TLC : Hot and Heavy - OH BOY THIS IS GOING TO BE INTERESTING

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waldo

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So it was just pointed out to me that the TLC Network (known for the shows My 600 lb Life and My Big Fat Fabulous Life ) is about to go ALL IN and are airing a new 'reality' show starting in January that will follow the lives of three couples in which the women are all SSBBW and the guys are all relatively 'thin' and also quite attractive. So this is potentially the BIG ONE for finally laying the FA thing out on the line. The description of the show is that the couples are of 'mixed weight', meaning one of the people in the couple is fat and the other is thin. There has been already some backlash from the rabid intersectional feminist / PC crowd, complaining that all the couples involve a thin man and a fat woman (patriarchy!!). By all means, they need to profile female FA / fat man relationship(s) in the future, if the show catches on (hell even homosexual FA relationships could be thrown in there to REALLY spice things up!). Anyways, I was able to watch the first episode (early access to those with TLC on their cable TV package). I think this could be very interesting but whether it will advance our position as FAs is still to be determined (remains , as ever, a whole lot of hurdles as the 1st episode accurately portrays)! There is a saying that any publicity is good publicity; but for us FAs, I think this is clearly not the case. Hopefully , this show will portray us as more good than bad.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/12/entertainment/hot-heavy-tlc-backlash/index.html
 

loopytheone

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The objection people had was because "hot and heavy" implies that the thin person is hot and the fat person isn't. Like if it was called "Beauty and the Beast" or something. It's a really bad way to go about naming a show and strongly suggests that this is a 'haha, look at the freaks!' type show and not one with any interest in actually showing FAs or BBW in a reasonable/positive light.
 
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TheStaunton

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Saw a lot of backlash around the title and the use of "mixed weight" in the tweet/promotional material....

Phrase I've never heard!

Like all reality TV, wouldn't think they have the best interests of the FA etc community to heart..would be pleasantly surprised if
 

waldo

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The objection people had was because "hot and heavy" implies that the thin person is hot and the fat person isn't. Like if it was called "Beauty and the Beast" or something. It's a really bad way to go about naming a show and strongly suggests that this is a 'haha, look at the freaks!' type show and not one with any interest in actually showing FAs or BBW in a reasonable/positive light.
No, it seems (if you watch the video clip to which I linked) that the biggest complaint was that all the 'mixed weight' couples were thin men / fat women. The title certainly could be interpreted to have the implication that you described, and is therefore another issue that skeptics have brought up. But I think there are other much more interesting ways to think about this title. Firstly: the term 'hot and heavy' has traditionally had the meaning along the lines of "sexually intense, active, or exciting " - see Merriam-Webster.com. This is kind of the impression I got from the show title initially (while also having some idea of the show content). Of course, I agree to being biased toward the more positive implications as an FA, and I certainly would myself feel "hot and heavy" over these young ladies. Another similar positive implication would be: (she is) hot and heavy. Maybe had the title been Heavy AND Hot - this (potential) implication would have been more explicitly expressed. It would be very interesting to hear the show creators / producers explain how they came about this title.

As I posted originally, I was able to watch a sneak preview of episode 1. (Spoiler alert): So far, it certainly is bringing up many of the key issues we know that regularly become paramount in male FA / fat woman relationships, such as:
One guy is wanting to marry his SSBBW girlfriend but dealing with disapproval from his family (especially his mother) and friends. In another couple, the guy has kids from a prior relationship, but she does not and, at about 35 years old she is suffering T2D, and also fertility issues (she decides she needs to lose weight likely with bariatric surgery both for her health and for a better chance to become a mother, and he is faced with this reality). The third couple inadvertantly got pregnant right away after having met (originally connected long distance online). He adores her and is portrayed as wanting to tear the head off people who 'diss' her in public.

