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“More to Love”: That means FAT GIRLS, too!

If someone was unfamiliar with the demographics of the United States and watched an evening of television, they would be likely to believe that no overweight people actually exist within the nation’s borders. With the exception of Camryn Manheim on “Ghost Whisperer,” one would be hard-pressed to find a character portrayed by a full-figured woman. And even in her highly visible role, Manheim is simply the long-suffering friend and is certainly not constructed as a leading woman, or one that is sexy and adventurous; such roles are left for skinny actresses.

This week, FOX debuted “More to Love” – its answer to the erasure of full-figured women in prime-time television. The show has been advertised as a reconstruction of “The Bachelor.” the supposed twist being that this time, women that are considered fat are allowed to pursue a man. The role of “The Bachelor” on “More to Love” has been assumed by a former college football offensive lineman, Luke Conley, who stands 6’3″ and weighs over 300 pounds. He is twenty-six years old and works as a successful sub-contractor. He is also a prominent real estate investor in California, his home state.

Luke professes that the reason he came on the show was to find love, and that he has not allowed hang-ups about his body to keep him from being successful. While large men face their own types of discrimination, the nature of male privilege ensures that their plight can’t be compared to the body-policing that women endure daily. Even women who are considered beautiful often appear in fashion magazines Photoshopped to appear even slimmer, whereas fat women are commanded to utterly hide themselves from view.

On “More to Love,” each buxom beauty was given a brief spot where she was able to articulate her dating traumas to Luke. In a sea of tears, many revealed that their skinnier girlfriends always seemed to land a boyfriend or go home with the guy, while some claimed they had never even been on a date. Their failures, of course, were blamed on the rampant fat hatred that is socially condoned. The contestants reeked of desperation for anyone possessing a penis to legitimize their existence.

Luke made sure to let the viewers know that he was in his element because he did not want a woman that was “perpetually dieting.” He is so comfortable with full-figured women that he announced a love for blondes, brunettes and redheads, which largely excludes women of color – few were chosen to participate and all appeared to be very light-skinned. And yep, Luke is clearly looking for an equal, despite the fact that he cannot acknowledge the adulthood of these women and settles for continually referring to them as “girls.”

After the introductions, each woman was given a diamond promise ring. Say it with me, everyone: how sweet. The ring supposedly symbolizes his promise to keep an open heart and accept the “girls” for who they are. Knowing very little about Luke does not stop these women from gushing about how kind he is, or what an amazing man he is, solely for daring to admit he is attracted to fat women. These women are just so thrilled to get a ring slapped on their fingers, they ignore that Luke is just as capable of being a sexist idiot as any other man.

As the evening progresses, Luke does the rounds, making small talk with as many women as possible, and yes, the Cock in a Hen House analogy is appropriate. Luke makes sure to secure a kiss from most of the women during the meet-and-greets. I don’t think that Captain Kirk could have done any better in a group of green-skinned women than this lounge lizard on the make. One woman, not satisfied that she has made enough of an impression on Luke the Charmer, jumps into the pool — evening gown and all. The other contestants take the time to call her a “wet otter,” a brief indication of the cattiness to come as they each compete for the “man of their dreams.”

All of this joy could not be allowed to continue unabated, and at the end of the night, Luke is forced to send five of his fabulous beauties packing. The ladies all turn in their rings and wait patiently as he hands them out to the individuals he has chosen to advance to the next round. As each woman holds her breath, each that is saved from elimination is earnestly asked whether they will do Luke the honour of wearing his ring. In terms of the gag-o-meter, this scene is a certain ten.

FOX has gone out of its way to make this show appear as though it is progressive, yet it clearly seeks to capitalize on the women’s desperation. It is as though the camera has been cued to shoot the exact minute tears start rolling. Is it at all possible that these women have bigger issues than their weight which have led to their continued status of being single? Could low self-esteem be more unattractive than the bodies they claim to hate?

