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Faux-acceptance and representation of fat people in media

Today my sister came over. I came downstairs to find her talking with my mom about some Disney channel show they were allowing my niece to watch. The way they were talking about it, I was wondering why they were letting my niece sit in front of it.

They were talking about the fat character in this particular show (I have no idea what show it actually was. I don’t watch that channel). My sister commented on how all the fat, or even just not skinny girls, were always the dorky friend. Or they were awkward, or just absurdly dumb. Or all the jokes made at this person, or even just the jokes this person made about herself, were either food related, or fat related.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be an isolated case with whatever Disney Channel show this was.

Is it too much to ask that there be a fat character, or characters, that are just…normal people? Or at least treated like normal people? It seems like the way fat people are represented in movies and tv is less about accurate representations of people with larger stature, and more about constantly reminding the audience that “HEY!! Don’t forget! This character is FAT.”

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