I watched the first episode and I really liked it a lot. But about halfway through the second episode we had to turn it off because even though the theme was really sweet, there were still too many moments of "funny" that weren't funny at all, but were just soul damaging.
And when we turned it off I found myself choked up and crying. I didn't know exactly why I was crying. But as I started verbalizing how I felt it all came together.
The only female protagonist on the show was really a great character. She was sweet and kind. Every interaction showed her compassion and kindness, selflessness and thoughtfulness. Beyond that, she was beautiful. And not in a way that I've seen beauty portrayed in....I don't know....ever? To me, she just glowed. Her face was sweet and beautiful and when she smiled, I saw her uneven teeth, but it didn't diminish her loveliness at all. In fact, it added to it with character and personality and uniqueness. I only watched one and half episode, but in those one and a half episode, I never saw a part of her body that I didn't want to see. She was dressed sharply, but simply. Her clothing was not in any way form fitting and didn't call attention to her body, but she looked put together and nice. The thing that really got me was that she was thick-waisted. She did not have a flat stomach at all and her arms were also thicker than I'm used to seeing on TV. I couldn't tell you anything about anything below her waist because she wasn't wearing the type of clothes to reveal that part of her figure.
A few weeks ago I was reading an article about white privilege. The author made this huge list of things to help white people recognize their own privilege. I actually wasn't a big fan of the article but there were a couple of things on her list that have been on my mind since I read it.
You experience privilege if you can walk into a store and easily find a doll in your race.
You experience privilege if you can turn on the TV or watch a movie and easily find protagonists of your race.
So as I'm sitting there analyzing why I'm crying, I realize that I don't know if I've ever seen a true female protagonist who wasn't supposed to look like a supermodel. The female characters I can think of who were heavier or "imperfect" are all sidekicks (and even those are few and far between), extremely eccentric, laughable characters with no love interests. Or else they are jokes. It's a comedy where the main joke and recurring theme is actually about the woman's fatness.
But here was this real woman, with curves in the "wrong" places who was wonderfully feminine and soft. And no one was making jokes about her weight or the shape of her body. In fact, in the one and a half episodes I watched there were three men who were legitimately interested in her. To me, she was real. And she looked more like the actual women I know in real life. She looked more like me.
I just felt so much relief to see something like that. I hadn't realized how emotionally and psychologically exhausting it is to see only "perfect" women portrayed in the media all the time. And while all these self-exposing, scantily clad women and pornography may be wreaking havoc on men, the damage inflicted on women is also a tangible, measurable thing. I'm so tired of seeing so much of other women's bodies, I could scream.