I have long wondered why in in movies that show the males protagonist as an obese unattractive dork have him getting with his love interest later on in the film as a well to do attractive fit young man. For quite a while I thought of this a typical shallow Hollywood thinking.
If a man was not attractive and wealthy then he didn’t stand a chance with a girl regardless of his personalty. The same can be said of movies that feature a young nerdy girl who goes through a make over and attracts the popular boy who before wouldn’t have given her a second glance. Although this is a case of appearance defeats personality, which is very unhealthy. Not dressing to fit cultural standards is nothing compared to being obese. Some people actually need glasses and braces, this is something they can’t help. To this I look down upon ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘The Princess Diaries’.
Is the thinking that becoming attractive and fit will get you a date the wrong way to think. After a long moment of consideration I’d have to say no.
This is not to say that most movies are shallow and meaningless but that maybe some of us have been looking at them the wrong way.
My first example will be the movie ‘Just Friends. The title character is obese in the beginning of the film and is the best of of the attractive love interest. He confesses his love for her and she says that her feelings are nothing more that those that one has for a sibling. The he is heartbroken and proceeds to brood for many years, becoming something of a rich attractive playboy. He is soon reunited with his old best friend. Instead of trying to patch up their friendship he decides to break her heart much in the same way that she broke his. But they end up falling in love in the end of the movie after an hour’s worth of comedic drama.
My first thought after watching this film? Why does he have to be attractive for her to finally take romantic interest in him?
Then I thought harder. Maybe because she didn’t want to be romantically involved with someone who had weight problems? After all the only reason he liked her romantically was because she was attractive. So why doesn’t she have the right to be with someone attractive? Why does he blame her for wanting someone who cares about their outward physical appearance. After all hygiene and physical fitness are the first signs of self esteem.
But instead he gets upset over the fact that she’d rather keep their relationship platonic and sets off to brood for a few years rather than accept their friendship and join the weight watchers club in an attempt to prove that he cares for himself just as much as he cares for her. This not only proves to me that he’s selfish, but also that he was never truly in love wither her in the first place. All of this states that he was nothing but more than a shallow pool and she probably knew this to being with.
My next example is Shallow Hal. Although this time the obese character is the female love interest. Hal is shallow because he only goes after women for their appearance. The he is charmed into seeing everyone that is deformed of obese as attractive. He falls for a nice buy grotesquely obese woman that appears slim and attractive to him. Late when he finds that she’s not all he thought that she was he discovers that he lovers her personality rather than her appearance.
While I am a fan of personality over appearance there are quite a few things that irk me about movies like this. Perhaps the girl had weight issues that stemmed from a psychological issue? Maybe this could have been addressed over the course of the film? Or perhaps it was an unhealthy dietary problem? Why couldn’t her relationship with Hal have fixed these issues? Obesity does have a few connections with disease. Why wasn’t this discussed in a movie about outward appearance?
At least in the Nutty Professor this was explored to a certain extent. I can say that the protagonist tried to improve his health for his live interest by trying physical exercise and dieting. Of course he resorted to quick exit but at least he tried. His problem was that he ate whenever he was feeling insecure. Food was the only thing he could count on for making himself feel better.
Can we say that being grotesquely overweight is related to insecurities and low self esteem? I think it is safe to assume this.
But movies never focus on this. Ppr if they o they show that obese characters loosing weight and ending up with their love interest who previously rejected the, Perhaps this is that attitude that some need to take up.
Why shouldn’t the attractive love interest have the right to date someone as attractive as they are without being scorned.? Why cant they love someone who loves their outward appearance as much as they love their own. Doesn’t it go without saying that you must love yourself before you can love others?
Now not all people that are obese struggle with depression , low self esteem, and insecurities . But this is never brought up in these sorts of movies. Obesity is a problem that can be fixed, but instead of seeing it as a psychological issue, it is a small problem that hypnotism, liposuction, and cheap love can fix.