The plus size community anxiously anticipated the premiere of TLC’s “Big Sexy” after having had our hopes dashed by Fox’s ill-fated “More To Love”.
Maybe this time the show’s producers will strike the right chord by dispelling myths behind big women, but first the powers that be need to reconcile their own fat prejudices by assuming a TV audience won’t embrace “Big Sexy” unless “they portray them as insecure, love-starved rejects” as the Dallas Observer blogger Elaine Liner wrote.
I found a mixed bag of tricks though.
Some of the same voyeuristic devices were employed here as in “More To Love”. Is it really necessary to show every lump, bump and grind of shaking flesh? Just because some of us wear Spanx, are we interested in watching another big girl squeezing into them like sausage casing? Anxiety over the bathing suit portion of the fashion show isn’t unique to plus size reality stars. Even Kris Jenner of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” lamented about wearing a bathing suit on a Bora Bora vacation and Kyle Richard’s of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” went to a pool party without a suit because her body “wasn’t ready for a bathing suit”.
What I found far more compelling was Tiffany’s (Big Sexy’s breakaway star) self-effacing wit and her willingness to explore why her ex-boyfriend, Dante rejected her.
“You were crazy. You were stalking me”, he said. Perhaps her self-consciousness and neediness was the root cause of her break-up. He added she was the one who had a problem with her size. The promise of her eagerness to explore her deeply-rooted self-esteem issues beyond the superficial themes expressed here intrigued me as a viewer.
What I would like to see is less horse and pony show and more substance. We aren’t “freaks of nature”, we’re beauties in big bodies living life on our own terms.