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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019

People are accusing Netflix's new show 'Insatiable' of fat shaming

The new show is coming to Netflix in August.

NETFLIX HAVE BEEN upping the ante with the amount of original content they’re creating. While some of it has been good, shows such as ’13 Reasons Why’ have come under fire accused of promoting suicide and showing graphic scenes regarding suicide.

So you think Netflix might have learnt something right?

Well, not exactly.

Their latest offering ‘Insatiable’ has received considerable backlash online as the trailer dropped for it yesterday.

Described as ‘a coming of rage story’, Insatiable follows ‘Patty’ played by Debby Ryan who is bullied for her weight by being excluded and called names like ‘Fatty Patty’ (so original). Then a chance encounter that results in a broken jaw means Debby has her jaw wired shut and loses all the weight. Now everyone wants a piece of her but all Debby is interested in is revenge.

So what’s the problem?

Essentially people have taken issue with the fact that Debby Ryan is wearing a fat suit in the show and that the plot suggests that only by losing weight can a fat person be accepted in society and be happy.

Marie Claire Fifth Annual ''Fresh Faces'' Debby Ryan who plays 'Fatty Patty'. Source: F. Sadou

Plus size fashion writer Bethany Rutter took to Twitter to express her disappointment at the show.

And she wasn’t the only one who was pissed off.

You can’t exactly blame people for being angry either.

Yes, this is fictional but it’s an old and overdone idea surely? Fat girl is unhappy, loses weight and suddenly she’s accepted by everyone who previously disliked her?

It’s boring, it’s unoriginal and it’s unrealistic as hell. There are plenty of people out there who are happy in their own bodies and who don’t need to lose weight to be happy within themselves or accepted into society. Where are their stories?

Given the rise in eating disorders worldwide, it seems pretty irresponsible of Netflix to make a show that centres around someone losing a hell of a lot of weight in a short space of time. And don’t even get me started on the fat suit thing.

If this is Netflix’s attempt to cash in on the body positivity movement then it’s pretty poorly thought out at best. There are a million other ways that this story could have been told that would make it better and that would cause less harm. Do better Netflix.

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Rachel O'Neill

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