Sexy Fat vs. Ugly Fat.

Eating properly on the weekends has proven to be the most difficult time for me during the tenure of this diet. I am not sure if it’s that work takes my mind off random cravings but when I’m at home in front of the TV I regress back into that nibbling mode. On the weekends, I’ve taken to making popcorn when I’m craving salt and sucking down a teaspoon of peanut butter when I’m craving something sweet. This weekend, my cravings were even worse.

On Saturday, Toby Joe and I decided to exhaust our very last Showtime/HBO original series on OnDemand. We watched all 6 existing episodes of Fat Actress. The show is absolutely, 100%, totally and completely hilarious and wonderful. I haven’t laughed that hard at something on TV in years. I also haven’t wanted to consume so many afternoon sweets, like Ho-Ho’s 6 year old cakes, french-fries, and popsicles.

Kirstie Alley is brilliant. She takes self-deprecation to an entirely new level. Not many other women in Hollywood would write themselves into a part where they wake up beneath silky sheets, depressed and covered in several half-chewed Ding-Dongs. She has a kind heart and wishes to donate money to “Those dirty people without homes who walk around in bathrobes and drink a lot”. And her strange star obsessions are even more bizarre. From Kid Rock to Gwen from No Doubt, she obsesses over walking with one and having sex with the other. She even lands herself in jail with an ex boyfriend whose reason for dating her was because he thought she was a man.

While Kirstie is hilarious, my favorite cast member is Kevyn. Kevyn has her job because Kirstie never checked her references. Had she checked her references, she’d have found that Kevyn was once arrested for stealing a jar of mayonnaise from Patty Duke. A jar which did not end up containing the mayonnaise she wanted for her ham sandwich but instead all Patty Duke’s jewelry.

But I digress. The only reason I wanted to lose weight was because it was clinging to me in ways that were unappealing. And while this is fine in small amounts, it was getting a bit silly that I needed a size 12 waist yet my legs would swim through the amount of fabric that fell below. Let’s just say I was starting to identify with this wonderful SNL skit a little too much. My shirts fit around my arms and neck, but would ride up once introduced to my gut. Putting on clothes for me became like applying a fitted bed-sheet; if it fit on one part, it pulled off the other and vice versa.

On the flip side, and I mentioned as much to Toby, I find Kirstie’s weight gain to be rather sexy. While I understand she’s not necessarily happy about it, I think she looks pretty damn good.

Are there people who we might consider to have sexy fat? I am often reminded of an advertisement someone sent in to Leno years ago. It was a newspaper advertisement for a tanning salon. It read:

Remember, tan fat is better than pale fat.

It’s appalling that someone actually printed that. But is there an ounce of truth in its weirdness? Do we find some fat attractive and other fat not so attractive? And, if so, then why? Or is it just that we can’t stand to see it on ourselves.

Coincidentally, Look Who’s Talking Too was on yesterday afternoon at the same time the last episode of Fat Actress ended. I couldn’t help but compare the two Kirsties. And I might be a minority in saying as much, but I find the new Kirstie Alley to be pretty damn sexy. Dare I say, even sexier?

14 Comments

  1. To me their are two of fat. Healthy-looking fat and unhealthy looking fat. These are completely subjective distinctions on my part.

    Unhealthy looking fat we are all familiar with—anyone you’ve seen confined to wheel chair due to weight problems falls into this category though there are less extreme examples. Bascially, anyone who’s body weight adversely affects their ability walk normally or simply makes it look like they’re carrying around hidden pillows in awkward places.

    Healthy fat on the other hand basically looks proportional. They can be as heavy as unhealthy fat people—but if they have the frame to carry this weight and if they seem healthy or the better for having it—it doesn’t seem like a problem. The fat blends into their bodies and is easily carried. Look at Queen Latifah—she strikes me as a larger woman, but I would hesitate to call her fat at all because she carries her weight so well. Camryn Manheim also falls in this category.

    As for Kirstie, I have to disagree with you. Based on what I saw of Fat Actress (admittedly not much) it looks like she’s smuggling bags of jello around her legs. This looks to me, not as the result of natural weight gain or a healthy woman hitting a point in her life where she puts on weight, but a diet of junk food. To me, she looks like the skinny person she once was, dressed in a fat suit.

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  2. I wonder if I am just drawn to her as the character on the show. She really is funny. I guess I never would have thought she would have created a show like this.

