Last week, I broke my posting moratorium on all of the BBW/FA forums to discuss the topic of the BBW who appeared on the recent episode of Millionaire Matchmaker. I befriended Robin Kassner, the girl who was on the show on Facebook, and persuaded her to post her side of the story on some BBW/FA forums, where she was getting hammered by some of the regular posters for being nothing more than a rich idiot.
Here’s a video of a portion of her appearance on Millionaire Matchmaker, in case you haven’t seen it.
Now, while I have my own opinons of Robin, I can tell you that while she may be rich, she sure as hell is not an idiot. The purpose of my blog is not to discuss Robin, but to talk about the BBW/FA community’s reaction to her appearance on that show. Some of the comments made on various forums include:
did they edit for drama, with the intent of making the fat girl look desperate and even more ridiculous than she otherwise would have? Probably. I’d bet a wad ‘o cash on it, if I had the cash to spare.
This isn’t the first time and nor while it be the last that a tv show has been edited in a way to sensationalize and mock a fat person. God forbid they actually tell the truth about us
I love women like her. They make me look so much better.
It just seems like every time a fat person does something we all jump up and go, “ME ME ME!?!?!!” Unless it’s something good of course.
I realize she’s in no way respresentative of the entire plus sized community, but I can’t help but feel like the people watching the show might not have the same viewpoint.
I feel that she probably has some serious self worth and self esteem issues!
I don’t think it’s fair to say hey fatties know your place and date a 5, as Patty recommended.
I hate that there is yet more mocking of fat women for all to see and hear, and to that bullshit I feel the punch to the gut…but I can’t say I care at all about this particular woman who just happens to be fat.
I mean sure, it doesn’t help that America looks down on BBW’s already, but, I think America is smart enough to know that just like skinny girls, not all BBW’s are that… lost. Plus, she wasn’t really representing anyone, that much is clear.
This chick doesn’t represent me just because she’s fat and so am I. Just like the dumb blonde on TV doesn’t represent blondes everywhere just because they have the same hair color. As far as I’m concerned she’s just another 15 minute-er. Let her have her moment but she doesn’t speak for me. Heck, I don’t think she speaks for herself since she’s so misinterpreted.
The most important idea, however, came from a good friend of mine, who put out this thought:
we should explain to her that she played right into the stereotype we are all trying to change. Fat women are dumb, easy, frumpy and desperate. We need to let her know she did every fat woman a disservice by playing that role and not using her 15 minutes in the limelight to come off as a smart, fat, confident, business woman.
This point is essential to understanding fat activism, and why it should exist. If you don’t get it, read it over and over again until you do, and if you don’t, then you have NO business discussing Senorita Kassner in Dimensions or any other forum.
Today, another friend of mine, Meghan Tonjes was on the Ellen Degeneres show. Meghan presents a very positive image. Besides being an incredible talent, she also runs a channel on YouTube called Project Lifesize, which is there to help and empower younger women who have body image issues.
Take a look at this video clip from the show.
So, based on the logic of some, Robin Kassner doesn’t represent me because she reinforces a negative stereotype, whereas Meghan Tonjes DOES represent me because her message is positive.
Can someone explain to me WHY selective representation would be mean something to someone who is not part of this community and already has a fat bias based on negative stereotypes???
See, you can’t do that, and expect that people outside our group will get that. The minute they see the character portrayed by Robin Kassner, they shake their heads, and think to themselves “Fat slobs, all of them……..all they want is food, alcohol or drugs and sex.” Sounds like what many white people did years ago when they’d watch the news at 6, and saw Huey Newton of the Black Panther Party discussing overthrowing the government.
YOU WON’T CHANGE THE STEREOTYPE UNLESS EVERY TIME SOMEONE IN THE MEDIA REINFORCES IT, YOU ARE THERE TO REFUTE IT. ALSO, AS A PERSON IN THE COMMUNITY, YOU SHOULD FEEL AN OBLIGATION TO NEGATE THAT STEREOTYPE EVERY TIME YOU SEE IT.
That is, of course, unless you’re one of the many who are only in it for what you can get out of it, and lately it seems to me that more and more people are only it it for what they can get out of it.