Day 37: WTF is that supposed to do?
My Big Fat Revenge, soon to be showing on Oxygen in the US, is a show where former fatties who’ve gotten “healthy”, ie lost weight, set up a nasty prank on a person who was horrible to them whilst they were fat.
I’ve personally had this fantasy many, many times.
Lose weight, get fabulous, become awesomely successful, buy company and fire all co-workers who were complete asses to me. Or lose weight, get fabulous, become awesomely successful and reject all dating overtures made by men who’ve curled their lip at me now. Or … well you get the picture.
The only problem with this is that I never really managed to get past go: lose weight.
Well OK, that’s not the only problem. At the end of the day I’m really too lazy to hold a grudge. Don’t get me wrong there are people out there who I never, ever, ever want to see or hear from ever, ever again. Some of whom have left an indelible imprint on me, scars even.
But would I want to actually want to have my revenge on them? Nuh. I’m just not that kind of a girl. Because, well, that desire for revenge, it’s shallow and nasty and it perpetuates negative cycles that go around and around and around.
And making a show about it? That is some fucked up shit.
The show is reinforcing the idea that you can only get revenge on those who ask you to change to become more acceptable for them, by, um, changing and becoming more acceptable to them.
Then, when you’re on a level playing field, then you get your chance to hurt them as much as they hurt you.
And all this is meant to be good viewing? As Callie Beusman aptly summarises on Jezebel
Perhaps even more troublingly, each participant’s new body is supposed to somehow excuse her negative actions. We’re supposed to root for her as she sheds pounds and triumph with her when she gives the fat-shamers from her past a taste of their own medicine — medicine that she’s finally thin enough to administer.
Fat discrimination is a very real thing. It’s hurtful and painful and does real lasting damage. It needs to be stopped but the way to do that is not to do something equally nasty to those who’ve discriminated against us.