Over-Eating Thin Girls Cute And Quirky On TV, But Overweight Is Disgusting

One of my pet peeves is how over-eating is portrayed on TV with women actresses. Specifically, it’s cute and quirky with thin actresses. But disgusting and mocked with over-weight actresses. The first time I can remember this scenario is when everyone’s trying to hook Zack Morris on Saved By The Bell up with a girl. They go through the gamut of options, and the overweight girl has “an insatiable hunger for life.” And Zack is grossed out (gagging if I remember) at her over-eating and talking about food. Contrast that with last night’s episode of Happy Endings. Alex is ravenously eating (out-eating the two guys she’s with) Chinese food. As they get up to leave the table, she can’t walk away from various foods. The guys don’t have much reaction to this. But the portrayal through the eye of the viewer (because let’s face it, it’s framed) is that it’s cute and quirky.

First, I’d like to say, I feel like as I get thinner, it’s MORE acceptable to over-eat. I don’t feel embarrassed by it and don’t feel like I have to control what I eat. When I’m more over-weight, I feel like the girl on SBTB, everyone’s aware of and grossed out by my eating. Even if it’s normal eating. Even when I lose weight I’m never as thin as Alex, but I feel I’m in the “it’s OK to eat like a pig” category. Maybe I’m projecting these feelings. But there’s been more than one time I’ve heard people comment on someone overweight over-eating. Or my guy friends saying, “I like her, she actually eats. A lot.” Hello, you objectifying boys. All you care about are our looks. If all of us ate a lot, you’d also be uninterested. Now, mind you, these aren’t guys I’m  looking to date, but probably a good representation of the male population, their perspectives and reactions.

But the truth is, no matter what weight a girl or guy is, eating like that is not cute, quirky or “real.” It’s a disorder. And to make it OK or cute for a thin girl to over-eat like that is a pretty terrible psychological game, actually. The TV show says say, “Hey, this girl is laid back and eats like a “real person.”” Meanwhile an actual healthy person eats mostly healthy and splurges on a Chinese dinner (or meal of their choice) occasionally. And by splurge, not eating as much as she can as fast as she can. That’s not healthy. And to pretend like ANY thin girl can eat like that (without later purging to maintain her figure) is ludicrous. I know there’s a small percentage of women who can over-eat pretty regularly and not gain weight, but generally that doesn’t last very far into her 20s, if she can ever do it.

And let’s pretend it does, 5,000 calories of fried, MSGed Chinese food isn’t good for anyone.

But, to flip the coin and show the same scene with an “average” or “plus” size woman. Can you imagine? She would be labeled disgusting. Or mocked and finger-pointed “this is why you are like you are.” And if it truly is a disorder, it shouldn’t be met with shame. Rather a disorder needs to be looked at with compassion and understanding. Disordered over-eating, from what I’ve read, is a debilitating disease. The disordered can’t stop eating – it’s described as a compulsion. What a helpless feeling! And to hide that disorder under shame and disgust (for someone overweight) or a cute and quirky disguise (if you’re able to remain thin) isn’t helping anyone.

Not that anything on TV is real, but for some reason it annoys me. Because I know there are impressionable girls (and apparently stupid impressionable adult men, and probably just as stupid, impressionable women like me), who think it’s cute to eat like that. If you’re thin.

I’m here to say it’s cute and quirky to eat healthy, be open-minded, and workout regularly. Because, let’s be honest, that’s more unique than over-eating crap anyway.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. roxanlita
    Jan 13, 2012 @ 15:28:18

    I’ve always been skinny and until i was pregnant never went over 110 lbs. And I have to say I agree. In real life when I ate even a normal sized portion I was teased and made fun of because i am “so skinny.” And I will admit i have sometimes ate a ridiculous amount of food especially with my friends who’s families have 20 course meals (including the “break” course) I am still teased sometimes or accused of being secretely bulemic for simply eating a plate of food (and it is not in a loving way). But if I don’t eat a normal or above normal amount because I am not feeling well or just not hungry I am also ridculed. I have never had a guy go “Omg you eat so much that is hot.” It just isn’t realistic and it does set a false idea in motion that it’s ok to be a pig as long as you are skinny. I think wether you are underweight, overweight, or in between moderation feels better, looks better, and is more attractive.

    Reply

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