Insatiable on Netflix
At the risk of exploding comment sections everywhere with rage, I am about to critique yet another thing I have not seen (I don’t need to remind you about "Inside Out," do I?).
This time, it’s Netflix’s new show Insatiable.
Here’s your Twitter preview:
— insatiable (@insatiable_) July 19, 2018
Bye. I’m done here. You don’t need me to say anything else do you?
You don’t need me to tell you that a show whose premise involves a chubby girl being punched in the face and having her jaw wired shut as a result, which then results in her dramatic transformation from a fat teenage outcast to a culturally-ideal Prom Queen, which THEN results in her getting some kind of (yet to be revealed) revenge, is stupid. Do you?
Because it’s stupid.
Let’s pretend that it’s not yet another example of the way media preys on whatever easy target they can find to make their money. We can even pretend that it’s not fat shaming AF. We can even go so far as to pretend that people everywhere don’t already believe that weight loss will solve all your problems.
First of all, getting punched in the jaw only very rarely results in having your jaw wired shut.
Secondly, you can bet your sweet ass if my jaw was wired shut I’d be pouring some mother-flipping milkshakes in there on the regular. Because let’s be real, when ever in your whole life are you going to be able to say “I HAVE TO EAT ONLY MILKSHAKES” besides when your jaw is literally wired shut?
FINALLY, this is stupid.
And also dangerous.
Don’t @ me either.
Debby Ryan (the starring actress) has 3.96 MILLION Twitter followers. How many of those are teen girls? I’d bet most. How many of those teen girls hate their bodies? I’d bet many.
Do you have an eating disorder? Have you ever? Know anyone who has?
Ask them how it started.
I am willing to bet that it started as a diet. I am further willing to bet that said diet was one someone told you about or you saw on IG or in some kind of media. I am further willing to bet that people will think getting your jaw wired shut is a good idea.
Does that sound extreme to you?
How about running three hours a day?
Or throwing up the food you’ve eaten?
Or taking laxatives until your body is empty of fuel?
What about not eating at all?
Those all sound like pretty extreme behaviors, unless you’re the person engaging in them. Once you start engaging in them, you learn quickly how to make them sound like perfectly normal behavior.
I know what your outraged-at-outrage-fingers are about to type: "But she's getting revenge! It's about how the bullies sucked! So it's ok!" Tell me, how would you feel if an actress you've grown up watching on Disney Channel wore your body as a suit? How would you feel knowing that you cannot take your body off with a costume change? That your body is only worthwhile as a stepping stone for character development? My guess is that you'd feel pretty shitty. Maybe even shitty enough to wish your jaw were wired shut.
And while we're at it, shout out to Teen Vogue for being less politically proactive than we thought.
Shame on you, Teen Vogue. You're better than this.
If you're really trying to distance yourself from the rail-thin, white cis beauty standards of the fashion industry, taking the cash to endorse this show is not the way to do it.
Even if this ridiculous show doesn’t send girls (and women) down the path of a liquid diet — and it will, mark my words — the continuing narrative around fat people being powerless and prey to the popular kids is harmful and also really played out. Get some new material, Netflix.