TikTok calls out ‘horrifyingly offensive’ representation of fact characters in entertainment

A TikTok trend is bringing light to the upsetting way certain characters were treated in older movies and TV shows.

“What is the most horrifyingly offensive fat character in entertainment/media that you have ever seen?” TikTok user @morethantracyt asked in a video, her audience responded with examples.

TikTok user @moderaterock pointed out that the fat character named Yancy in the beloved teen movie Sleepover was not only the butt of fat jokes and disrespectful comments in the film, but she didn’t even make the cover of the DVD box even though she was one of the main characters.

“She was 16 at the time of filming. Imagine how this affected her growing up,” one commenter responded.

“This movie was so problematic in so many ways,” another said.

Others mentioned include Sookie from Gilmore Girls, Mercedes from Glee and Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect. Another pointed out that many of the characters that portray harmful stereotypes can be found in media aimed at impressionable children, like Harry Potter, Matilda and Good Luck Charlie.

A common portrayal that users called out on @morethantracyt’s post was “Fat Monica” on Friends. The actress donned a fat suit for certain flashback scenes, and her weight was the butt of many offensive jokes.

Some said that any time a fat suit is required, it turns a whole body type into a joke, which is incredibly hurtful. When the way people’s bodies look is treated becomes a joke, it harms the body image of the people with those body types in ways that can have serious physical and mental repercussions.

This TikTok trend is an important reminder of the discrimination and oppression fat people face in society, as well as the fact that fatness shouldn’t be treated like an insult or something to be joked about — it’s merely a descriptor.

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