I might say it a hundred times in a hundred days a lot of people likely have, but if there’s something out there that will offend people, and there usually is, there will be someone who will find a way to be offended. When the offense is real and is aimed at a particular person or a group of people then it’s easy to stand with the maligned and state that such an attack wasn’t necessary. But a fat suit? It’s not exactly sensitive to some folks, but the fact is that it’s a prop, an inanimate object to be used when necessary to transform one actor or another for a role that’s meant to be entertaining, provocative, and otherwise harmless because it isn’t meant to harm anyone. And yet, larger actors have apparently rallied around the idea that the fat suit is inherently harmful to others because it carried negative connotations that people have picked up on over the years. But that’s not all, since now the suit appears to represent the idea that bigger actors are being somehow phased out in Hollywood.
Maybe that’s not the right terminology, but calling the belief a delusion created by the need to be seen as the victim of something tough to see as a serious problem wouldn’t be received any better, to be honest. A fat suit is, as I stated, a prop, nothing more, but at this moment it’s being used as a means of gathering opinions and hearts and minds to claim that the supposed fat-phobic mentality in Hollywood has grown out of control. That’s curious though since there have been and still are many people with weight issues that have found fame in Hollywood and have made it clear that while they are overweight, they’re not victims and they don’t need the added sensitivity that some people appear to crave. There is such a thing as a victim mentality, and quite often it’s exposed by those that are willing to call for special consideration because of something that many don’t feel is a huge issue.
Body positivity being what it is and what it’s meant to be, it’s kind of funny to think that a prop would be such a huge issue when it’s often used to depict characters that are heavyset but are usually quite necessary to their story. One might wonder about the question of why a movie can’t find an actor that can exemplify the look of a heavyset individual, but this comes down to the same reason why a character can be gender and race-swapped, sometimes the best actor for the job doesn’t necessarily fit the character, so people make compromises. Like it or not, simply hiring an actor because they have the right body type isn’t always the best idea, since the actor could be less than effective and believable, which would thereby ruin the part. Like it or not, acting does require people who can act, and sometimes that means making the kind of decisions in casting that people might not agree with. The fat suits that are used in Hollywood are not meant to be devices that are there to vex people, but this appears to be what is happening at this time.
It makes a person wonder why no one has any issue with other items that are used in filming, such as fake teeth, prostheses, or anything that can paint an actor as a person that they are obviously not. To be honest, it’s always a great idea to cast an actor that can portray a character in the best light, especially if that actor has been through the kind of experiences that their character has endured. But seeing as how this isn’t bound to happen it’s fair to think that the fat suit and many other items that are used in the movies and TV are going to continue to see use no matter how people tend to feel. The fact that people are offended about one thing or another has become a tired old argument since the fact is that every other month it would appear that someone is offended by something. To say that this trend has grown tired is putting it lightly, especially since each new offense tends to gather supporters like flies to…well, you get it.
Were the fat suit to be used in a manner that was meant to be harmful instead of as just another prop, then any argument against it might have grounds and be able to stick in a more meaningful way. But far too often arguments such as this come up in regards to the careers of those who think they deserve what they haven’t earned, or as causes of the day that are championed by those who feel they’re not getting enough respect. Simplistic as that sounds, it’s an issue that is not going away. The fat suit isn’t a problem, it’s the reaction to the fat suit that is the bigger issue.