Friday, June 13, 2014

Fargo Actress Confronts Fat-Bashers

As one of the most compelling characters on the most compelling television show of the season, actress Allison Tolman has taken to Twitter to speak back to those challenging her for her weight (Salon). One tweet read, “For fuck's sake, internet- I'm not fat, I've just been wearing this GIANT EFFING COAT FOR 8 WEEKS ON YOUR TELEVISION.” Another, responding to her critiques, read, “I'm not sad, y'all. My points are: A- Christ on a cracker, stop defining women by size. B- I'm AVERAGE- women on TV are TINY. #realtalk.” And in response to Emma Baker (aka 5mma) arguing that she was “reacting like being thought of as fat is the same as being thought of as a pedophile” she wrote, “I don’t think I am. I’d just prefer my weight wasn’t a topic of conversation at all. Like, y’know, male actors.”

And she has a point, doesn’t she? The male gaze that so many feminists and film studies professors have critiques over the past 40 years appears to be alive and well across the dial, and all of popular culture for that matter. Men just don’t like to be made to look at a woman they can’t objectify for their scopophilic, controlling pleasure. They want to think about sleeping with those beautiful characters that actually look like Holocaust survivors in real life and forget the very real women most of them are dating or married to. In fact, Tolman’s character is so likable on the show because she seems like a very real woman, surrounded by buffoons and weak men that seem to obstruct her at every opportunity. So, good for Tolman, trying to again challenge our obsession with the appearance of women within the spectacle, from young gymnasts and skaters to older women who are, you know, showing their age.

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