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  3. I think there are 4 categories of weight:
    (loosely based on the BMI classifications)
    – skinny ( 5’6” , 105-125 )
    – normal ( 5’6” , 125-145 )
    – fat ( 5’6” , 145-175 )
    – obese ( 5’6” , 175+ )
    BMI tables often include ‘extreme obsesity’, but I don’t think extreme really matters.

    My point is that I think many women are ‘normal’, but consider themselves to be fat because they want to be skinny and consider skinny normal. And on the flipside, no one wants to be obsese, so they call obese fat, fat normal, and normal skinny and essentially reverse that whole ideologoy.

    What I’m trying to say is that Kirstie Alley isn’t fat. She’s obese. If she can lose 40lbs, she’ll be fat. If she can lose 60, she’ll be normal.

    The image of depression and half-eaten ding-dongs got me thinking though—when someone is in that situation where depression plays a factor in their weight gain, exactly how do they get out? Depression over their weight is obviously fueling a constant gain, if not maintaining the increased weight. But there was some sort of depression early on that likely spawned the initial weight gain. That has got to be difficult to get out of.

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  4. A couple of years ago, when my rugby team was in Savannah for a tournament, a teammate of mine hooked up with a larger woman. I don’t know how sexy she was, but she did manage to BREAK the TOILET in the hotel room. Since we were playing in another tournament this weekend in Cleveland, we had several opportunities to tease him about it. I never actually saw this woman, but I gotta figure that if you start breaking commercial plumbing, you’re outside of the sexy fat zone.

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  5. Why were they having sex on the toilet?

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  6. they weren’t. she just used it and then came out of the bathroom in tears because she broke the thing. apparently this all transpired BEFORE they started fooling around, too. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t bring myself to stay with a bowl-breaker.

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  7. I know. I was only kidding about sex on a toilet. Not that sex on a toilet isn’t totally reasonable.

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  8. i think shes pretty, big or small. except i hate those foofy dresses she wears.

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  9. you mean those moo-moos ?

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  10. I agree w/ Mojo – healthier fat vs unhealthy fat. To me, being fat (or not being fat) is about health – it’s just not the best health-wise. Sure, there are worse things, but it’s not healthy, typically. as for LOOKING fat? I was at a restaurant this past weekend where a lady of large size was wearing super short shorts – she shouldn’t have been wearing them. She was sitting down when I saw her and it looked like she had nothing on below the waist. I wouldn’t even wear them, I’d I’m only guessing, but I’m about 60 lbs lighter than this woman. These shorts were ALL WRONG. When she stood and walked behind a short partition, she was lovely ~ still looked, um, fat, but a pretty woman, nonetheless. She just needed to cover up her lower extremities a lil’ better.

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  11. oh, and how you dress can make a huge difference! no tents please, yet no clingy material either and wear something that fits right… same thing for ‘skinny’ people. Wear stuff that FITS!!! Certain cuts can be disasterous, while others can actually flattering for a larger size…same goes for ‘skinny’ or better yet, ‘healthy’ people. Gotta where stuff that fits right.

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  12. I totally agree with Mojo! It’s how you carry yourself. If you are comfortabe in your skin you look more attractive. I am FAT. I’m 5’5 and wear a size 18 but I have been lucky enough to gain proportionally. I don’t think there is any healthy FAT. Once you pass overweight into Fat you are no longer healthy. I think the ability to still look your specific gender determines how fat you can be and still be sexy. If you become so heavy that you look amorphic and sexless you loose your sexiness.

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  13. im 5’9 and wear size 10 – 12, i think that its how you see yourself that is how others will see you. If you think your sexy, you become sexy, on the other hand if you think your ugly and obese (fat , watever) you project that sense so thats how people will view you. this applies even if your straw thin lol.

    end rant

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  14. I’ve wondered about this plenty of times myself. How much is too much before it becomes unattractive? Like I am 5’6” and weigh 170, which sounds like a lot and it is, but I’ve told people and they don’t believe me. I think my muscle tone and my bone structure account for a lot of it. So I don’t know. Somedays I feel really cute and attractive, not hot, but attractive, and other days I feel like I will never get married because . . . well. But I workout; I’m in decent shape. Just thought I’d ask about anyone’s thoughts on this. How much of your being attracted to someone hinges on their body type?

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