Weighty Matters

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Cheap Shots

on July 15, 2012

I went to see the movie Magic Mike over the weekend.  I’ll cop to being shallow enough to enjoy spending some time looking at sexy men with great physiques showing off their mostly naked bodies.

Anyway, I wasn’t expecting a movie with a deep, involved storyline, so I was pleasantly surprised that it had more depth than I expected.  I was having a pleasant enough time at the theater until somewhere in the middle.   One of the actors portraying male strippers is Joe Manganiello, who also places Alcide on True Blood, which is one of my favorite shows.   I’ve seen enough of his body on TB to know it’s a prime one.  He’s 6’5″, over 200 pounds, and clearly very strong.  In True Blood and in this movie, he’s done his fair share of hoisting women up in his arms.  In fact, in a recent TB episode, he not only hoisted Sookie so that her legs were wrapped around his waist, but he walked up a flight of stairs carrying her in that position.

In Magic Mike, after showing various dancers pick up, carry and otherwise demonstrate that they were obviously strong enough to tote slender women, the movie’s action showed a woman who was carrying a few extra pounds being escorted to the stage.

Two guys walked her up onto the stage to Manganiello’s character.     He picked her up.  She wrapped her legs around his waist.  He held her there with his hands under her butt and then he flinched like he’d strained his lower back.  He put her down and walked stiffly from the stage, not finishing his act.  That left the poor woman up on stage, looking around awkwardly and embarrassed in front of the crowd.

I’m not great at assessing someone else’s weight, but she was far from obese.  I’m pretty sure that she weighed less than 200 pounds.  Whatever the case, I’d bet real money that Joe Manganiello bench presses more than her weight on a regular basis.

This scene was completely unnecessary and totally manufactured to make people laugh — at the chubby woman.  Gotta tell you, perhaps I was the only woman in the audience who got pissed off by the scene, but not a single woman in that theater laughed.

This kind of thing is nothing new.  Maybe there aren’t a lot of “big hunk throws out back lifting chunky woman” scenes, but I’m sure we all remember numerous scenes throughout television shows and movies where people who were slightly, or a lot, overweight were fodder for ridicule.  They became the brunt of jokes.

Am I oversensitive to this topic?  I’m sure that I am, but that doesn’t change the facts.  Making fun of overweight people is mean.  It’s also unnecessary.  Surely any writer or filmmaker can dig deeper to create humor.  They don’t need to take cheap shots.


4 responses to “Cheap Shots

  1. Hope says:

    If none of the other women in the theater laughed, you were probably NOT overreacting. Grrr.

  2. Skye says:

    It is a cheap shot and mean as well. I hate meanness. My father’s family was all about the cheap joke and the mean joke and I was often a target. In my mind, there is no sense of humor that includes put downs and mean jokes.

  3. I don’t understand why so many people find ridicule funny. I’m a little exercised on the topic currently having spent a week with my older brother and his family. He, and his kids, do this ALL THE TIME and it pisses me off. It seems, I just need to lighten up and grow a sense of humor. Um, no, I have a fine sense of humor thank you very much, perhaps you all need to grow up a little.

  4. lunarmom says:

    Same goes for witches and cops. I am hyper-aware of all these categories. And I’m generally never quitet about being pissed off either.

    There is another bit of shallow, ignorant thinking I don’t tolerate: other-ness. A fellow Oregonian writer I no longer follow said/wrote something once, and I politely called her on it. She ignored me, and never addressed her error. I don’t care how funny she may be, or how talented an authour, when you make fun of a group of people that way, you shame them, exactly as this movie did. Unacceptable, and never amusing. And I can’t forgive them for it.
    Julie

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