I was planning on posting a different blog today- my interview with nutritional anthropologist Leah Baskett. I was really looking forward to posting that but, damnit, I caught the latest episode of Glee last night on my DVR and I had to postpone my interview post before it was too late to talk about this.
So Sue sabotages glee and they have to find new songs to sing at regionals and decide to write original music. Everyone gets a shot at it. We all remember Puck's first serenade to Lauren- the new fat addition to the glee team and Puck's love interest, Fat Bottomed Girls. At the end of the song Lauren tells Puck that it was an offensive song and made her feel like crap.
Compared to the song he came up with on his own... it was nothing.
For some reason Lauren loves the new song Puck sings for her.. somehow not finding it offensive at all. It's called Big Ass Heart and the lyrics are as follows:
My girl went to the doctor cause her heart had palpitations
He said cut the carbs, or else she'd end up pushing up carnations
She stepped up on the scale and the doctor said, "Oh Lordy"
If you don't drop a few, girl, you won't make it past age forty
My girl said, "Hey lookie, on my fancy x-ray chart"
Said the doctor, "Holy hell that's one G.D. big ass heart"
I'm telling you my friend, my girl's got a big ass heart
When she shops for groceries that heart gets its own damn cart
That big ass heart can pump two tons of love through her chest
And then sit down and win a lovin' pie-eating contest
I love that big ass heart so much I think it isn't fair
Like how your heart won't pay me back for breaking all my chairs
So sick with love I think I'm coming down with rickets
When that big ass heart flies coach it has to pay for two plane tickets
Oh, that big ass heart
Oh, that big ass heart
While we can assume it's supposed to be non offensive because it's supposedly talking about her personality and not her body, it's clear that the song takes real life discrimination and comically relates it to her personality. Either Puckerman's character really doesn't get it, or the writers don't. Think of any other group of discriminated against people and think of some kind of analogy between their personalties and the discrimination they face- it wouldn't fly. Not with anyone. Breaking chairs, paying for two plane tickets, winning a pie eating contest... dying if she doesn't "cut the carbs"? This simply won't do. Some fat people actually do face discrimination and calls of deathfattie at their doctor's (even if they're in otherwise great health), some fat people do break an occasionally chair (or at least are afraid of it happening- I know I am), quite a few fat people are forced to pay twice as much for the same service- such as buying two plane tickets. And these aren't props for a love song or comic relief. They represent real pain, real discrimination, and real bigotry.
Glee, if you were trying to win over your fat audience, you failed miserably. Half of us didn't even mind Fat Bottomed Girls, but this? The alternative? It is offensive, it's beyond unacceptable. You reach so many people and have such a great opportunity to include messages of loving yourself and how to deal with serious issues and to speak out against discrimination.. and you've done a wonderful job with that on the topic of homosexuality... but you're failing at this. You deserve some credit for making Lauren confident in her body, for standing up against Fat Bottomed Girls, and for including a love story where a popular badboy is into the fat girl, but you've got to step up here. Dare I say, be a musical Degrassi. Then maybe I'll just be able to love you... instead of hating loving you. Do you wonder why you are getting so many critics even though you're a young show and other shows don't get this kind of flack? It's because of how popular you are.. the sheer number of people you're reaching with your messages. Please... do it right. We don't need more bigotry instilled in young minds.