We’ve talked about how much we love Mindy Kaling here before. In this great interview, she talks about the problem with writing realistic women characters and the rom-com she’s writing and how much she loves You’ve Got Mail (me TOO! OMG Mindy Kaling, let’s be bffs!) She touches upon this interesting trope of the fictionalized woman, something that bugs me too:
How did you feel about The Devil Wears Prada? Did it bug you that the main character walked away from a good job at the end, to go back to her boyfriend — like that was the only way she could be happy?
I felt like they tried to buy it back by saying what she really wanted was to write political pieces at her temp job. That was a hokey part of the story. At least she wasn’t a klutz. So many comedies and TV shows make pretty, skinny women klutzes — they have no discernible flaws, so let’s make them a klutz!
Like Liz Lemon.
Debra Messing was always doing that on Will & Grace. (Ed note–Also, basically any character played by Michelle Pfeiffer, J.Lo and more recently, Kristen Bell)
It’s such an old trope.
The other one is actresses who clearly starve themselves playing characters who get picked on by the guy for eating too much.
In Valentine’s Day, the Jessica Biel character does that. When she gets nervous she shoves food into her mouth. Of course, it’s okay for Biel to do that because she’s in the best shape of any woman alive, so shoving food in her mouth isn’t offensive.
It would be so funny if an actual fat woman shoved food in her mouth. People would be horrified! They’d want to kill her! Is that an Onion headline? Actual Fat Woman Shoves Food in her Mouth in Romantic Comedy!
She’s right! When did you last see a fat woman eating in a movie when it wasn’t a fat joke? Even in Shallow Hal (which I watched recently… so close and yet, so fucking far) when they show the fat character eating, it’s Gwyneth Paltrow not Gwyneth-In-A-Fat-Suit-Paltrow. How are we ever supposed to get over the idea of body shame when the very idea of us nourishing our bodies is clearly revolting to the rest of the world?
This is too depressing, so instead, I’ll just leave the rest to you guys in the comments.
PS. Marry me, Mindy Kaling?
Posted by Weetabix