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What Measure Is A Fat Woman
In fiction, a fat female cannot exist outside a few set stereotypes.


(permanent link) added: 2012-04-24 13:14:33 sponsor: peccantis (last reply: 2012-04-25 19:35:19)

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Rough draft, all help appreciated

(Especially help with making this sound less like a rant.)

Indices: Double Standard, High Fat Index (more?)

In mainstream media, an overweight female character is a rare thing. Being Hollywood Pudgy has little effect besides the comments from herself or those around her, but once she develops a proper gut she is diminished into a stereotype. Not only that, but even in the background, overweight females are a rarity.

Notably, visibly chubby or even rotund male characters are pretty frequently seen, even in recurring or main roles that don't revolve around their weight, making this a Double Standard.

Characterisation of overweight females:
  • no sexuality: she cannot want or be wanted outside the roles of Chased Chubby or Abhorrent Admirer
  • negative body image: she must have Weight Woes or at least think herself ugly
  • faulty character: "obviously" she's fundamentally lacking in virtues, otherwise she wouldn't be fat

Set roles of overweight females:
  • Abhorrent Admirer
  • Brawn Hilda: unattractively strong and masculine (often big) woman
  • Fat Girl: insecure, unimportant or both. Often a source of comic relief.
  • Grande Dame: (often large) uptight, butt-of-jokes mature lady of status
  • Mammy: big black auntie type of slave (or domestic help in post-slavery settings)

Averted when a Big Beautiful Woman has more to her than being Ms. Fanservice.

(I want to put Very Special Episode somewhere...)

This is a Trope In Aggregate and should not have straight examples.

Anyone know how Shallow Hal and Hair Spray play their fat cards?
replies: 10

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