Saturday, January 12, 2008

Lifetime's "Queen Sized"

Well, I watched this movie tonight and cried a lot. I thought it was pretty good, for the most part (yeah, the parts where she was upset or mad or hurt and went and ate will probably make fat-phobes think all fat people do that, but they think that already anyway). It was also a little predictable, but I don't know if that's because I'm older and have lived through a lot of the same crap so I could see where the movie was going and what was going to happen in future scenes. I did like the mother's co-worker and what she had to say about accepting oneself. And the store where Maggie shopped, and the owner's opinions about clothes (she said the average size for American women is 14, so you'd think manufacturers would make jeans that fit them) was totally awesome. There was a lot in there that advanced acceptance, not just fat acceptance, but for geeks and misfits of all kinds. And I thought the girl who was supposed to be homecoming queen and lost out (she voted for Maggie) was pretty neat too, there at the end, when she was talking about being seen only as the "pretty" girl and now people would have to see other things in her besides just the "pretty".
I'm thinking I really like Nikki Blonsky. I watched "Hairspray" the other night too, and thought it was pretty good. Yeah, I know some people have a problem with John Travolta in a fat suit, but I thought he did a pretty good job of it. There were a couple of scenes where it was pretty obvious that it was a fat suit, but there were also quite a few where he actually looked like a few fat women I've known, size and shape-wise. Again, there were scenes where food was used as comfort, stereotypical though it is, but it didn't seem to be for comic relief (and there was one scene where Edna was upset, went to eat something for consolation, and didn't. Not that that makes up for anything, but still......).
I think both of these movies ended up being pretty size-positive for the most part. Yeah, there were parts that could have been done better, but with the state of the OMGOBESITYEPIDEMIC!!!1!!!, the fact that they were done as well as they were is a good thing (to paraphrase Martha).


  1. Thanks for posting about this; I didn't love it, but there were definitely some real positives in it, so I'm glad for that much. I am hoping that How To Look Good Naked does well because I find the things I'm seeing on that one absolutely phenomenal, radical for the general public, and I'm shocked that they're allowing it to be said. A weekly show can have a good impact as opposed to a movie-of-the-week, too, because it keeps coming (Carson said he's starting a perception revolution, which I think is awesome and just what we need.)

    Nikki Blonski did a fine job; the clothing store woman and the friend who told the mom that she was doing the same thing to Maggie that the kids were doing - cool stuff. I was bummed about the mom finding all the hidden food wrappers (mostly all from, what else do fat people eat - sweets, candy, cupcakes and cookies *rolleyes* ) and from seeing her go to binge on ice cream almost the same way a crackhead would turn over a garbage can if they thought they'd dropped a rock in there. Some of it just fed into stupid negative perceptions, but at least some of it didn't. At least the chair busting underneath her was not just a ridiculous and false fat joke but was actually sabotage from the other kids, so there were a couple surprises for me.

    AnnieMcPhee (sorry, still haven't created a blog ID here yet!)

  2. Hi Annie - yeah, those hidden wrappers were a bit much, and the binge on ice cream (but I can relate, since I used to do the same thing every time someone mentioned diets to me).
    I've watched "How to Look Good Naked" and I've liked what I've seen so far. DH watches it with me, and thought it was all about fat women learning to love themselves (he likes fat women, obviously, since he married me...LOL). I told him that it's about all women learning to love the bodies they have, fat, thin, or in-between, that all women have body issues because none of us are perfect but that advertising and movies etc etc are all telling us we have to be young, tanned, toned, blond and beautiful to be worth anything. And of course, being a man, he doesn't see it (at least he doesn't expect me to be perfect because that sure ain't happening).

  3. Great comment Vesta, you said things better than I ever could.

  4. vesta, when my husband watched the Layla episode with me (HTLGN) and heard her at the end saying "No more dieting!" he looked at me in surprise and said "Wow! Now there's something wonderful to hear!" He does understand about women and body issues, too, as he had so many female friends all his life, and we've been married a long time, so we're pretty much on the same page there. When she said she'd been dieting for 20 years and Carson said that was a long time, and that she could have spent all that time having fun, or getting better at her job, etc. I wanted to run up to him and give him a huge kiss. That show is genuinely promising. Glad to hear you and your husband are enjoying it too. Of course, all the women he's had on have been pretty to begin with; it'd be interesting to see what he'd do if someone like me was on it lol.

    I'm really enjoying your blog, by the way!


  5. Annie - I had the same thought, I wondered what Carson would do with a woman like me (I've never considered myself pretty and always wondered what men saw in me). This is in spite of all the men who've told me I'm pretty, including my husband. No self-esteem issues here, nosirree. Not that I think I'm ugly, I consider myself average, nothing special, ya know? But I'm coming around to the idea that all of those men who thought I was pretty may not have been wrong after all. Maybe it's not just physical looks that turn a man on, like you hear all the time, maybe it's also personality, intelligence, sense of humor, caring, compassion, and all the other parts of us besides the physical that make a man want us. It might be the physical that gets him to look, but it's the whole package that gets him to stay (and a lot of the physical that gets him to look depends on what type of physical looks he really likes). That makes sense, now that I really think about it. So don't go knocking yourself, woman, you're gorgeous in your husband's eyes, and isn't that what matters most?

  6. I'm not sure how familiar you are with John Water's films. In most of his films, he had a plus sized drag-queen actor who went by the name Divine.

    It was a testament, to how great of an actor he was, that John Travolta wore a fat suit. It really was more about how much Divine mattered in John Water's films.

    Also, since Hairspray is about the discrimination Nikki Blonski's character and her mother face. It would make sense he'd wear a fat suit.

    John Waters has said about the theatrical version of Hairspray, that one of the reasons he liked it was because, the fat girl would finally have a lead part. So he really has been involved in the ideals of size-acceptance for awhile.

    I mean, I guess what I'm saying is it's not that he has John Travolta in a fat suit to make fun of him. It's so that he's empathized with, in how his character is fighting the same stigma the daughter is.

  7. violet_yoshi - I never got to see the original "Hairspray" so I don't really have any basis for comparison. I've heard a lot about how Divine was better in the part of Edna, but I think Travolta did a damned good job of it, fat suit and all. I don't really keep up with what's going on in theater, movies, and television that much. I go by what I read online, the trailers I happen to catch when DH is watching TV (I'm usually on the computer instead, so I'm not really watching it, just listening to it), and what people say about movies they've seen. So I don't have a clue if there's a fat drag queen actor out there who could have done the part, and since it was originally cast that way, I just don't think a fat actress would have had the same effect. But I liked the movie anyway, and since I have it on DVD, I'll probably watch it again, and again, and


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