Does this new show strike you as fatist or fat positive? And why do you think so?
Posted by mo pie
Filed under: Advertising, Dance Your Ass Off, Hairspray, Tidbit, TV, Weight Loss
I’m inclined to say fatist.
It seems like both… On one hand, I love that there are fat people in hot, tight dance outfits shaking their groove thang for all to see. At least some of them seem to be sexy and talented and comfortable in their own skin. But at the same time…with all that focus on weight loss it takes it into “Biggest Loser” land where the bottom line is always losing pounds. And that’s an oppressive message.
It’s like with one side of their mouth they want to empower fat people to enjoy embodiment as they are, and with the other side of their mouth they want to make sure they know they will never fully be acceptable until they can lose the weight.
Why is the host a drag queen doing a Nikki Blonsky impersonation?
But srsly, I’m with Bethany on how two-faced this show looks. it’s hard to tell from the promo, but there seem to be two levels of judging- for shaking ass, and for losing that same ass.
Although I love the brief performance clips that show fatties rocking out and enjoying how their bodies can move, I have a feeling they aren’t meant to be empowering. I’m betting that many viewers will read the exposed bellies and lace tights as humiliating and train-wrecky.
I watched the ANTM Season 1 Marathon on Oxygen yesterday and was bombarded by this stupid clip.
The first time I saw it, I was like “Oh, cool! People that look like me dancing! And those are some awesome dresses!”
After eleventy million more times, I only registered disgust. This show will NOT be empowering. It’s turning something awesome (dancing while fat) into something fundamentally flawed (dieting). End of story.
In one of the commericals for the show, a fat woman says that when she loses weight “she might even get a boyfriend,” implying that fat people can’t get boyfriends, I would assume. FAIL.
it’s very hard to judge it without seeing an actual episode. But I think I’m going to have to agree with Bethany’s viewpoint.
Who knows. I hate reality shows and crap like that but I think I’m going to have to actually watch this and give it a chance to see what it’s all about.
Definitely with Bethany and the rest – what a two-faced concept.
Let’s face it — if they actually meant to be empowering and encouraging of HAES, or self-esteem, or the *scary scary* idea that fat people can *gasp* dance, the judges and/or the non-contestant dance partners might not be society’s idea of perfect bodies.
Seriously judges and dancers, go eat a cheeseburger.
I’m not even seeing the fat positive side of it at all. One goal: lose weight. That’s their focus. The contestants are shown jumping up and down to celebrate how many pounds they have lost. This is “The Biggest Loser” with dancing.
Why couldn’t this show have been a “Dancing With the Stars” version with fat people, instead of making them diet? Can’t TV networks for once feature a fat-based show without making sure that fat is lost or showing the contestants as self-loathing?
I’m inclined to say fat-neutral, or, more fat-positive than Biggest Loser. They are out there confidently shaking it and looking fab, and seem to be having fun. Nothing wrong there.
But, it loses me for a second in there with the throwing things and the crying. Ugh. Come on.
I’ll probably check this show out.
Absolutely anti-fat. I don’t need to see more when the intended goal is to lose weight.
I couldn’t get the clip to play, but if there’s a specific element of weight-loss as the primary goal, then definitely not fat-friendly. In fact, I think the name says it all: this is a show about shedding pounds, not about dancing for fun and fitness.
Definitely anti-fat. They approached Big Moves a few months ago to see about getting plus-sized dancers as entertainment for their press event for this show. The fellow on the phone was nice and all, and it probably would have been money, but when he said “we wanted to get dancers from the show to appear, but none of them are large enough to represent the show concept anymore”–well, suffice it to say that I didn’t want us to be the “before” picture, even if we’re a fucking hot one. Gah!
The confusing thing to me is the host. (Swellanor, you mentioned Nikki Blonsky, but it’s actually Marisa Janet Winokur, who originated the role of Tracy Turnblad on Broadway, so you were close.) Because she is a professional Broadway star, and also fat. Does she represent the ideal that the contestants are trying to get to? Because if so, that’s not a super skinny ideal. That whole thing confused me. I really don’t want her to be a sellout, you know?
I’m just going to echo what others have said: they’ve taken a great premise (beautiful, fabulous folks gettin’ down with their bad, sexy selves) and ruined it with the weight loss aspect. (And isn’t that doctor the same crazy guy from ‘Biggest Loser?” The one who tells them about all the “bad” the fat is doing to their bodies, but says nothing about the damage done by the methods used to lose weight?)
