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About a month ago, one of my sisters tagged me in a video she recorded of Family Feud—a game show where two families compete for a cash prize by trying to find the most popular answers to a variety of questions.On the episode of the daytime game show she recorded, host and comedian Steve Harvey asks the contestants to answer a rather loaded statement: “Name a reason a woman might decide to be with a chubby [or fat] man.” This, as one might imagine, ends up being a rather humorous round for the contestants, Steve Harvey, and the audience.
While many fat men are indeed “warm and cuddly,” it’s inherently harmful to fat men as human beings to see this as their only positive trait.That doesn’t mean that fat people will only ever be with fat people, and to assume so is at the very least ignorant, if not completely fatphobic and sizeist.Fat men, under any and all circumstances, are unattractive to all people.The fact that this myth is the most popular of the 6 given answers—34 of the 100 people originally surveyed gave this or a similar answer—is troubling in and of itself.This myth is something we see play out throughout the various facets of American culture, whether it’s movies or politics or pop culture.More specifically, my sister said: The one thing this particular round of Family Feud does correctly is summarize many of the unfortunate myths our society perpetuates about fat people—specifically, fat men—and relationships.
In keeping with TBINAA’s theme of fighting body terrorism in search of radical self love and acceptance, we will be looking at the various myths this episode lists, how they’re harmful, and how they are simply not true.
This is one of those “positive stereotypes” many folks who shy away from “political correctness” try to use in their blatant bigotry, similar to “all Asians are smart” or “all gay men are fashionable and confident.” The issue with “positive stereotypes” is the fact that they automatically alienate anyone who doesn’t fit in with those stereotypes or, even worse, anyone who wants to be seen as more than just what society wills upon them.
Fat men are stereotyped as being warm and cuddly, but not much else on the “positive” side of stereotyping.
If a classically attractive person of any gender is with a fat man, the general assumption is that this fat man has to have money, or some sort of power otherwise.
Why else would someone who could presumably get with anyone they wanted choose to be with a disgusting fat man, right?
This myth makes the assumption that, as mentioned above, no one could conceivably be in a relationship with a fat man because they’re actually attracted to him.