You know how all reality television shows featuring overweight people are solely about their struggles to de-fat themselves? “The Biggest Loser,” “I Used To Be Fat,” “Lose Some Fucking Weight Or You’re Going To Die, Fatty” etc.? Even “Dancing With the Motherfucking Stars” has somehow found a way to be about Kirstie Alley’s flabby belly. Well, there’s at least one show that doesn’t follow that “exxxtreme weightloss leads to instant life improvement” narrative, and unsurprisingly, it’s on TLC.
“Say Yes To The Dress: Big Bliss” follows bigger ladies as they shop for their perfect wedding dresses, and it’s refreshing in that it’s not about losing weight to fit into the dress, but finding a dress that fits them. (After all, aren’t clothes supposed to be made for people and not the other way around?) The consultants try to help the brides feel better about themselves when their confidence falters (one woman says she hasn’t worn a dress in twenty years and is afraid to even try any on), but I also like it that they include many brides who are already pretty confident. They even show a queer couple doing normal wedding stuff without making their lesbianism an “issue,” which is nice.
One might argue that they shouldn’t make being fat an “issue” either, and include a representative number of plus size women on regular “Say Yes To The Dress,” much like they included the lesbian couple on “Big Bliss.” But in a TV landscape that’s so utterly out of whack where weight is concerned, it’s certainly a good first step to show them in a non-stereotypical light at all. To simply show plus sized people doing regular person things like falling in love and getting married is a huge departure from what we’re used to. Maybe someday that won’t seem so revolutionary.