OPINION: Fat women deserve better representation


McKenna Greenleaf Faulk

I can count the number of fat female influencers on my fingers, and while this isn’t an exact science, it does say something about the state of women.
In a world where diet culture and fatphobia are prevalent, fat women are suffering.
If you were on the Internet at any point in 2020, you probably saw the famous “strawberry dress.”
However, what people fail to realize is that before the puffy-sleeved dress was on everyone’s social media feeds, plus-size model Tess Holliday wore it to the 2020 Grammys.
She shared this quote on her Instagram after the dress went viral.
“I like how this dress had me on worst dressed lists when I wore it in January to the Grammys, but now bc a bunch of skinny ppl wore it on TikTok everyone cares,” Holliday said. “To sum it up: our society hates fat people, especially when we are winning.”
Holiday’s experience is a blatant example of fatphobia, and the number of stories like these couldn’t be counted on my fingers and toes combined.
Fatphobia continues to prevail in the fashion industry, especially in regard to lack of size inclusivity. Luxury brands, such as Balenciaga and Gucci, offer a limited size range that doesn’t exceed a size 12.
Not only does fatphobia reign in fashion, but it also influences the entertainment industry.
Too often, fat women are portrayed as the comedic relief or the supporting role.
I don’t know about you, but I want a world where fat women are the main characters.
I want movies and television shows where the fat lady falls in love and any conflict that may ensue is about anything but her weight.
Hollywood loves to create drama about fat women for being fat, as if that’s the only thing that they can possibly be. A fat woman enters the scene and suddenly, her entire character arch is about starting a new diet or overcoming an eating disorder.
Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t me trying to say “big girls need love, too.”
This is me saying “big girls need love… period.”
Fat women don’t need a reason to be worthy of love and representation. They deserve it.
They deserve to be seen, to be heard, and to be loved.
I want stories where the fat girl wins, and her win is not weight loss.