Man on the Edge: Obesity Double Standard?
The weight jokes don't make up a--ahem--"big" part of the humor in this weekend's box office hit "Identity Thief", but one reviewer can't seem to get Melissa McCarthy's size off his mind. In his early review, the New York Observer's Rex Reed calls her a "female hippo" and "a gimmick comedienne who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious". And fans have wasted no time in calling out Reed for his "tasteless" review.
But compare the situation to that of another high-profile personality who's also on the "heavy side": Chris Christie. Christie himself made his own weight the butt of much of the humor during his conversation with David Letterman a few nights ago, even pulling a donut out of his pocket as part of a gag. And no Internet backlash to speak of here.
But was it just the fact that Christie was making fun of himself that makes the difference between the two situations? Or does the discrepancy in backlash signal a double standard between the sexes? Why does it seem more acceptable to make fun of an overweight man than an overweight woman?
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