club on her campus. The episode ends before her club as really gained any momentum, but we’re left with the hope that she will eventually succeed. As someone who’s very involved with starting a similar club on a college campus it was interesting to watch how she went about it and what people’s reactions were. (a post-air-date update says that “The Body Beautiful Project” is now an official club at Roxie’s college!)

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