Aug 23 2005

Fat Chance


Fat Chance contestant Joanne pauses on the catwalk to allow total strangers to appraise her value as a piece of warm fuckable brisket

If you are ever in a swimming pool and feel compelled to toss your
toddler niece repeatedly up in the air in order to effect the highly
gratifying splashdown, and your shoulder breaks free of its moorings,
and you end up in physical therapy for 5 months, and your orthopedic
surgeon says “Hey, how’s about a Medrol DosePak?” take it from me. The
correct response is, “I’d rather you plunge that giant needle deep into
my rotator cuff like you did last time.”

For I am three days
into my six-day course of the aforementioned oral steroids, and I am
not myself. I am, in fact, Dave Attel combined with something that
slimed out of the Hellmouth in Sunnydale to feast on blind orphans. I
am stoned, I do not sleep, and I am pretty grouchy, even for me.

Which is how I came to watch half an hour of cognitive dissonance called “Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance”
last night on the Oxygen channel. “Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance” is The
World’s First Plus-Size Reality Beauty Pageant, or something like that.

a flamboyant, full-figured C-list celebrity, seems like a nice girl.
She’s sick and tired of skinny chicks getting all the perks. Her young
life’s dream has been to host a beauty contest for fat girls. She
emotes warmly on the subject. “We are the majority! We’re gonna change
the WORLD!”

Cut to a commercial for, I kid you not, Weight Watchers.

the run-up to the pageant Mo’Nique auditions her contestants American
Idol-style. Once they get to Hollywood, they all bond, laugh, giggle
about their love for steak, hug, cry, and get makeovers. A lot.
Mo’Nique loves them all and they all love her and they all love each
other. “Fat girls are great!” is the refrain. Well, that’s swell. But
they can’t just leave it at that, because who cares about a bunch of
fat girls who aren’t desperately trying to capitulate to the
patriarchal mandate?

Nope, a beauty pageant is a beauty pageant. The thing just won’t die.

point of the show is the “drama” that unfolds as these completely
overwhelmed women are by turns infantilized by Mo’Nique and her team of
makeover artists, manipulated into bonding with each other, and finally
made to rend these bonds asunder as they compete for the privilege of
being crowned Miss FAT (“FAT” stands, somewhat unpoetically, for
“fabulous and thick.”).

Mo’Nique, alas, has not changed the
world. She’s just arranged for a few more women to be objectified as
sexbots on national television. I threw a book at the TV as she
announced the “lingerie competition.”

[Cross-posted at Bitch.Ph.D.]


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  1. res publica

    My sympathies on the Medrol DosePak. I’m not a nice person either, and my Medrol adventure was a very rough ride. The prescribing information needs to be amended to read “contraindicated for patients suffering from chronic grouchiness”. I hope your shoulder gets enough relief to make it worth it.

    I have wasted an entire workday reading short stories by H.P. Lovecraft (an unimaginable, blasphemous horror from out of the unfathomable depths of time and space!) and polishing my resume (speaking of unfathomable blasphemous horrors). I would have also done some patriarchy-blaming, but I haven’t left my office or even glanced out the door at the patriarchy-infested world. However, now that I’ve read your post about the fat-n-sassy beauty pagent, I have something to work with.

  2. ae

    Twisty, I’m meeting w/ the orthopedist this afternoon! I haven’t scheduled surgery yet. Any advice? I’m in the torn rotator cuff/bone spur/thickened cartilage realm of troubles. Heck. None of the PT I did for my shoulder has helped any, and, according to the PT, it won’t really, except to strengthen everything around the shoulder in preparation for surgery. No cute nieces splashing for me, cumulative athletic wear and tear instead. It sucks. But what is this Medrol DosePak of which you all speak? Eeek.

  3. Twisty

    I have adhesive encapsulitis. I don’t know what that means except that I can’t, for example, look at my watch without crying out in agony. Medrol is prednisolone, a supadupa steroid that reduces inflammation, and the dosepak is pretty much a dangerous overdose of same ingested over the course of a week. No margaritas! Hence my current living-dead worldview. Shoulder feels better, though the effects, I expect, will be fleeting. The goal is to loosen it up enough for the PT to work so I don’t have to get carved on.

  4. John M. Burt

    I recommend massage. No, not for the torn shoulder, for the other one, and for your hands, legs, lower back, neck, &c. — all the parts that are thrown off by the injury. Massage will relieve all of the pain that’s caused by the injury, which will help you deal with the pain *of* the injury.

  5. ae

    Ouch. Will they let you have margaritas if you get carved on? Seems like a trade worth making! I, (un)fortunately, can have all the margaritas I want, because neither steroids, drogas, rest, nor PT can do much for the mess that is my shoulder. Not comfortingly, my orthopaedist (who is, I’m sure, younger than I am) tells me that the avg. age of his patients is 50+ and that he v. rarely recommends surgery for his young patients. Hmm. Great. I’m just lucky, I guess.

    Mo’Nique is damn cute, but this “rate my fat-n-sassy ass” pandering to the male gaze shite has got to go, girlfriend. What I just cannot make myself understand is WHY WHY WHY “we” give so much f*cking credence to male opinion/attention. (I mean, I get it, but WHY??) How many times does it need to be proven shallow, unimaginative, stunted, unworthy of our attention before “we” get it? Some days I’m just so f*cking not in the mood. It is a revolutionary act not to seek this attention, and it’s fascinating how many men actually have no idea what to do w/ a woman who does not pander to some f*cked up idea of female sexual submission.

  6. ae

    John, thanks. I’ll always take the advice that I need more massages. =)

  7. Sherika

    I have some aromatherapy for all of you especially the one who wrote this. I admire Mo’Nique alot and if you don’t appreciate the movement that she is involved in then maybe you don’t have anyone in your family with a little extra baggage. And if you don’t, I feel sorry for you. But take it from a young, black, thick and sexy woman. If we had more people like her, depression wouldn’t be an option. It would be terminated. So tell you what, Find something else to critize. Happy Thanksgiving.

  8. Twisty

    I got no problem with Mo’Nique, my dear old thick sexy aromatherapist, I got a problem with patriarchy. Read my sidebar.

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