TV review: Fat for Cash shows how out of step media's thin obsession is with real male desire
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Wednesday 09 October 2013
Some viewers may have been disgusted by the scenes of wanton gluttony in Fat For Cash on Channel 5 last night, but while it was almost enough to put me off my KFC family bucket with extra fries, there's no doubting the truth of the central claim: Fat sells.
This only averagely lurid documentary (from the channel that brought us The Man Who Ate Himself to Death) followed three women who have translated their super size into both a steady income and a confidence boost.
Sammy (28 stone) claimed, amusingly, to be sexually attracted to sponge cake; Christina (28 stone) was hoping to earn enough money from pay-per-view web modelling to support her family; and Jennifer (30 stone) was actively gaining weight because she so enjoys that wholesome feeling of rotundity.
These women are all brave warriors in a battle that's been long since won, however. One look at the appreciative faces of punters exiting Thick Sundaes, Las Vegas's first and only super-size strip night, will tell you just how out of step the media's thin obsession is with real male desire.
So they're fat and fabulous, so what? Is beauty the only goal a woman of whatever size should aim at? For all their talk of body confidence, these women were still allowing the sexual attention of strangers to define their worth and endanger their health. That's not fabulous, that's just sad.
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