Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Can't Even Get the Fat Girl

David E. Kelley, who created such television shows as L.A. Law, The Practice, Chicago Hope, and Boston Legal, has addressed weight as an issue in his television shows on multiple occasions. Mr. Kelley is married to Michelle Pfeiffer and has one of the most famous possibly anorexic women of all time in one of his shows (Ally McBeal). I don't know if he's involved in casting his productions, but his shows focus a lot on pretty people and he has a very beautiful wife, so clearly he has an eye on this point.

One of the things which has been written into his shows at least twice is the notion of the fat girl's prospects for a love life. An almost identical line has been uttered by two different characters in The Practice and Boston Legal about men who "can't even get the fat girl". The attitude behind this is that men see fat girls as second rate, desperate pickings for men who aren't hot enough to attract the superior thin girls.

I'm not going to argue about fat being beautiful. I think that we all have more than enough self-loathing not to see ourselves as beautiful and if we're ever short on self-hatred, there are plenty of people out there who are happy to lend a hand and make us feel worthless should we work up a little self-esteem. However, I think that the notion that we're booby prizes in the romantic contests of life is not one we should be buying into, nor is it necessarily true.

The fact of the matter is that I am married. Not only am I married, but I married someone who is thin and adores me. He married me fat and loves me because of my character, not because of my body (though he is fine with my body). What is more, he's about the most emotionally well-adjusted person I've ever met. He didn't accept me as a consolation prize for not being able to do "better" or find a hotter girl. He wanted me and still wants me because we are compatible in nearly every way psychologically. He does worry about my health though, and fears that I may die long before him if I can't get my weight under control. This isn't a hope that I'll get thin and beautiful masquerading as health concern. It's a real concern, and I share it.

My point is that the notion that fat girls (or people) are seen as the love of last resort is not one that has to be true. I'm not going to start spewing any nonsense about loving yourself and therefore finding true love as a result. I am going to say that it does not serve you well at all to see yourself as third rate or to accept ideas like Mr. Kelley's that only men who can't do better will settle for the fat girl. There are men who have enough ego integrity to not view their mates as a reflection of their own desirability and to see them as people. Of course, that's provided that you also aren't judgmental and accept your mate for his or her character rather than more superficial aspects. If you're shallow, too, you will get what you deserve, and that's a lonely future.