So last spring I was focusing on my master’s exam and my 30 page paper that goes along with it. This is a choice that you can make to avoid writing a full length thesis and is supposedly easier, but really isn’t. Anyway, I started a studying regime in which I would study, study, study then rest, followed by more studying and writing. It was a pretty hectic time, yet it was during one of those “treat/rest sessions,” that I went onto Tumblr and was exposed to a show that would change everything. I follow a blogger on Tumblr, whose username is Ursula The Sea Bitch, and she had posted gifs labelled Finn and Rae. I was surprised to see a female plus-sized character actually have a romantic interest who is “conventionally attractive.” Without even knowing anything else about the show I immediately liked her post. A couple days later she posted another gif set that included the title, My Mad Fat Diary.
It took a while but I soon found the series on YouTube. (Thank God someone posted them up as they are not available on American television.) I binged watched both seasons when I should have been studying. (I don’t regret it though, it was really good.) The cast gives a realistic portrayal of teen angst, romance and friendship, which is one of the best things of this show. It really opened my eyes to some of the negative things I do. I have never been put into an institution or have been sent to see a therapist like the protagonist Rae Earl, yet I have suffered from self harm, negative self talk and eating disorders, all of which I usually don’t talk about because most people don’t know how to handle it.
In the following video I talk about why My Mad Fat Diary (MMFD) is an example of good plus size representation in media.
Finn & Rae Bathroom Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IE_1xtGOCQ
Rae Unzips her Fat Suit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfuxnx163qU
MMFD Series 1 & 2 Playlists: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtrUd03X9FR9PENFWd5u9Lw/playlists
ABOUT THE SERIES: Whether or not we are conscious of it, what we consume as entertainment has a great impact on our personal growth and identity. In many cases media literacy has been dismissed to be unnecessary, yet the truth remains that media influences social ideals and constructs of such concepts as gender, race and body ideals. Disregarding the significance of media in turn promotes the continuation of stereotypes and fosters a negative self-image especially in girls and women. Critical media consumption aids the fight against the over-sexualization, and under-representation of women, that can lead to the creation of works that aid female empowerment. It all starts with us. With that in mind, “+ Size Matters” will analyze past and present plus size representation in media as doing so sheds light on the beauty/body standards and stereotypes that still need to be broken.