What is Insatiable telling the body positive community?
Netflix is releasing a new series on August 10thcalled Insatiable. High schooler Patty is fat and unhappy. She is constantly bullied and only when she has her jaw wired shut after being punched in the face does her life begin to change. She loses weight, becomes the hot chick and is able to exact her revenge. Oh boy there is so much to unpack from this one.
Issue number 1: lead actress Debbie Ryan is wearing a fat suit to portray “fatty patty”. This comes hot on the heels of Scarlett Johansson being hired for, and subsequently backing out of, “Rub & Tug”, a movie about an American gangster born a woman but identified as male. Exclusion of the trans community in the casting of transgender roles is commonplace. Most recently Jared Leto played a transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club. Of the 109 movies released by the largest studios in Hollywood in 2017 none included a transgender character.
Why am I including this? Because the body positive community promotes the success for all including those that are differently abled and members of the LGBTQ community. Trans people have little if no representation in film and television. Fat people may be present, but their representation is distorted. Their story lines are often centered around weight or weight loss. To add insult to injury Netflix has put an average sized actress in a fat suit to represent a fat girl. he As a fat person she is unhappy. She is at home “filling a different hole”. Implying that fat people do nothing other than eat. She hates high school. She has no motivation to change her life. Now I am not ignoring the fact that bullying is real. It happens every damn day. If you are fat you can be trolled and told you are disgusting, gross and need to disappear. Criticism is thinly veiled by concern as they tell you that you should lose weight and think about your future and your health. So what is poor Patty to do? Well she cannot fight back until she has the “luck” of her jaw breaking. Enter a drastic weight loss. I wished for something to physically happen to me so that I wouldn’t have to physically eat. Now the show, and not even the show but the trailer, is reminding us that we just have to stop eating. Enter an invitation to an eating disorder. Girls and boys if you lose weight, and you do it quickly there will be time to be hot and live your best life. Why wait? Why love your body as it is? Before you start yelling at me that this part of the show can’t cause an eating disorder I’m going to tell you to shut up and listen. We live in a society that wants everything now. Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube happen in the moment. If you aren’t paying attention you will miss out. We don’t have time to diet (yucky word) and exercise over time. A quick solution is an eating disorder. The weight slides off and your life will change. The truth of course is that the benefits are short-lived and your life does not become wonderful. Any demons are still present and if you weren’t happy before eventually your unhappiness will come out again.
What happens after you lose weight as a woman, you begin to get attention. Like magic she is “hot”. She is “fuckable”. Randi, how dare you talk about a teen girl like that. Debbie Ryan is in her twenties and this a dark comedy so mellow out. But isn’t that what we are told that’s what we all want? For a man to want us? To be desired? Patty can now use this new-found power to exact her revenge on those that hurt her. And that desire is insatiable. Unfortunately, when we focus on desirability and fuckability we lose the woman. She does what she has to do to fit that role. She succumbs. I will be what a man wants so I can win. It’s so subtle that we actually think we are winning the game.
Loving the body, you are in, knowing your body and being comfortable in it leads you to owning your sexuality. Way more powerful and more fun than being fuckable. Insatiable needs to be removed from the Netflix lineup. Instead let’s have a show that has fat actors portraying fat characters navigating high school and deciding they have had enough. Their revenge? Living their best life. Its damn hard and I struggle to do so right now in my thirties but we have a large body positive community that will support this lifestyle so why not show it?
Insatiable has not even aired and there are already so many problems. I understand the concept of the show because it was my dream for the majority of my life. To get thin and to finally begin my life. But why can’t “Fatty Patty” start her life now and exact some revenge at her current weight?
Follow the link the watch the trailer: Insatiable trailer