Queen Sized: Fat Chicks Can Rule

“Pretty girl gets pretty boy.”

“You have such a pretty face…and such an ugly body.”

“All anyone is ever going to see when they look at you is fat.”

“If you knew that people would like you better if you lost weight, aren’t you just punishing yourself?”

These are all lines from the new T.V. movie Queen Sized starring Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray), which premiered tonight on Lifetime. As far as made-for-Lifetime movies go, this one was exceptional (that is, for a Lifetime movie). The story revolves around a fat teenager named Maggie Baker, who deals with the normal struggles of an overweight girl (being called names like “wide load” and “thunder thighs”, having kids moo at her, a mom that doesn’t understand as well as identity issues that come with being fat). Then a couple of the popular girls decide to make Maggie’s life ever more miserable–they nominate her to be homecoming queen.

Despite the odds, Maggie decides to make a run of it, eventually gaining support from the rest of the student body, except from the popular kids who tried to humiliate her. And, of course, being a Lifetime movie, Maggie is voted homecoming queen, gets a bit conceited about it, has a few struggles dealing with the whole thing, and comes out at the end looking gorgeous. Oh, and she snags herself a really cute guy (who looks like he was 30 even though he is supposed to be a high school senior).

While the plot is basic, the movie hits on a lot of important issues that fat people deal with head-on. Maggie’s mom (played by Annie Potts) is passive-aggressive towards her daughter’s weight issue. She tries to get Maggie to eat healthier food, signs her up for a mother/daughter yoga class, and “encourages” her in a patronizing way. Mrs. Baker acts out of love for Maggie; she doesn’t want her daughter to be teased, held back, or suffer health issues. Yet Maggie’s mom dances around the truth refusing to ask the question–why is Maggie like this? The answer is vague, but seems to be tied to emotional eating.

Another interesting aspect of the film is Nikki Blonsky’s portrayal of Maggie. A plus-sized actress, Blonsky wowed audiences as Tracy Turnblad in the updated version of the cult classic, Hairspray. Naturally, Blonsky was told she would never find work as an actress. I even read an article that questioned whether or not Blonsky would manage to find other movie roles after Hairspray. Blonsky’s struggle as an actress mirrors Maggie’s struggle to become homecoming queen–they both are trying to do something in a medium where thin and beautiful is what sells.

I liked that Maggie’s outfits are cute, but not ultra-trendy. They are clothes a woman could find in a store with plus-sized fashions like Fashion Bug or Lane Bryant. (As an aside, plus-sized fashions have gotten way cooler and more affordable since I was a teenager. I’m dressing better now than when I was 16. Of course, maybe I’m just more fashionable.) Also, there are scenes that were so true to my life and my experience as a fat girl, I could feel my heart break. For example, Maggie’s often out of breath when trying to keep up with the other girls in gym class and chooses to change in the bathroom stall when in the girls locker room. At a party, a cute guy talks to Maggie in Spanish and her friend comments that he’s into Maggie, but Maggie shrugs it off saying he’ s only interested in conversing with her because she’s fluent in Spanish. It was such a normal feeling for me, I thought he was only interested in her because she was fluent in Spanish! The Spanish-speaking hottie ends up being Maggie’s date to homecoming and he is rather flirty…so…looks like Maggie and I are both wrong.

As I heard Maggie and those around her utter the lines I highlighted at the top of this post, I realized that I, too, believe them. Of course I’m not married yet; only pretty girls get married to intelligent, decent guys who love God and dogs. Yes, when people look at me all they see is my fat; it’s sort of what’s there, right? Why would people look past my weight when it’s so hard for me to do the same? During the climax of the film, Maggie fights the negative thoughts surrounding her (usually delivered by her mother, who appears randomly wearing a cocktail dress, as a visualization of Maggie’s inner thoughts) and says to herself, “Nobody treats me as worthless as you do.”

