Hello! My name is Joe Kessler. I'm a 25-year-old grad student, studying linguistics at the University at Buffalo in upstate New York. I grew up in Vero Beach, Florida, and I went to college at William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
I am pro-diversity in all domains, and I am a regular advocate for acceptance and celebration of linguistic variation. Not sure what that means? Feel free to ask me anything, or check out my blog on the subject.
(I tend to answer all questions publicly, so if you'd prefer a private response sent to your inbox, please let me know when you ask.)
I am an enthusiastic fan of many things, in particular Doctor Who, Harry Potter, The Band Perry, and Welcome to Night Vale. (A complete list of my TV fandoms, which show up the most on this blog, can be found here.) I am also a lifelong bookworm, and my favorite authors include Stephen R. Donaldson, Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaiman, and Stephen King.
Thanks for visiting my Tumblr, and I hope you enjoy your stay!
Yah, I was never okay with that. Especially because its supposed to be some kind of allegory or prediction for the “obesity epidemic” nonsense that is going on right now.
it’s really blatant
It made me really sad, because Pixar is usually one of the better major media companies out there when it comes to this sort of representation. I hope there was enough of an outcry about it that they won’t do anything like that again.
I thought the film was less fatphobic and moreso trying to mock extreme laziness and our developing culture of passivity and neglect of active and intelligent thought. To me, it was more actively choosing stupidity = bad, rather than being fat = bad.
So, the problem is that the movie explicitly links fatness with laziness. Presenting laziness (and passivity and neglect of active/intelligent thought) in a negative light isn’t inherently awful, but the movie chooses a particular body shape and size to represent that laziness, and that’s a crude stereotype. In reality, being lazy doesn’t make you fat, and being fat isn’t a sign that someone is lazy. The people in Wall-E could still lounge around in motorchairs all day, drinking cupcakes-in-a-cup and refusing to question the received wisdom about their lives, without them all being fat. Instead the producers chose to correlate fatness with that slew of negative traits which in no way reflect the behavior of actual fat people. That’s the issue here.
Remember in the first Matrix movie, when Neo first gets rescued and he can’t move his muscles because his body is so atrophied from disuse? Wall-E could easily have presented some people with his kind of body shape, rather than having them all be fat. Instead, they sent a message to audiences (whether intentionally or not) that laziness makes you fat and that all fat people are lazy. For a movie targeted at young people who are just learning how to navigate their social circles and interact with people who are different than them, that’s a really shitty message to send.
Edited to add: Not to mention the possible self-image issues for audience members, particularly children, who fit that body shape themselves!