If we want to be treated better, we should stop being fat, right?Once during college, I visited the local urgent care facility because I was feeling deeply depressed.By extension, attempts to work through the politics of desire—already a topic met with hostility and derision—are especially difficult for fat people.We have been trained in Western culture to think of the political and the intimate as polar opposites.Most people still believe they don’t need to question their own reactions to fatness and fat people or how those reactions affect us.Many people still regard fatness as the exclusive problem of fat people.Even when I try to explain my own experiences to friends, family, potential lovers, or political allies, they just don’t seem to get exactly what I’m trying to say.Being fat carries with it a lot of cultural baggage.
Weiss misses the point that Vanessa is crucially initiating a conversation with a man she desires—a point glossed over too quickly by Nussbaum in her rush to point out that isn’t the first show to broach the topic of fat women’s sexuality or romantic lives.
Self-appointed spokesperson for hetero, male “chubby chasers” (his preferred term) and author of the blog Ask a Guy Who Likes Fat Chicks, Dan Weiss also weighed in on the monologue, taking to task for ignoring men who prefer fat women.
He lamented in an article for The Concourse, “Vanessa would have far less trouble getting someone to hold her hand in real life, and while this was every bit the excellent, conversation-starting was perceptive enough to join the conversation.
Fat people are told over and over that there simply isn’t enough space for fat bodies.
Of course, for me, there is no understanding of my own privilege, power, or identity as a middle-class, queer-ish, white woman that isn’t also about being a middle-class, queer-ish, white woman.