And isn’t that the truth, ladies? Whether you’re a size 2 or a size 32, it doesn’t matter–nobody knows your physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological flaws like you do. When asked the question, if you could change one thing about yourself…I’m thinking, stop right there, can I choose more than one thing? I can pull out a list of about 100. Yet it’s so easy for fat girls to blame all their problems on their fat. I don’t have this, do this, deserve this, want this…because I’m fat. I’m starting to realize something–I see me as fat; the world sees me as fat (at least most of it); but the people who really matter see me as Amy, not the fattest girl in the room (***see comment below). Or as Maggie says at the end of the movie, “I faced my fears and I did it in a kick-a** dress!” (I censored the quote because I didn’t want to offend people by using the world “ass”. See, it’s OK to cuss it when you put it in quotes.)

Readers, check out the comments section at the bottom of this post. Some good conversations are starting to develop and I would hate for you to miss out!

***I’ll admit it right here. When I go places, I do a “fat check” to see if I’m the fattest person in the room. If I’m not the fattest, I feel a sense of relief and think, “Thank goodness! There’s someone fatter than me here.” I also do a “wedding ring” check to see who’s married, so I can try to flirt with the single guys. I don’t think they’ll actually be interested in me. I think guys can smell insecurity and that could be my problem. OK, that’s enough transparency for one day.***

Here are a few things I’ve written about my own battles with weight and indentity:

Identity Crisis: Growing Up Fat

No Fat Chicks

Liberation Through Skeletons in the Closet

0 thoughts on “Queen Sized: Fat Chicks Can Rule

  1. I just wanted to say I not only totally identified with Maggie in this movie but also with you.

    Like Maggie I have issues with my mother. She’s skinny and I’m fat. I seen myself in Magie. I am really glad that this movie came out because it not only opened my eyes to how many times I crush my own dreams but also for those out there that are dealing with the same issues.

    Nikki has a great career ahead of her. Just like Hairspray, Queen Sized has opened even more doors for her! Great Job Nikki and Thankyou so much for doing this role. You are a great person and a great role model! I can’t wait to see what you are in next!

    I’m glad that Nikki did this role because she was perfect for it. She did a fantastic job and really did justice to the girl that experienced this ordeal.

  2. I just wanted to say I not only totally identified with Maggie in this movie but also with you.

    Like Maggie I have issues with my mother. She’s skinny and I’m fat. I seen myself in Magie. I am really glad that this movie came out because it not only opened my eyes to how many times I crush my own dreams but also for those out there that are dealing with the same issues.

    Nikki has a great career ahead of her. Just like Hairspray, Queen Sized has opened even more doors for her! Great Job Nikki and Thankyou so much for doing this role. You are a great person and a great role model! I can’t wait to see what you are in next!

    I’m glad that Nikki did this role because she was perfect for it. She did a fantastic job and really did justice to the girl that experienced this ordeal.

  3. I agree. I think Nikki Blonsky’s characters seem to have an indelible spirit that can’t be sunk. I mean, seriously, how much did you like Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray? I loved her from the moment she appeared singing “Good Morning, Baltimore”. Nothing could get that girl down on her way to school! I want that kind of joy, and I can have that kind of joy in God.

    My mom isn’t skinny, but she got weight loss surgery a few years ago, and at first, she kept telling me how I should get the same procedure done. I am terrified of surgery, and have spent more time in the hospital in my 27 years than anyone should ever have to, so I said NO!!! But after she lost the weight, it felt like I was so very fat. I felt like her “helpful criticisms” (which she delivered fat or thin because she didn’t want me to suffer like she did) were even more biting. She’s gained some of the weight back now, and I’ve lost 40 pounds, so that’s evened the score.

    My grandparents before they got really, really old could be very cruel about my weight. One time they offered me to give me $100 if I lost weight (I was in middle school). Another time my grandfather was over at our house fixing something and he wrote, “Amy is a pumpkin” on my little chalkboard. Man, that stung. At one point, I refused to go over to their house because they would constantly have conversations with me about my weight.

