‘Insatiable’ Uses Humor to Counterattack Fat Shaming


The new Netflix show Insatiable is not fat shaming. 

In the past month, Netflix’s Original Series ‘Insatiable’ has taken the Twitter world by storm.

After the trailer was released, a vicious frenzy of viewers started petitions to cancel it and flooded lead actress Debby Ryan’s Twitter.

What started this insane outrage? Fat shaming.

The trailer first depicts an overweight girl, who after getting her jaw wired shut, rendering her unable to eat, becomes a ‘hottie’. However, the trailer and show differ is in what she does next. In the trailer, it appears that the rest of the show will focus on her finding a new identity among the popular kids. However, when the Netflix Original came out, it became apparent that it was not the same story that the trailer portrayed. In fact, it was a campy dark-comedy about a former ‘fatty’ getting revenge on her peers, with the help of a wrongfully accused pedophile.

Almost immediately after coming out, screenshots of the characters saying offensive things were rapidly circulating around Twitter. These, though admittedly shocking, were ridiculously out of context. The show is meant to be offensive. Twitter’s ‘Cancelled Culture’ jumps at the chance to find anything problematic about a show, even before its release, and beat everyone over the head with it, but the most offensive thing I could find about Insatiable was the acting.

In the final episode, the argument that Insatiable is a cruel and unfunny show that sticks to its shallow, ‘Ugly Duckling’ premise gets completely deconstructed. This is because of Patty, the lead, who says, “Being skinny doesn’t mean **** if you’re ugly on the inside,” which means the show has been self-aware and had the quote’s overarching theme through the first season.

The writers, I’m sure, were fully aware they were exhausting the most tried-and-true fat tropes. But the problem doesn’t stop there, as incredibly popular characters like Friends’ Monica who had a running weight gag. The same was true for New Girl’s Schmidt. Actress Debby Ryan even stated she didn’t want her fat suit to be done like Monica’s, afraid that it would be done in parody.

To this end, I think people need to be more open-minded about the premise. While I agree that there isn’t enough representation for plus-size actors and actresses, that is not this story. Insatiable’s message is a counterattack to all the movies and TV shows with ‘fat humor.’ It actively makes fun of it, and that’s the point that the audience is missing.