Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Is She Really Fat?

On my recent Home and Away episodes, there's a storyline in which shallow Martin Dibble is set up with a woman who doesn't meet his standards.

Greta isn't pretty enough for him. 

The actress herself isn't very unattractive, but she has glasses. And I think in soap opera land, glasses=ugliness.  

What's bewildering to me is that Martin keeps alluding to the idea that Greta is fat. Greta herself even talks about it. Why is that bewildering? Because I don't think Greta looks fat at all! To me, she looks like she's at a normal weight. At the most, maybe she's a few pounds overweight.  

It could be she IS fat, and I'm not a good judge of body weight.  To me, though, she looks about my size and I'm not overweight.

Of course, we're dealing with a TV show here. And actresses are given different standards than those of us outside show business. Skinny in my world is normal in their world. Normal in my world is chubby in their world. Slightly overweight in my world is probably morbidly obese in their world.

But that being said, I don't think Home and Away is like that...at least not in the time period I'm watching. The actresses are not extremely skinny. They're slim, but not bony. I'm having a hard time seeing the difference between Greta's body size and the body sizes of other women on the show.

I think the whole thing is confusing, and because of it, I see the storyline as a failure.

I get what they're trying to do.

Or maybe I don't.

I would imagine they want to do a storyline about judging a book by its cover. Just because a woman is fat (even though she's not and you're just supposed to imagine it's true), doesn't mean she's not a good person. Or maybe it's not about that. Maybe it's just another storyline illustrating the fact that Martin Dibble is an asshole.

The message, though, that I'm getting is that if you happen to wear glasses, it means that you're fat and ugly and men will be embarrassed to be seen around you.

I'm thinking of Ugly Betty. They kind of did the same thing—where a woman of fairly average weight, wearing glasses, was seen as being fat. Though in that case, I think it was employees of the fashion industry who had that opinion.  So it made more sense. I can imagine the women in that industry do look at size 8-10 woman and see them as fat.  Heck, some of them probably look at size 4-6 women and see them as fat. 

But I think in a small beach town, outside the fashion and entertainment industry, a girl like Greta or Betty, would not be labeled fat by a typical guy.  Unless they're like Martin Dibble who seems to think if you happen to wear glasses it automatically means you're ugly. And if you're ugly it automatically means you're fat.

What I'd like to see is more soap opera storylines in which the message is that you can wear glasses, not be thin, but still be attractive and desirable.