Why did FOX choose a large man to date full-figured women? Is it impossible to picture an average size man who pursues plus-sized women? There is no better way to show that these women just don’t fit in than by pushing the myth that only a large man could find fat women attractive. Despite presenting itself as a progressive network willing to show women of various sizes as beautiful, FOX pushes the social meme that a larger woman will settle for anything with a dick and a pulse. Heaven forbid the media accept that there are larger women who are not willing to settle because they actually know that they are people of value.

16 thoughts on ““More to Love”: That means FAT GIRLS, too!

  1. What esp. pisses me off is the fact that it just reiterates the desperate women – centralized man situation. Why do we need to reiterate that hideous trope?

  2. instead of making another of its shows and just casting fat women (basically this could be done with any FOX show–just replace skinny characters with fat ones, and not make their characters about being fat) they make a reality show of fat desperate women…because if us larger ladies aren’t constantly ashamed of our fatitude, then we’re just hiding it. not to mention that there are numerous fat women who are happily married or are in long-term relationships…

  3. “…the nature of male privilege ensures that their plight can’t be compared…”

    Systemic privilege itself is the problem, and identifying and promoting a hierarchy of privilege is a divide and conquer tactic that only serves to support the status quo.

  4. To the best of my knowledge none of these bachelor style shows has ever results in a long term relationship, the reason is obvious, why would a man or woman allowed to make out with 20 different attractive people choose to settle down with only one of them? Desperation is not the foundation of a healthy relationship.

  5. I have a penis but being that I am a trans woman, I’m not so sure these women would be desperate for me to legitimize their experiences. Be careful about those cissexist assumptions about bodies!

  6. Guess how they cast the show?

    The Lane Bryant mailing lists! I got an e-mail one day saying that Fox was casting for a new dating show featuring plus-size women. I wonder if I still have it buried in my inbox…

  7. wtf? this show makes these women look pathetic. My self and one of my close friends are “plus sized” women. However we BOTH went to prom and BOTH have had ample boyfriends. I myself prefer big muscular Dominic Purcell types (regardless of age), and that is usually all i date. I enjoy big sexy men. I also am the one to dump them. This show is EMBARASSING. It makes us all seem desperate. I have only slept with 2 men. And i WAITED untill i was 20. Its not fair to make us all seem desperate. I have been single for 2 years and yet Im not about to give up myself for any man who might look at me twice. I havent seen anything in this guy to make him seem like a great guy. I honestly find him super unattractive. How out of 20 women did NONE of them find him unattractive or not a personality they’d idealy pick? How are ALL Of them attracted to him? Desperation! These women need more professional help in being accepted then just a man to tell them they are “precious” WTF?

  8. *regardless of race… maybe i am an “AGEist”, but id prefer a man closer to my age then my mothers

  9. Two things really annoy me – 1) the tendency of everyone involved in this show to refer to the contestants as “girls”. They’re not 14-year-olds! Call them WOMEN, jeesh!

    And I take issue with the author of this article’s commenting on Luke’s preference for “blondes, brunettes and redheads” pretty much excluding “women of color”. So what? It’s called a preference, maybe Luke isn’t attracted to black women – that means he’s a racist, or that black women aren’t inherently beautiful simply because a white man prefers to date/marry his own skin color? Really, this whole diversity thing is out of control.

  10. Personally I love this show. Yes I am a plus sized women and yes I have dated all sizes of men but there are in fact a lot of men out there plus size or not that won’t date someone because of there weight (there are females that do the same thing when it comes to men). Just about every show out there is catered to the smaller framed women and that’s not fare. The average female is a size 14 not a size 2. And who cares if these women share there feelings about being over weight and single, I say if they want to talk let them. Also I don’t believe that not having any women of color on here is racist. It simple states what type he is attracted to. Not that he hates someone because of the color of there skin.

