Warped Body Images For Women in ‘Love Actually’

Love Actually was on the television tonight and I was saddened by the horrendous body messages projected by this film. What’s with all of the “fat-shaming” of women in Love Actually? There are at least 10 different mean fat jokes about women in this movie and 9 out of those 10 are made about this girl who is quite thin (who is consistently called “Chubby” throughout the movie in addition to other rude names):

love-actually-2003-12-g

The Devil Wears Prada is even worse in this regard than Love Actually with the constant jabs at Anne Hathaway’s weight  Seriously!) and its ridiculous correlation that suggests that weightloss equals happiness.  At least that one attempts to come off somewhat ironically, at least in the beginning, but by the end I’m pretty sure the audience is meant to buy into some of this superficial nonsense.

prada

This reminds me of INXS’ wonderfully poignant video “Beautiful Girl”. As a fairly thin woman myself, I cringe to think of how body conscious I was as a teen when I barely weighed 100 pounds. I wasn’t terribly skinny by any means, but I certainly was never overweight. Of course, I rarely ate because, somewhere in the back of my mind, I was fearful of getting fat. This wasn’t something I did consciously; in a way it was scarier because I wasn’t even aware that I was half-starving myself. The way our Western Society bombards young woman (and men, too) with this constant barrage of images of how we should look is madness.

I was a young teenager when this video was released and I remember watching it and just thinking, “I’m not alone. Someone else gets it.”

More than all of this, however, is the fact that how little or how much you weigh has NOTHING, whatsoever, to do with how wonderful you are, or how beautiful/handsome you are, or anything else that actually matters. Weight is just an arbitrary physical detail, in the same way that eye and hair colour are details. I hope, one day, that the media will stop obsessing over what people look like and, instead, start focusing on kindness and positivity…you know, the things that matter, actually.

Image Sources:
“Beautiful Girl”. INXS.
The Devil Wears Prada. 20th Century Fox.
Love Actually. Working Title Films.

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