MAY 11, 2015
Now that I am writing again, I've found myself frolicking on the fantastic time-suck known as Twitter. It has turned into a game for me - following a trend, adding my fudgealicious humor, and running with it.
As we all know, the arteries of the internet are clogged with the cholesterol of word vomit, so I knew that I would eventually stumble upon a fat insult attached to a hash tag. I just didn't expect it so soon! Six days into my microblogging adventure, and my tweeting heart skipped a beat. Why was I so surprised? I get inundated with dieting messages everyday, so one would think I would be numb to the endless nagging about the size of my ass. Perhaps because I'm no longer living a life of shame about who I am, the trend caught me off guard.
Certainly, I wasn't going to let it fly.
The idea behind #FattenAMovie is fairly simple: add food items and fat jargon to the title of a movie to reach the hallmark of entertainment. The individual behind it encouraged followers to jump on the good ship fatty fat, and badgered anyone who dared to ignore her/him/them.
My first comment to this person was, “I'm more amused by trending something funny instead of picking on fat people.”
Like a kid only interested in spinning themselves uncontrollably on a playground, the #Fattener paid me no mind at all. Who could blame him/her? The #Fattener was having the time of their life at the expense of fat folk.
I said something again. “There are so many other things to do to a movie that is funny: emo it, shit on it, or add something from the Bible.”
No response. I'll admit it, I was fuming over someone I didn't even know on the interwebs. I might as well lose my cool because the sky is blue. People are going to write ignorant things, one can't avoid it. But damnit, I AM FAT, and it isn't funny. I've worked really hard to accept me as I am. There's the difference between a joke and bullying behavior. People would not hesitate at all to call someone out about a racist joke, right? So how was this different? And just who was this rascal cyber bully pushing me around on the playground?
I realize the world of comedy is composed of a jigsaw puzzle of countries with distorted boundaries. Each place varies, the language and customs possessing its own unique flavor. What kills really depends on one's moral convictions, which can limit the side-splitting experience. People just want to laugh and aren't often thinking about the entire picture. We know taboos exist: racist jokes are a big no-no, so are the subjects of rape, molestation and poking fun of those with disabilities. I doubt if the #Fattener was thinking about how deep that punchline would cut. Perhaps the individual isn't aware of the number of people who have some sort of eating disorder, including me. It is possible that Professor #Fattener has recovered from one themselves and deals with it by spinning yarn about it. And I wouldn't be surprised if the stranger didn't give a flying fuck at all because it was amusing to them. As I've said before, fat jokes are a hack bit. I would rather hear a “Yo Mamma...” joke than any fat joke.
About 10 minutes into the hashtag game, I gave up. These movie titles weren't funny. Pictures were being posted of obese people in an exploitative manner. Instead of letting this ruin my day, I took back my power. I added my own side order of funny-fried-fatty-goodness and participated.
Because I know how to do this better than them. Not necessarily because I'm fat, but because I'm awesome. Some of these attempts to fatten a movie were so unoriginal and weak. I think I saw “The Life of Pie” and “Forest Lump” six or eight times. To technically fatten something, one can't just stop at pie or fry something. The theme seemed to be more driven to #FoodieAMovie. These titles needed more excessive caloric descriptions if they were truly going to be fat. It's a challenge to do this in 140 characters or less, but I was up for the challenge. Some of my contributions include:
There were more, but those were the hits. The experience wasn't as fantastic as I thought it would be. I didn't feel icky inside - I just felt like I participated in an unnecessary game of tug-of-war with people who don't really give a shit. And just as quickly as the trend exploded, it evaporated into the ether. I came to the conclusion that the subject of fat hatred is but merely a trend.
“But Ruthie, you are so wrong about this! Fatties have been taunted for centuries! It's never going to stop!” you may be thinking.
Well, you may be right, but ultimately we don't really know that. I've decided that I don't want to waste one more precious moment trying to get people to see my point of view about this. I'd rather share my talents with those who will listen and help those that are stuck in the mire. While social media has been helpful in uniting others, it is not the single catalyst for social change. As I know it, I only have one chance at taking what I've been given and making the most of it. I can turn it into something astonishing or characterless. My time here in this mortal coil is but a hiccup. What seems to be never-ending torture for me is not even a blink to the universe. So while chiding people for their size might never go away, it's as only powerful as I let it be and as YOU allow it to be. Like all fads, the acrimony will die with time, you have to believe me.