  11. I agree on several points. Yes, the show DOES exploit the women’s despiration. However, these women are also displaying themselves as pathetic. I mean even if I felt now, at one time or all the time like some of these girls feel I sure wouldn’t tell the entire world. Not only because it would make me look pathetic but give every other plus size women an appearance of being pathetic. So I blame both them and the network for being idiots.
    Next with the word “girl” issue, most women call each other girls. I mean I call all the women I hang out with girls. “Hey, me and the girls are going here or there.” “Look what the girls and I found at the mall the other day half price!” I mean using the word girl in place of women or ladies is extremely trivial especially in controversy with this show, so irrelevent!
    As for the show’s plus side, no pun intended, I feel like they really made these women look beautiful. I think they dressed most of them appropriately (some ladies can only be helped so much with make up and clothing and I also assume some of them picked out the outfits), they made them look very attractive and showed just how beautiful plus size women can be. I think they also showed how tender hearted, loving, smart and accomplished plus sized women can be. I also think they showed how real the women do hurt and how much society and Hollywood standards are set so high it’s hard to attain and essentially hard to accept yourself and be accepted.

    Something I DO hope they innevitably show is how much better about themselves, how much healthier and how much confidence it could enhance if they were to get fit. Not neccessarily lose weight….I don’t think the weight is what it’s all about, I think it’s about being at your optimal state of mind. Being able to go hiking without being out of breath and feeling like you need an ambulance for example would enhance one’s state of mind. Again, however, if you are a size 16, healthy, active, happy, content and have a positive state of mind…..then go for it!!! There is absolutely no reason why anyone needs to be a certain size to change who they are inside.
    On one subject Im torn. I don’t know where to stand when a man wants a woman that is a size 6 over a woman that is a size 16. Part of me says that I am attracted to what Im attracted to and I don’t want to be told to fall in love with someone because it’s better for their cause. The other part of me says that it just infuriates me that a man would ignore all the other women in the room because there was a size 2-6 that was much more attractive. It’s almost like a magnet that men have…..granted Im aware of the magnet I speak of…..that draws them to those more attractive women and what’s hysterical is time after time after time after time….they continue to date these attractive women just to be dumped on every time. Ironic…I know. If a man would give adequite time and effort into all the women they meet they might find that their ideal personality was found in a plus size girl. It’s really a tough call. Which brings me to my next thought with the woman who was disappointed with the author of the article in referrence to the race thing,
    “And I take issue with the author of this article’s commenting on Luke’s preference for “blondes, brunettes and redheads” pretty much excluding “women of color”. So what? It’s called a preference, maybe Luke isn’t attracted to black women – that means he’s a racist, or that black women aren’t inherently beautiful simply because a white man prefers to date/marry his own skin color?” I so agree, men and women of every race choose who they want to be with, some because they choose to be predjudice and some just because that’s what they find attractive. Let’s not make this race thing such an issue because it’s usually not but inherantly seems to get made that way.
    My BIGGEST problem with the show is how all these women feel that this man is somehow going to change everything that has ever made them who they are and how they felt their entire life. Like this man’s approval makes up for all the issues they’ve had. They are looking for acceptance and approval in the wrong places!! Like my mama always told me “Don’t rely on a man to make you happy, because you surely will be disappointed!”
    And I agree with the majority of you with the whole rooster in a hen house analogy, he’s happy as can be BUT hello, all the dating shows are like that, even when the woman is the one center stage.
    And before anyone asks, I am a plus size woman that’s been that way all her life, happily married to a handsome, average man. I got to this point though by being confident and who I am, not because my husband made me who I am.

  12. Those are not average size ” girls ” . I don’t know womens sizes, but I would say average is like a 10 or 12. These ladies are tall and can handle a little more weight than a 5’6″ woman. Actually an average woman I would guess is 5’6″ and 150. I’m sure I’m wrong.

  13. Nothing that feminists and fat women do or say will change the fact that the type of woman that most men find attactive is not fat. This is in any culture in the world.

    If 50% of women in America are fat, that does not mean that men have to lower their standards for that.

    Why not lose weight instead?

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