Plus-size representation on Tv necessities a lot of work.
It’s rare to see characters who aren’t thin in lead roles. But even when we do, those characters are often defined by their size, with stories revolving around weight loss battles( “This Is Us”) a continued barrage of fat gags( “American Housewife” ), or thin performers wearing fat suits in flashbacks( “Friends, ” “New Girl” ).
This is one reason why Paula Proctor is so damn awesome.
If you missed the memoranda, Paula is the hilarious paralegal BFF to the series’ star, Rebecca Bunch( Rachel Bloom ), on The CW’s critically acclaimed musical romcom “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” Every week, the specific characteristics, portrayed by Broadway alum Donna Lynne Champlin, challenges a status quo that says plus-size characters aren’t deserving of the same complex, nuanced storylines their slimmer equivalents receive.
In an interview with Bust magazine in 2016, Champlin opened up about why playing Paula has been so refreshing.
On the reveal, onlookers have watched Paula struggle to balance family commitments with law school, iron out relationship woes with friends, and get swept off her feet by a human that’s (< em> gasp !) not her husband. She’s also one of few characters on Tv to have had an abortion and not be punished or dishonor for it. A storyline we haven’t insured unfold, however, is one involving Paula’s weight.
As Champlin explained to Bust 😛 TAGEND
“There has not been one line in this entire show for the entire season that addresses my weight. And we’re ever eating real meat donuts, burritos. We’re ever boozing. That’s a huge thing for us that we’re really eating. We’re not sipping[ cups] of shit that have nothing in them.”
“My type is middle-aged lady , not thin, ” Champlin mentioned. “I look like the average American middle-aged lady. The only TV roles I’ve ever had were for the secretary, the cop, the nurse. The acceptable nonsexual place for a middle-aged lady to be on Tv. They would be 1-2 lines and that was it, and never be a series regular. That was unheard of.”
Thanks to performers like Champlin and roles like Paula, we’ve insured progress on plus-size representation on Tv. But we have a long way to go.
Actors like Champlin or Melissa McCarthy now a true-life, money-making Hollywood starring have certainly helped open door for other women who aren’t a size 2 or 4 or 6 or even an 8. The average American lady is a size 16.
Even when those doorways are open to plus-size performers, however, we still ” treat them like turd , ” Jezebel pointed out. Comedian Rebel Wilson’s career has taken off in recent years, for instance but her weight is often the butt of her gags. Chrissy Metz operated her route into the hearts of millions starring in NBC’s “This Is Us, ” but her character’s opening scene was her staring quietly at a sweet treat in the refrigerator, fighting the temptation to take a bite.
That’s why Paula’s presence on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is truly making a difference to onlookers of all sizes.
When Paula donned a fitted, cherry-red dress in one musical number, the power of representation spoke loud and clear.
“The internet exploded with plus-size girls mentioning, ‘Where the fuck did you get that dress? Its amazing, ‘” Champlin told Bust.
“What I desired about it, is it was tight. There was no apologizing me and disguising me. The boob were up, and the dress was tight, and that thing sold out online in cases of minutes.”
Paula’s #CrazyExGirlfriend dress is from @Macys. The Lauren Ralph Lauren line. “floral-print, faux-wrap dress.” https :// t.co/ JV97cha3WP
Donna Lynne Champlin (@ DLChamplin) November 26, 2015
If TV writers are smart, they’ll not only include more plus-size characters in their reveals, but they’ll also swap those tired fat-shaming, weight-centric storylines for most powerful, fearless, cherry-red dress scenes like Paula’s.
Read more here: http :// www.upworthy.com /~ ATAGEND