As much as I love the hit 2002 film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I wish nobody had ever decided on that stupid title, as it seems to be a source of inspiration for people who think making fun of overweight people is a big, fat moneymaker.
Oxygen is debuting a show called My Big Fat Revenge, chronicling the journey of women (because of course) who were treated horribly because assholes don’t believe overweight people are human beings. So now, they’re “getting revenge” by…losing weight, and conforming into the body types that the people who bullied them found more desirable. Here’s its self-description:
After being discounted, humiliated, and rejected because of their weight, these women are ready to take control of their lives, put their painful pasts behind them, and finally stand up to the people who inflicted the hurt. From the girl whose boyfriend proposed with a ring two sizes too small to the girl who was tormented about her size by her childhood dance instructor, these women will get the ultimate chance to get healthy, change their lives for the better, and teach their former offenders the lesson of a lifetime. With an eye for an eye approach, these ex-boyfriends, former classmates and even family members will get a taste of their own medicine as they’re set up on blind dates, auditions, and nightmare jobs to experience what they put their offenders through. For these transformed women, this is their golden opportunity to settle their scores and hopefully get the apologies they deserve.
So, here are the two lessons this show teaches:
- If you are mean enough to somebody about her body, she will change it.
- Being an asshole is okay as long as somebody was an asshole to you.
Losing weight should (obviously) be a life choice, not some tactic to inexplicably make other people feel dumb, the logic of which is absurd as it is. Your friends, family, partners and anybody else you know should treat you well because you’re a person, not because or in spite of your size. Who cares if their “jaws drop”? I love my best friends but, honestly, if they’re my platonic buddies, what does it matter to me if they think I look hot? And as for partners: if they don’t want to have sex with me because of my size, then they don’t have to. As a matter of fact, they don’t have to be in my life at all.
Fun fact: You treat people how you choose to treat them, there’s not some mandate on how big or small somebody has to be to show respect for them. No matter what their body type may be. And before you ask, yes, even this:
All right, enough of that stupidity, here’s the real way to get back at people who were jerks to you: Don’t. It’s pointless to focus on the past. If another person is awful, he or she will continue being awful forever until they make a conscious decision not to be any longer. You will not change that just because you make that person feel bad; if anything, you will perpetuate that unpleasant demeanor and cruel behavior.
But, if you simply must do something in response, you can:
- Ignore them. Why? Because the only thing that kind of person needs more than a reality check is attention. Yes, this is the advice you got in the fourth grade after Patrick O. wouldn’t stop calling you the “B word,” but it was true then and it’s true now.
- Make better friends. I always find it shocking how many readers and acquaintances write me emails about how cruel their friends can be about their weight. If that is true for you, then stop being friends with the person; it will not only serve as a productive step towards happiness for you, but also hopefully serve as a wakeup call to your “friend.”
- Find a new partner. If yours torments you regarding your size or shape, then yeah, it’s time to peace out. Find somebody who never calls you “chubs” (thanks, tenth grade BF!) and move on.
- Take your business elsewhere. If this happens in a place you’re paying to be, like a dance studio, then go somewhere else that won’t do so much psychological damage and, upon leaving, explain exactly why. They might change, they might not; either way, at least you’re not fueling their idiocy with your own dollars.
- Tell them how you feel. Sometimes, people forget that overweight, underweight and any-other-weight people are, well, people. Seriously. It’s absurd, but they do. Just remind that person that you have feelings. Whether it’s because he called you “skin and bones” or because she called you some fatphobic name, just explain why that behavior is pointless and hurtful. If they are an adult, they’ll get it; if not, then move on.
Yes, my means of revenge may not be that fun or film-worthy, but at least they won’t (A) get you arrested or (B) make you as terrible as that person is. And in the long run, isn’t being a more awesome human being who doesn’t make people feel like shit on reality television the better option?