According to the wonderful, charming and beautiful Rachael at The F-Word, Sony’s Fat Princess is on the market. And, as before, we have people, including women, coming out of the woodwork to tell us how it’s totally not offensive, and that the designers totally didn’t mean to offend people.
A. As I said in a reply on Rachael’s post, considering how frequently people seem to view it their responsibility to police what fat women eat, the idea of having a videogame where a female character eats cake until she is too fat to move, and is helpless to resist the lure of that cake no matter how full she might actually be, is fucking offensive. To me and every other fat chick who has ever had to listen to someone lecture you on the evils of salad dressing and the natural sugars in organic fruit juice, because eating healthy isn’t enough for those people. The fact that fat women are eating AT ALL offends them.
Seriously. If you’re eating a burger, it should be a light sandwich. If you’re eating a light sandwich, it should be a salad. If you’re eating a salad, why is that fat bitch eating anything at all, she could stand to miss a few meals.
And guess what, girls? You don’t even have to be actually fat to have people think this way about you. Nope. You can be a size 6 and have assholes think this about you. Like the asshole who accosted one of my customers at the nightclub when she had gotten up to a size 4 (she was really tiny). He says, “Wow, you’ve gotten kind of fat. What happened?” She looked him in the eye and said, “I quit doing meth, you asshole.” This is a girl who still models latex, the most unforgiving of materials.
Yes, people actually do and say those things. Nevermind it’s none of their fucking business what I or anyone else eats or weigh. It doesn’t matter what you’re eating, people will snipe at you about it. I have gotten lectures for eating a salad because it had croutons and dressing, apples, bananas, an all organic snack bar while on my way to the gym so I didn’t crash partway through my workout. Heaven forbid I’m running late for something and fast food is the only thing available that I can find in the time or route allotted, or that I order dessert. The sight of my fat ass holding a hamburger sends these annoying gits into paroxysms of pearl-clutching matched only by right-wingers who figure out women have and like sex.
Ok, that’s point A.
Point B? Do I think they meant the game to be mean? No. Nor do I think they purposely set out to be offensive. But, as I said before:
I don’t think that Sony and Dark Star Industries did this on purpose, either. And in some ways, that makes it worse, the unthinking cruelty of a society in which fat people, particularly fat women, are played for laughs. I’m also sure that they didn’t really think about the fact that the only female character in the game is completely helpless, both in the face of her captors and in the face of food.
I have no doubt that the designers did not intend to offend. But I do think that with just a little thinking, they could have come up with something better than a helpless fat princess as the “object” of the game. She’s “cute” and she can’t DO anything. She can’t even quit eating. It’s the internalized misogyny and fat hatred that’s so insidious. Why isn’t this “Skinny Prince” where he’s too weak from hunger to rescue himself and so an army of girl ninjas comes to his defense? Because men do and women are done upon. She isn’t even eating of her own volition, she’s completely fucking helpless in the face of EVERYTHING.
Argh. Ok, I should probably go before I rupture something or disturb someone with a cry of inarticulate rage.
I’ll say it again. No, I don’t think the designers set out to be mean and create a misogynistic game, but it’s the fact that they didn’t have to set out with that goal in mind to do just that that is so disturbing to me. Because, as many Feminist blogs say… “We’re soaking in it.”