Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Fictional Eaters

Time, she can creep by without any call to notice her.

But, that's not what I wanted to write about. Part of my Pop Culture Homework Assignment for the summer was to watch The Gilmore Girls. (What a Pop Culture Homework Assignment is and the fact that its not been the summer for ages will not be things I discuss in this post. ;) ) Its a good show; its funny. The Gilmore Girls is that tale of a single Mother and her teenage daughter and it chronicles the lives of the ladies from the last two years of high school for the daughter through her college years. The show is full of rapid-fire, clever dialogue and this is likely part of its appeal. And, that's all fine. But, there was at least one thing I found troubling about the show: the amount of food the two main characters eat.

They make a joke about how they are famous eaters and often show them ordering large amounts of crazy things. You'll see Lorelai (the mother played by Lauren Graham) leave the local grocers with a huge nachos and a slurpee or Rory (the daughter played by Alexis Bledel) and her boyfriend will joke about the look on the waiter's face when she's ordered 14 different high calorie things at a restaurant and finished them all. In the show, they are shown sitting on a squash court having a chat and Lorelai once uses an old gym membership card to pick a lock ("Did you ever go?" "No, I'd just had Rory and I was embarrassed by the baby fat.") and there is an episode where Lorelai rides her bike to work because her car has died. Aside from that, these women are never seen exercising or going to or coming from a gym or eating a vegetable.

Now, this confuses me. Since they never had a story arc about someone over-exercising or having anorexia, it doesn't surprise me that their diets/lifestyle choices weren't something that was really discussed or shown. But, it seemed in the show that their eating was something that was portrayed as a quirk of the characters, or a cute character trait that was utterly adorable and that any man would find attractive. The message seemed to be, "Skinny girls can eat whatever they want, and its adorable." Which, I don't think was the intent of the writers, but it still makes me uncomfortable. Its interesting to me that a show that has many feminist leanings would be so blatant in its reinforcing of this one stereotype.

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