    Yeah, if my own family can’t see past my weight, how can I expect other people to do the same?

    What I’ve discovered though is that there are people who see you and are shocked to discover that you hate yourself and have deemed yourself repulsive to guys. Some people who know me are like, “How could you think that?” They are truly shocked. Their reaction, the thought that they really are aghast by these things that I thought were common knowledge, has helped me tremendously. Instead of defining me by my fat, they don’t even see it.

    I even found liberation in saying, “I am fat!” Not because it’s great to be fat, but because I can finally admit to myself that I am fat. And actually working through emotional issues has helped me lose weight because I feel better about me which causes me to become more active and more inclined to eat healthier foods. Guilt doesn’t work.

    Skinny people don’t get that it’s hard to lose the weight because food becomes the enemy. Obviously, one cannot stop eating and we almost get the idea that the very act of eating is evil. I’ve tried to eat less because food is evil, not make better food choices. Eventually that fails and I fall into old patterns. I’ve had to start thinking about what I eat and teach myself that eating is not evil. Eating in and of itself does not make me fat. I have to think about what I eat and how much, which takes a lot of willpower…and on a bad day, I’m lacking willpower.

    Just about the only stereotype working in the favor of fat girls is that we’re nice. But I don’t mind being nice and friendly–it is who I am, but I’m not that way because I’m fat.

    Tracy, thank you for posting. I hope we can talk more about these issues. It’s nice to have a friend to commiserate with.

  4. I agree. I think Nikki Blonsky’s characters seem to have an indelible spirit that can’t be sunk. I mean, seriously, how much did you like Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray? I loved her from the moment she appeared singing “Good Morning, Baltimore”. Nothing could get that girl down on her way to school! I want that kind of joy, and I can have that kind of joy in God.

    My mom isn’t skinny, but she got weight loss surgery a few years ago, and at first, she kept telling me how I should get the same procedure done. I am terrified of surgery, and have spent more time in the hospital in my 27 years than anyone should ever have to, so I said NO!!! But after she lost the weight, it felt like I was so very fat. I felt like her “helpful criticisms” (which she delivered fat or thin because she didn’t want me to suffer like she did) were even more biting. She’s gained some of the weight back now, and I’ve lost 40 pounds, so that’s evened the score.

    My grandparents before they got really, really old could be very cruel about my weight. One time they offered me to give me $100 if I lost weight (I was in middle school). Another time my grandfather was over at our house fixing something and he wrote, “Amy is a pumpkin” on my little chalkboard. Man, that stung. At one point, I refused to go over to their house because they would constantly have conversations with me about my weight.

    Yeah, if my own family can’t see past my weight, how can I expect other people to do the same?

    What I’ve discovered though is that there are people who see you and are shocked to discover that you hate yourself and have deemed yourself repulsive to guys. Some people who know me are like, “How could you think that?” They are truly shocked. Their reaction, the thought that they really are aghast by these things that I thought were common knowledge, has helped me tremendously. Instead of defining me by my fat, they don’t even see it.

    I even found liberation in saying, “I am fat!” Not because it’s great to be fat, but because I can finally admit to myself that I am fat. And actually working through emotional issues has helped me lose weight because I feel better about me which causes me to become more active and more inclined to eat healthier foods. Guilt doesn’t work.

    Skinny people don’t get that it’s hard to lose the weight because food becomes the enemy. Obviously, one cannot stop eating and we almost get the idea that the very act of eating is evil. I’ve tried to eat less because food is evil, not make better food choices. Eventually that fails and I fall into old patterns. I’ve had to start thinking about what I eat and teach myself that eating is not evil. Eating in and of itself does not make me fat. I have to think about what I eat and how much, which takes a lot of willpower…and on a bad day, I’m lacking willpower.

