On December 21st, Rebel Wilson announced via Twitter that she would be hosting the forthcoming 2013 MTV Video Awards. I received this news with sheer excitement.
Amid the usual toxic and exploitative trash passed off as TV programming, MTV gets a rare thumbs-up on its choice for this year’s host. The last female we saw assume this role was Sarah Silverman in 2007.[media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2XKL6USMn4&feature=player_embedded”]
I love Rebel and her deadpan delivery. She won me over in Bridesmaids and her rendition of “Shoop,” rapping with Ellen sealed the deal. I am excited about Rebel’s continued Hollywood success, not just because she is a funny woman (and I love me some funny women!), but because her body type eschews everything we see reflected back at us in mainstream popular culture.
Don’t get me wrong, while I adored Pitch Perfect, I was troubled by the unoriginal size-snarking her character, disturbingly dubbed “Fat Amy”, regularly inflicted upon herself. I thought she was one of the funniest things about the film and my enjoyment was not because of, but in spite of, the fat-phobic jokes.
I am also totally over seeing actresses outside the realm of “Hollywood thin” in comedic roles that integrate quips about their size as major punch lines and/or plot points.
It contributes to collective fat-shaming and reinforces cultural ideals of a one-size-fits-all standard of beauty. It also cheapens the quality of these female’s comedic talent and reduces them to a physical pun.
We give our female stars more attention for their weight-loss wins rather than their natural talent (a la Jennifer Hudson). Women’s bodies and appearance still become more valuable than their merits.
Yes, we’ve seen more women of size assume major roles in TV and film in recent years, but are still eons away from where we should be in representing diverse body types on screen.
As a society, we are still more comfortable relegating them to corners that capitalize on their weight as a component of their persona or cultural character rather than an incidental aspect of who they are.
I want to see more women who don’t conform to some cookie-cutter ideal, exist in a comedic capacity with her size being a non-issue.
Let’s hope that Rebel’s imminent hosting gig at the MTV Movie Awards is absent from any weight-related witticisms and doesn’t have her size as the center of every major punch line.
Heather Klem spends her days working in the corporate business world, and can be found sharing her own experience, insights, and pop culture commentary at www.msmettle.com.