Where this all goes (assuming the show lasts more than a few episodes), will eventually tell the tale, but yeah it is best to remain at most 'cautiously optimistic' that it will be a net positive representation of 'our subculture'. Still, I think that even in the worst scenario, they are not just wanting to screen a pure freak show. For example they seem to have worked pretty diligently to find 3 couples to profile that can give an interesting, heartfelt and accurate portrayal. For evidence, I would say this: one of the couples being profiled is all the way from Newfoundland, Canada! You know they could have picked from any of thousands of Southern Cal. couples if they just wanted to conveniently drive a narrative. Seems they really may have been looking for the 'right people' to make this show work...I think about the singer Lizzo, who seems to have become a hot commodity recently - so in that context, this may be the opportune time to make a positive media presence for fat relationships. Fingers crossed......
 

DragonFly

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Through some social media outlets I have heard a lot of we just have to wait and see. Friends of some of the couples have just put out messages saying they support their friends. My money is it turning into a shit show!
 

TheStaunton

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Through some social media outlets I have heard a lot of we just have to wait and see. Friends of some of the couples have just put out messages saying they support their friends. My money is it turning into a shit show!
Been worried since it came out.....

Like with all reality TV....

The very phrase scares me.....
 

Orchid

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TLC tv shows are late here in EU so will try to find if there is any piece of this to view on Youtube.
 

SSBHM

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cover photo is great! got my fingers crossed it is a good show. of course, all tv seems to depend on sensationalism.
 

extra_m13

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i see this as a positive development for sure. coming out. people saying with a megaphone what we have been sharing over here for years. some man like fat woman. this relationships exist and they are ok. fat is also beautiful and we love it. and... also, sometimes it comes with certain important decisions like having kids and dealing with health issues. also, we are just like any other couple who fight and discuss about a lof of different things. i see good things coming out of this. also, family and friends comments, that a reality for both. it happens so i do not see any harm in discussing it openly.
 

ScreamingChicken

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The show can go one of two ways...1) it can be a melodramatic train wreck with at least one partner in at least of one of the couples being a total head case or 2) three normal couples in terms of emotional and mental health where one happens to be fat and the other is not. From the previews I have seen, none of these 6 people seem to fall in the first category. Fingers crossed.
 

SSBHM

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I think everyone simply wants greater social acceptance. Being despised or despising others doesn't help anyone.

I am curious why our community hates the way the media and entertainment industry portrays us yet, in the same breath, craves their approval? i have never understood it and nor have I ever heard an explanation as to why.
 

waldo

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I am curious why our community hates the way the media and entertainment industry portrays us yet, in the same breath, craves their approval? i have never understood it and nor have I ever heard an explanation as to why.
Since the media (entertainment and 'news') drives the direction of our society and culture (most people are just lemmings), we are at their mercy. Ask yourself why homosexuality has, in the past 30 or so years, moved from the shadows to being considered 'chic'. Hell, we currently have a gay guy running (with decent momentum) for POTUS!!! Could you imagine an FA with a 400 pound wife managing that in our current environment!? Like SSBBM suggested, FAs feel at worst despised and at best 'tolerated as some peculiar characters that need to stay 'over there' in the corner out of sight (just like the gays back in the day)'.
 

waldo

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BTW, this show is debuting tonight at 10 PM EST with episode 1.
 
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Colonial Warrior

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I am curious why our community hates the way the media and entertainment industry portrays us yet, in the same breath, craves their approval? i have never understood it and nor have I ever heard an explanation as to why.
I strongly agree with you, @ScreamingChicken!

We are longing for society's approval. We sadly state that we are the invisibles but when we get exposure we also complaint about stereotyping!
 
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squeezablysoft

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I always have mixed feelings about shows like this. I love that fat people and those who love them are getting national attention, but I'm afraid that sooner or later this will get twisted into something negative.

Like, there's a couple ways to look at these relationships, but either can potentially be offensive. If you say weight doesn't matter to you, you just love who you love and can see beauty in a variety of sizes, people act like you're some kind of martyr (especially if you are slim and "conventionally attractive"), which is insulting to the BBW/BHM.

And if you admit you actually prefer larger folks, people act like at best you're a loser who is "settling for what you can get" and who has a sour grapes attitude towards the "hot girls/guys" you supposedly can't attract (especially if you are fat yourself), or at worst like you're some kind of sick freak with manipulative and possibly sadistic intentions, both of which are insulting to you and your partner(s).

I have a glimmer of hope that increased visibility will lead to increased understanding of our community, but history has made me skeptical.
 
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