So take a moment and please join me in saying to all bullies - cyber and otherwise: “Frankenfurterly, my darling, I don't give a ham.”
Gone With the Wendy's,
APRIL 19, 2015
It's no secret that the world of comedy has used fatties as a punchline of jokes for years, some of them have made a living from it either by the lazy art of hack or just by being a self-loathing fat person themselves, which is really depressing. If you're a true American and freaked out by actually reading a book in a library, you can simply type “fat comedians” in your preferred search engine and get pummeled with names (most of them men). Boy howdy, do we love some fat men! The hilarity of the jiggly, flabby, and rotund beast—entertaining us for decades with their physicality. Adipose gold!
Although this widely accepted cliché works so well for our larger than life male comics, this theme is used to vilify our female comics who already get a ton of shit for “not being funny.” This bullying is pitched as innocent roasting and anyone who stands up to being deliberately ostracized by a comic who is trying to elevate themselves by dispensing the soft serve on others will receive a verbal beating for not being able to take a joke, or better yet--earn the timeless moniker of Fucking Bitch-(a subject dedicated to another article.) Really, people? That's the best you have—Bitch? YAWN. Your dick jokes are amazing, keep up the good work.
The recent commotion of Ari Shaffir vs. Damienne Merlina is not sitting right with me, not because he blathers (and then quickly retracts) about her placement on the annoyance scale, but outs her by name and precedes to fat shame her. I was amazed. This REALLY got by the eyeballs of legal at Comedy Central? I'm confused—other comedians have had to edit their routines for completely insignificant bullshit-(Christian Finnegan calls out a bully, had it dubbed) but good 'ol Ari gets to curl a steamy one on Damienne without any discernible punchline? Who the Hell is he blowing? What Bizarro universe is this? Did I step on a butterfly with my obese foot and undo human civilization?
Damienne then makes herself vulnerable to us all, tapes a response for YouTube, and does what I cannot bring myself to do: she takes the high road. Good for her. I, on the other hand, have no desire to jump on that wagon. I want to show love and mercy in a completely different way. I'm super pissed that this whole event has drawn unneeded publicity for this guy, and Damienne (sending virtual hugs)—you didn't have to offer us any explanation about your life—SHAMING FAT PEOPLE IS WRONG, PERIOD. The clip of you flipping him off would have been sufficient. I'm sick of this kind of bullying and gonna do something about it RIGHT NOW. I'm going to lovingly caress Mr. Shaffir's ball sack with a side-kick of my words because I'm over seeing fat people taken hostage by word diarrhea disguised as humor.
Who knows, there is the ***possibility*** that the whole bit was his psychotic way of coming out of the closet to declare his love of fat chicks. No, no, hear me out: this is the fluff that romcoms are made of! The rowdy office manager goes out of his way to zero in on a particular employee giving her an inexplicable hard time, telling his buddies that she's a beached whale. Before he knows it, he's daydreaming at the board meeting imagining that he is able to worship her every curve. In comes the montage and love song: he is in love with her and just can't bring himself to say it! Because after all as the moldy 'ol joke goes, we fat women and mopeds have something in common--we're fun to ride but please don't let our friends to see us on one. Or God forbid, know that we're hot for them. My theory could be wrong, I'll let readers decide. How many people think Shaffir loves fat women but can't admit it?
As for the answer to the baffling question surrounding this legendary “fat smell” well, Ari you've got it all wrong. That scent you refer to is really the aroma of you being an enormous douchebag. The vinegar is burning my nostrils all the way here in the Midwest. Yep, I intentionally compared you to a feminine hygiene product that ultimately throws off a woman's pH level thereby creating a wicked vaginal infection that can only be treated with a round of antibiotics. You are that spectacular. I would totally take a battery charge for hugging you in the face with my pudgy fist. Perhaps the name of your next special could be “Twat Irritant.”
And To All The Fat comics: never be ashamed of who you are. I challenge you to come up with material that empowers your portly self. I know you've got this.
Ruthie Fudge landed in Bloomington approximately 15 years ago after an alien spaceship crashed on a Buddhist monastery. Hailing from the planet Gigantitron, she brings the following talents to the WWG table: writing, rebel-rousing, art, and comic relief. When she's not making crop circles with her mind, she is a parent, wife, friend, and teacher for children with disabilities.