Before I get too deep into my Dumplin’ thoughts and I subsequently start craving dumplings, let’s put this out there, I absolutely enjoyed Netflix’s Dumplin’. Based off of Julie Murphy’s 2015 novel of the same name, Dumplin’ tells the story of plus size girls revolting and joining a beauty pageant, where they end up finding self love, all while challenging the pagenant status quo. I absolutely enjoyed it for the Dolly Parton, the drag queens, the kick ass girl powerness of it all. It would have rocked my little fat girl life, had it come out when I was growing up and that’s how I know it’s important. It’s important to tell stories of the people who are outside of the margins. It’s important and necessary to represent marginalized voices in mass media. SO I’m 100% here for Dumplin’ and stories like Dumplin’ getting the green light.
If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know it’s my dream to create, produce, star in film and television. It’s my goal to tell marginalized people’s stories in a large scale way. It’s also important to me, while entertaining people with these stories, we also educate them and hopefully open people’s perspective to experiences outside of their own. As someone who has grown up fat, then took a deep dive into fat activism via the internet community, gaining an education in the sociopolitical truths of being fat, I find messaging in media around fatness very out of date and incorrect, all while being extremely passive.
There is a line that Willowdean’s best friend hurls her way after a fight, that really stuck out to me. She says to Willowdean, “Just so you know, I’ve never thought of you as fat”. It sits with me because, I feel by saying she’s never thought of a fat girl as fat, it’s implying an alternative definition to the word. For so long, in mass media, the word fat has been a loose synonym for ugly, unattractive, lazy, and unhealthy. This is deeply rooted in fatphobia. How many times have you heard someone say, “I feel fat”? Fat is not a feeling. As I was getting my nails done the other day, I sat listening to thin women call themselves fat, with undertones of shame and guilt. I’m lucky enough to live in a confident fat girl bubble, where we celebrate each others bodies at any size. Not using demeaning language created by the diet industry to sell you products or the fashion and beauty industry, which thrives off of buyer’s insecurities.
I am fat and paid. I am fat and sexy. I am fat and confident. We need to understand how determental our passive language is. This is why this line stood out to me and I felt the need to write this. It was just a moment in the film, but it speaks volumes. Just like the ladies in the nail shop didn’t think twice about openly critiquing their bodies, using fat as a synonym for being less than. I exist in this fat body everyday and I am very far from being less than.
On the second day of 12 days of #ootd, my true love gave to me……