Monday, August 9, 2010

The Skinny On Showtime

Dear Showtime's Executive Producers and Casting Agents;

Dudes. (I assume you're mostly dudes.) I dig your shows. Weeds? That's a great show! It's funny! Andy Botwin makes me giggle, and you got Zooey Deschanel to come on and talk about her period. Mega props. Mary-Louise Parker's character has great clothes, and Celia is one of the best filthy mouths on TV. Californication? That's kind of a trainwreck, to be honest, but it's watchable and Duchovny, to no one's surprise, makes a pretty decent asshole. Dexter is a good show, what with the killing and the deadpan voiceover and the Michael C. Hall being all scary and sexy. Dexter is great; you can practically feel the Miami heat radiating through your television tubes. It makes a nice contrast to Dexter's icy emotional state.

Those are just the shows I watch; you have a great lineup. The Tudors, The L Word, Nurse Jackie, Queer As Folk - all shows with serious critical cred backing them up. People love your shows. Not just the critics - regular TV-watching folks, people who used to be loyal to HBO, are checking out your lineup. You done good.

On behalf of the television-watching public, I implore you just one small thing. Don't change a thing about your writing stable or your settings (I love Dexter's Miami, for instance), keep your fantastic actors, and definitely give whoever does your costumes a raise. But please, for the love of toast, feed your actresses a sandwich.

Showtime is a cable channel, which means they can flash titties around like it ain't no thang. But the Showtime ladies are uniformly skinny, which means they aren't really flashing a lot of glorious breasts. Most of what I see seems to be ribcage. There are a couple exceptions - Celia on Weeds isn't a size four, and we've seen her rack a few times; LaGuerta from Dexter stays fully clothed, but isn't a tiny slip of a girl. But by and large (or small), the women on Showcase programming are seriously skinny.

I'm not mad at skinny, but I do get annoyed when it's presented as the only option for women under the age of, like, thirty-five. Showtime's men get to be fat, bald, creased and disheveled. They're allowed to be imperfect physically, because their characters are imperfect. But while the same imperfections of spirit are bestowed upon the women, they're still expected to be thin, young, and smooth. And thin. Very, very thin. Obese Americans now make up one-third of the population; two in three are overweight. But those people aren't represented on my TV screen. Why not? Hell, even average weight isn't shown too often; it's the 18.5 BMIs that populate the TV land. It normalizes a seriously abnormal aesthetic.

Like I said; not hating on the skinny. Jealous? Sure. I've struggled with wanting to be thinner, but my body has insisted on being this weight since I was 22. It's my destiny. It's not a bad one. I used to think ribcages and protruding clavicles were attractive, but it recently occurred to me to start thinking like a straight dude. Sure, some of them like skinny girls...but a lot of them like big racks, round asses, tight leg muscles. They don't mind a bit of convexity in a woman's stomach. I'm not saying that straight men love obese women (although some do, and although that can be kind of complicated, props to them) - just that having a shape and having some meat on our bones isn't a bad thing. It's actually pretty hot.

But I wish I saw more women on TV who weren't teensy weensy little girls. I want women. I want breasts, hips, asses. Maybe even - dare I say it? - a stomach. Showtime, if you're going to flash some ta-tas, I want them to be, you know, real ones. Worth it. I'm tired of counting ribs - give me something sexy.


  1. Ever thought of the fact that some women are naturally skinny? Saying shit like 'eat a sandwich' is as offensive as telling someone who's bigger to 'drop that burger' or whatever. Shit like this pisses me off so much. Skinny women are WOMEN too, not 'girls'. YOU are the little girl, with your ignorance. Go out and get some common sense.

  2. You took that completely out of context. she was just saying that a bunch of women on Showtime are skinny as hell.