Fatist. I stopped watching after about 10 seconds. Getting in shape has nothing to do with pounds. Do we really need to see the fat girl drooling over her one and only love cheesecake? You can dance and be fat. Why is the first thing we learn how much their combined weights are?
Hey – it’s OXYGEN, owned by you-know-who, so of COURSE it’s fatist!
By the by, hostess Marisa Winokur was considerably larger when she made it to the semi-finals on “Dancing With the Stars” a couple of seasons ago with NO apologies for her size. She hit that dance floor like a champ, wore the sexy outfits, wriggled & wiggled with the best of them. Has she already forgotten her accomplishments?
People working hard and striving to reach their goals? Sounds pretty inspirational to me. The dancing is just a bonus!
The worst kind of fatist show, the kind that pretends to be fat positive.
@Sparkle Pants, same here. As soon as the one girl was complaining about missing cheesecake so much, I was turned off. And at the end, when they were all jumping for joy over how many pounds were lost? Fail.
Mopie and Carol Gwnn, after I made my first comment I did a little more research and watched some of MJW’s Dancing with the Stars appearance. She was so fabulous, sassy, and unapologetic in the part I saw, and even said something like”I want to show that you can get out there and dance whatever size you are.” And I was pleased that the part I saw showed her rehearsing was all about skill sand personality and didn’t create drama by pretending there were any ‘issues’ about her ‘size’ to ‘overcome.’
So now I’m with you, Mopie, in hoping she’s not really selling out- but as far as I can see, at best the message of this show is confusing like all the other messages aimed at fat people and women:
“If you’re fat than something’s wrong with you and you should take care of yourself which means exercise and dance! but be ashamed of your body and lose lots of weight even if you injure yourself and then you’ll win a prize and be acceptable and maybe somebody will love you but don’t love yourself too much ’cause then you might gain back the weight and there will be pictures in US weekly. . .” (lather, rinse, repeat)
The show looks to be 100% fatist. They spell it out right away by saying that the goal is to “get in shape” (read – lose weight). I agree with Fall. It’s the same fatist BS masquerading as fat-positive, which makes it worse.
Really, the title alone should be a giveaway. “Dance Your Ass Off” – as in shrinking; as in weight loss.
I say “Hiphopster, PLEASE”. I was a competitive dancer for well over a decade, and I won a lot of competitions with my team.
My weight when I was training 40+ hours a week was 250lbs, I am 5’4″. If you’re fat, dancing will not get rid of your fat ass.
Lets face it- the show is based on losing weight. Sure, it’s great to see some fatties being athletic, but keep in mind that they’re really playing up people being inactive and eating poorly… playing right into what everyone says.
I came really close to auditioning for this show. I even looked at the application and everything. But without knowing what the show was going to be about, I was unsure. I saw “work with famous choreographers” and I got excited, what can I say. I figured I’d watch a season and then audition for the next one. I remember reading that Marissa lost weight just by doing “Dancing with the Stars” and thought it would be a great idea for a weight loss show. I didn’t see Dr. H (from “The Biggest Loser”) in the promo but I have this fantasy of proving him wrong.
I am not sure about you guys…but all i have to say is FINALLY a show that lets the world know that even FAT ppl can dance…and mind you…some dance way better than the skinnies….a show to make them lose weight…as well as to bring out their personality..! Awesome!!
WITH ALL THAT SAID AND DONE! I HAVE BEEN WATCHING THE SHOW SINCE JUNE 29, 2009, AND IT IS AN AWSOME SHOW. THIS SHOW IS A POSITIVE SHOW DEPENDING HOW YOU LOOK AT IT. IF YOU HAVE A NEGATIVE MIND SETTING, YOU WOULD POINT OUT ALL THE BAD; IF YOUR OPEN MINDED THEN YOU COULD SEE WHAT POSITIVE IT BRINGS TO THE CONTESTANTS.
I watched all the seasons of this show and love it! I loved the fact that yes the people were fat and were wanting to get healthy by having fun and showing the world they can dance. The best part was that it was not all about losing as much weight as possible. I would love to be on that show. I love to dance and it would be a great way to motivate me to loose weight!
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