    Just about the only stereotype working in the favor of fat girls is that we’re nice. But I don’t mind being nice and friendly–it is who I am, but I’m not that way because I’m fat.

    Tracy, thank you for posting. I hope we can talk more about these issues. It’s nice to have a friend to commiserate with.

  5. This totally resonates with me. To this day I can still hear the hurtful voices…voice of people (often family) who thought they were being humorous, when I actually felt like they were stabbing me. My late uncle…of all the really fun times I had with him, one thing that he said to me still sounds out clearly in my head…” you know, if you lost about 30 pounds, you might almost be pretty”. I remember hearing that and thinking…what’s the use of even trying to lose weight…I’d rather people thought of me as fat than as ugly.
    Twisted logic, maybe…but when you’ve lost all sense of your own value, you take on whatever you hear.
    Thankfully, that mindset no longer has the same hold over me. I know that my Heavenly Father is the bestower of true value and worth. I am His. The battle over my thoughts is still on-going but I know that with God’s help I can recover from each skirmish successfully.

  6. This totally resonates with me. To this day I can still hear the hurtful voices…voice of people (often family) who thought they were being humorous, when I actually felt like they were stabbing me. My late uncle…of all the really fun times I had with him, one thing that he said to me still sounds out clearly in my head…” you know, if you lost about 30 pounds, you might almost be pretty”. I remember hearing that and thinking…what’s the use of even trying to lose weight…I’d rather people thought of me as fat than as ugly.
    Twisted logic, maybe…but when you’ve lost all sense of your own value, you take on whatever you hear.
    Thankfully, that mindset no longer has the same hold over me. I know that my Heavenly Father is the bestower of true value and worth. I am His. The battle over my thoughts is still on-going but I know that with God’s help I can recover from each skirmish successfully.

  7. Note: I accidentally deleted this comment instead of approving it, so I reposted it which is why my picture is on the side. Amy

    Hi Amy, I think it’s nice what you said about the movie. Did you know it’s based on a true story…my true to life story (most of it) what’s funny is I wasn’t even a homecoming queen i was just a princess because i was only a sophomore in high school. it might seem hard to believe but if you read some of the comments on this website from when the movie first came out you’ll see what im talking about. Remember in the movie when maggie got a big head and her fellow classmates were mad at her? well i never got a big head like maggie. The kids @ Novi were mad at me for a different reason saying that i blew this thing up. They said that i had sold my story and was making all the kids at Novi look hateful and conceited. First off it was their hateful ways that got me into this mess and now they are upset that by trying to do me wrong I was actually got something right…

  8. Note: I accidentally deleted this comment instead of approving it, so I reposted it which is why my picture is on the side. Amy

    Hi Amy, I think it’s nice what you said about the movie. Did you know it’s based on a true story…my true to life story (most of it) what’s funny is I wasn’t even a homecoming queen i was just a princess because i was only a sophomore in high school. it might seem hard to believe but if you read some of the comments on this website from when the movie first came out you’ll see what im talking about. Remember in the movie when maggie got a big head and her fellow classmates were mad at her? well i never got a big head like maggie. The kids @ Novi were mad at me for a different reason saying that i blew this thing up. They said that i had sold my story and was making all the kids at Novi look hateful and conceited. First off it was their hateful ways that got me into this mess and now they are upset that by trying to do me wrong I was actually got something right…

  9. Although it is sad and mean to make fun of anyone for their size, it is still the fact they are unhealthy. There are to many obese adolescents nowadays and making a movie to celebrate it is the wrong answer. How bout a movie on how being over weight is so unhealthy and made life harder in more ways than someone picking on you. America needs to get out and excersize.

  10. Although it is sad and mean to make fun of anyone for their size, it is still the fact they are unhealthy. There are to many obese adolescents nowadays and making a movie to celebrate it is the wrong answer. How bout a movie on how being over weight is so unhealthy and made life harder in more ways than someone picking on you. America needs to get out and excersize.

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