For Millennials. By Millennials.
Netflix has a new teen drama, and while it features a woman named Patty (Debby Ryan) in the leading role, it has a big problem. It seems to stereotype overweight women and pushes this narrative that women are only attractive when they lose weight.
Related: Alyssa Milano Hints at Insatiable Season 3
What’s the story of the new show ‘Insatiable?’
Insatiable, which is now streaming on Netflix, is just another series in the latest trend of television shows that portray plus-size women. It’s worse than all others in its category. The plot of Insatiable revolves around Patty- played by Debby Ryan. They’ve given her everything that a fat girl in our society is deemed perfect for laziness, depression, and no love. The show delivers that Patty has a binge-eating disorder. All she does is hoard food and spend Fridays eating it while watching movies. In the first episode, Patty says that while her classmates lose their virginity, she stays home stuffing food.
Insatiable develops the plot as Patty punches a homeless man when he tries to steal her chocolate. But the man takes revenge, punching her even harder in the face. It injured her so severely that her jaw was kept forced shut for three months.
Then, Patty is on a liquid diet, leading to her losing 70 pounds. Obviously, at this point in the show, viewers can expect how Insatiable will show Patty as a super attractive female now that her body has gotten rid of the fat. Now Patty attains the beauty-pageant glory. She then takes revenge on her bullies, who used to call her fat.
The Problem with ‘Insatiable’
Anybody who hears the plot of this new Netflix series can tell it’s nothing but an overused trope of Television. Since the trailer arrived, people are signing petitions for Netflix to take it off even before it premieres. Critics argue that Insatiable is a satire that has no perspective at all. People have argued that the plot’s focus will set a bad example for teenage girls.
Especially since they continually face assault for not having the ‘perfect’ bodies. Another widespread criticism the show has attracted is that it depicts fatness as a synonym for disordered eating. Not only does that hurt the sentiments of many people struggling with weight issues, but it is also offensive to people who suffer from eating disorders.
For another time, television has produced content that disregards women’s feelings, especially on an issue that greatly concerns them, following the trends in our society for decades now. Women are continuously objectified for their weight.
A body image that does not comply with the zero figure is unacceptable. They are never perfect- either too fat, too thin, or simply showing off their assets. So, when we are already fighting off body-shaming and trying to accept ourselves for who we are, did Netflix have to stream a show that is shallow enough to actually use lines like ‘Skinny is magic’?
Insatiable is another series implying that women will always remain inseparable from their body weight. And that any ‘good’ fat girl will attempt to lose weight because unless she does not, she’ll be a disgusting lump that nobody cares about. With this new series, Netflix is giving us the message that fat women will always remain villains.
Body shaming is harmful.
In a world where women are struggling every day to remove the labels and throw off gender stereotypes, this kind of body shaming and negativity is something we do not need. Let females accept themselves for who they naturally are. Perfect body images are unreal and do not exist. Just because a girl is fat does not mean she will never find success or love. Women have a lot more than their bodies to offer.
Lastly, people who suffer from eating disorders- be it anorexia or binge eating go through a lot more than the rest of us can imagine. They have real-life issues that go way beyond simply taking revenge on those who bully them.
We’ll probably never know what went wrong with Netflix that it decided to get something like Insatiable to stream on it.