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28 July 2009 @ 08:26 pm
More To Love--or Just More Fat Hate?  
I cringed when I saw the promos of the new Fox (where else) show More To Love. Following the usual Bachelor format, large women compete for the attention of a self-admitted Fat Admirer. I couldn't bear to watch, but fortunately another Fat Acceptance Activist did and published a review: Really Big Love, by Marianne Kirby.


More to Love, at least so far, doesn’t show big women in the pursuit of being small—a definite step forward.

But the show also falls into the same old fatty-hating, fatty-baiting traps that belittle the Fat Acceptance movement. The women joke about Spanx, a girdle-like product that’s supposed to smooth you out and make you look slimmer. One girl, who jumped into the pool in a bid for attention, worries that she looks like a whale.

It’s a one-two punch of acceptance followed by a knockout blow of shame.

Luke manipulates a woman into kissing him by playing on her fear of being cut the first night, playing on her body insecurities. She kisses him again.

More to Love is a confounding welter of self-confidence and self-loathing. I like these women, the interesting ones, and while Luke is a bit too much of a frat boy for my tastes, I applaud his lack of shame—he likes big women and he’s unapologetic about it. That shouldn’t deserve the acclaim it gets him, and it shouldn’t deserve the points it scores him with these women, who seem convinced this is their only chance to find love.

Ultimately, I think that’s what made me the most upset about More to Love—the show’s depressing portrait of these young women, already afraid they will die alone and unloved, unworthy of companionship. I’m not mad at them, though I want to send each and every one of them a copy of my book, a useful guide to getting over self-loathing. I am mad at every man and every woman who has taught them this kind of fear. I am mad at every jerk who wants these women to loathe themselves.

But there is a glimmer of hope. More to Love shows us beautiful fat women, refusing to apologize for who they are. That alone is positive. And I’m trying to hold on to that.
litlebananalitlebanana on July 29th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
I was just reading about this show and it sounds terribly patronizing. They act like a woman who's obese can't get a date unless they go on this show. There are no women out there who are undateable. You don't have to be super hot to get a date (fortunately!).
Tapatitapati on July 31st, 2009 06:42 am (UTC)
It's a prevalent notion in our society and even some large women believe that. You get out of your teen years having been verbally abused about your appearance and it's hard to develop self esteem from that point. It can be done but first you have to recognize that you have a problem. If you've so thoroughly internalized everyone else's assessment of your appearance that you don't question it, then you're stuck until you encounter information to the contrary. (That's why we need a fat acceptance movement, which is not so much about eating all we want and staying fat, but about increasing our self esteem so we'll live full lives and yes, take care of our health.)

It was the fat acceptance movement that got me to exercise. :)
robbyruralrob on July 29th, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
The ads for this show make me very uncomfortable too, as I know they do many others. And I'm not sure that does anyone any good . .
Tapatitapati on July 31st, 2009 06:43 am (UTC)
Yes, advertising is often a problem in any show for/about fat people. :(
(Anonymous) on July 29th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
This show mad me so angry
I am a sucker for reality shows and I myself am part of the large community. I agree with a lot of the points of the review above...including Luke's frat boy persona. Seriously...asking one girl on your right to kiss you while you also have your arm around a girl on your left. What angered me most about the show was their supposed attempt to portray the "average women" who needs love like every human but then have the nerve to actually post their height and weight everytime they show their confessional interviews. Seriously!!! You would never see this posted on any other show. We already know these ladies are larger, there is no need to emphasize that by posting their weight.
Tapatitapati on July 31st, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
Re: This show mad me so angry
You're right, why do we need to know the exact pounds? It's not a weight loss contest show!