THIS COMMENT on the Louie “fat lady” clip. Let’s try to articulate our fuming emotions:
- "Louie is pandering to the social justice community"? "Louie is pandering to the social justice community”!?!?!??! Sigh. There’s a difference between giving attention a demographic that is often pigeonholed by giving one character a perspective based on personal experience*, and setting out on a mission to guilt men into feeling physically attracted to fat women.
- Had Louie had any sort of retort to her scoff at “you’re not fat,” you could argue that Louis may have wanted to provide a substantive reason for Louie to want to soothe her feelings about her weight. No, he wrote it that way to acknowledge that men are dumb fucks who do not know what to say when women point out the imperfections men are afraid those women haven’t embraced. But this isn’t about fat women being ashamed of their bodies. It was made explicitly clear that this is about men being ashamed of being associated with women with fat bodies. Framed within the larger context of the episode, this is about how men treat their bodies like shit without consequence, and, framed within the larger context of this season, then, that women do not have this privilege (see juxtaposition of Yvonne Strahovski/Louie pairing vs. Sarah Baker/Louie pairing)**.
- 233 upvotes hurt. 233 (male, I’m assuming) individuals “hate fat girls” because they believe them to all be angry, miserable, and bitter due to their weight. If these 233 individuals have, in fact, encountered enough miserable fat women, and have, in fact, gotten to know them personally enough to know that the reason for their misery is their weight, I can see how perhaps they would see this monologue as a guilt trip disguised as “social justice”. Even so, I find this premise very hard to believe! Maybe I am doing these individuals a disservice. I doubt it.
*no, fictional “personal experience” is no less legitimate just because it is fabricated. Fictional voices often do more to to represent the underrepresented than those actual people who are rarely heard (for better or for worse). Louis is, in fact, more effectively shaming men than he is representing women. That is totally fine because that is what he is qualified to do from his position!!
**Lots of conversation went down about the former pairing in comparison to the Lena Dunham/Patrick Wilson episode of Girls, and what is really fucking awesome about this is that the male filmmaker is taking the perspective that fat girls get treated like shit and can’t get men to treat them right (Sarah Baker’s interview with Mo Ryan acknowledged that the case is not so severe at least in her own life and so Louie might be vouching for an extreme scenario which not all overweight women experience), while Dunham’s position as a woman is: it is not at all unrealistic for larger-shaped women to be with fitter-shaped men, and, after the absurd backlash to that episode: how dare you, you small-minded individual for thinking otherwise. I happen to think that neither position outweighs or invalidates the other, and if anything makes me (a) really proud of the society we live in that men and women are both making progress in escaping the pigeonholing of female body size and (b) really impressed at the quality and gutsiness of tv-making. (Sidenote: why isn’t there a version of the word for ‘filmmaking’ for our beloved more invaluable and groundbreaking medium?)
[please note differentiation between Louie, the character and Louis, the auteur]