When plus size company Lane Bryant’s sexy TV ad was supposedly censored by ABC as inappropriate for “Dancing With the Stars” audiences, there were calls of hypocrisy. After all, TV networks don’t seem to have an issue showing lingerie ads for Victoria’s Secret (or even the much touted half naked extravaganza ‘Victoria’s Secret Special.”) Still, TV executives seemed to feel that fat girls shouldn’t show cleavage. Ironic, since big girls are more likely to have big breasts, but I guess natural is what’s offensive here.
I had the same negative reaction when Mo’Nique hosted a fat girl beauty contest for TV. I didn’t think it was so awesome that large women were gaining entry into the world of the skinny, finally allowed to compete against each other so a panel of judges could decide who was the prettiest.
I was also bummed when “High School Musical” featured a fat cheerleader and everyone called that progressive and “so PC.” Cheerleaders are just bad for women. I don’t care if they’re fat or of color or have athletic skill. Being a cheerleader is the definition of being the sideshow, her role is to make the main event look good; she is not and never will be the star. Cheerleader obsession is like teen training ground for the perfect heterosexual relationship; it’s like wife school. The hot girl cheers on her talented guy, standing by her quarterback, loyally, faithfully, whether he wins or loses; her admiration is constant and her love is true.
Another recent example of fake feminist progress is Angelina Jolie’s much touted role Salt, originally written “for a guy,” a guy like Tom Cruise! Scott Mendelson wrote about EW’s self congratulatory cover story on how progressive the movie is on his blog. Mendelson has this quote from EW:
“In the original script, there was a huge sequence where Edwin Salt (the original male protagonist) saves his wife, who’s in danger,” says Noyce. “And what we found in the new script, it seemed to castrate his character a little. So we had to change the nature of that relationship.”
So, hidden in an article on how “Salt” is oh-so-empowering for female action heroes is this tidbit. The filmmakers believe that it was perfectly OK for the spouse to be rescued from mortal danger if said love interest was a girl, but not if the romantic partner was a man. Apparently, it’s great if the action hero is a girl, as long as she doesn’t have the opportunity to one-up any male counterparts or reverse the oldest cliche in the action-film handbook.
What a bummer. The supposedly feminist “Salt” remains safely within the gender boundaries of every classic Disney movie, and is it even possible to be “a little castrated?”
Update: Jezebel posts a leaked memo from ABC to Lane Bryant, showing that, contrary to its claims, the network did refuse to air the ad.
Second update: To the offended commenters, just like I tell my six year old, “fat” is not a bad word! Nor is “large” nor is “chubby.” People who are upset I used the word “fat” to describe the plus size model in the photo are reinforcing the values of a society that thinks one woman’s size is so preferable to another’s. And yes, of course size is relative, as is height, weight, age etc. Compared to certain groups of people, in various societies, the Lane Bryant model would not be fat or plus size.
Third update: Ashley Grant, the Lane Bryant model, says on ET she thinks her breasts were too big, bigger than the Victoria’s Secret models and that’s why her ad was censored.
I don’t watch “Dancing with the Stars” but seeing the clips on my TV right now, the costumes on those women look like my three year old got near them with her scissors; they’re missing whole sections.
While I was posting this story last night, Joy Behar was on TV with Pamela Anderson as a guest, showing clips of half dressed Pam doing splits, again and again, over her dance partner. If ABC censored big breasts during its cartoon hour, that would be one thing, but during “Dancing With the Stars” gives a whole new meaning to the term “double standard.”