Young Activists Will Be “Insatiable” Until The Show Gets Cancelled, But Should We Give it a Chance?

07.30.18

On July 19, Netflix released the trailer for its new show “Insatiable”, and many viewers were anything but satisfied.

The show focuses on a teenage girl, portrayed by Debby Ryan, dubbed “Fatty Patty” by her brash classmates who make each day for her harder than the last. After getting mugged and punched by a stranger and having her jaw-wired shut, Patty loses the weight her classmates bullied her because of, and now she’s free from criticism to become who she wants to be. And she wants to be the girl who gets revenge.

 

“Insatiable” isn’t the first Netflix project to tackle bullying, the streaming giant visits the theme often in projects like “Thirteen Reasons Why” and “A Girl Like Her.” But the amount of criticism the show is getting before its release on August 10 may even rival the amount “Thirteen Reasons Why” received.|

Activists have already signed a petition more than 200,000 times calling for the show to be cancelled due to its “body shaming.”

Florence Given, the creator of the petition, wrote that the series perpetuates the common narrative that women must be thin to be desirable and accepted.

“The toxicity of this series, is bigger than just this one particular series,” Given wrote. “This is not an isolated case, but part of a much larger problem that I can promise you every single woman has faced in her life, sitting somewhere on the scale of valuing their worth on their bodies, to be desirable objects for the male gaze. That is exactly what this series does. It perpetuates not only the toxicity of diet culture, but the objectification of women’s bodies.”

Given went on to warn that the series, and even the trailer, could cause young women to develop self-doubt and eating disorders.

Many on Twitter also complained about the show’s body-shaming, especially its use of an actress wearing a bodysuit.

However, there are many who believe the show has an important story to tell and that we should give it a chance instead of judging it at first glance.

While critics see the show as doing the fat-shaming itself, Netflix executives say the show’s satirical nature helps it actually make fun of fat-shaming. Netflix’s Original Series Vice President Cindy Holland defended the show’s premise at the 2018 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour.

“[Creator Lauren Gussis] felt very strongly about exploring these issues, based on her own experiences, but in a satirical, over-the-top way,” Holland said according to Cinema Blend. “[Criticisms of fat-shaming are] embedded within the DNA of the show.”

Gussis said she’s been through this all before, losing friends, being bullied, being suicidal, seeking revenge, and that “Insatiable” is a cautionary tale.

Gussis’ cousin echoed the call for people not to judge the book by its cover and said the show will spark important discussions.

Ryan, the lead of the show, also defended the show’s satirical nature, saying that the “redemption is in identifying the bullies and saying ‘this is not okay.'”

Ryan continues on to say that Patty isn’t automatically different or happy because of her weight loss.

“We’re not in the business of fat shaming,” Ryan said. “We’re out to turn a sharp eye on broken, harmful systems that equate thinness with worth.”

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