Comedian Louis C.K.’s Monday’s episode of his FX series “Louie” featured actress Sarah Baker, who guest-starred as C.K.’s potential love interest. It was her “fat girl” rant that’s making the news.
Let’s cut the crap and get to it. I’m fat. Packing at least 25 extra pounds that need to go stat. Louis C.K. is fat. So are most of the stand-ups he features on the show. Most of the TV Critics I know are battling weight issues.
There are degrees of fat… there are those of us who still fit in normal sizes sold in normal stores (and who miss our skinny jeans) and those of us who are using walkers, scooters and canes to get around who aren’t even OLD yet. Then there’s TLC sideshow fat, where mega-caloric daily meals net invalids who have created a whole new industry of super-sized gurneys, operating tables and coffins.
I’ll speak for myself, fat is a giant pain in the ass. I do spin classes, lift weights… I don’t remember the last time I ate meat, bread, ice cream or sugar. And I’m still maintaining my weight in this 20 pound up-and-down range where my body seems to be super cozy, a weight that is too heavy for my taste yet nowhere near pre-diabetic danger levels. I’m not alone. Fat f*cking sucks. You natural ectomorphs and mesomorphs can suck it. I have no idea how “Girls” Lena Dunham (who I’m sure that I weigh more than) can do what she does. She has huge fat balls. For that I tip my hat.
But I’m a product of a time when there was no such thing as “fat acceptance,” or “fat shaming,” as I was born and raised in the 1960s, an era of Benson and Hedges Extra Slims, when skinny James Bond bitches and Twiggy ruled. I was not a fat kid, per se, but I had way too much thigh in a brutal New England town full of lanky, lean legged Irish girls who had no asses, no lips and looked amazing in midriff tops and super high-cut hot pants. I hid out like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, read and prayed for snow days.
So Louie twisted it up and brought the elephant in the living room out to say the fat kid is fat. The fat kid always knew he was fat. There’s the nascent psychology. If you grow up hating something you have little control over (some fat people are just born fat and will remain at various levels of fatness) it’s extra hard.
The notion of fatness is firmly tied to the deadly sin of gluttony, and when people beat themselves up at a gym and use discipline to say no to cake, or eat Kleenex or barf up their dinners to fit in size 0’s, a self-righteousness vibe brews, judgment ensues and before you know it, fat is equated to a deficit of spine and gumption. This shit happens a lot in cities like New York and Los Angeles. Louie and his fat girlfriend Vanessa would look normal in Chicago or St. Louis. In fact, if Louie filmed in Omaha, this “rant” of hers would never surface. They’d just be fat and happy.
Did you know that more than 11 million American girls and women are afflicted with anorexia or bulimia and the average weight of a fashion model, 8 percent below that of the average woman in 1967, has fallen to more than 25 percent below that of the average woman today? If you’re a straight male, would you want to f*ck someone whose clavicle and hip bones are so sharp they hurt, with hair is so thin and dry it’s falling out in your hands, and whose bodies are covered in a bizarre layer of fine hair with breath that smells like a corpse?
Baker’s character is pretty, smart and fat, and she looks like she enjoys life. That’s the one you want in the end.
Watch my friend Monique Marvez lay it all out for you here: