I’m about to blow your mind.
I have some very new information that I need to share with you. It may make you uncomfortable. It shouldn’t, but it may.
It’s an answer to a question many producers and writers of television and movies have failed to ask, address, produce, or even answer for that matter.
“How do fat people have sex?”
The answer? Get a good clutch of your pearls, people, because this will knock your socks, and quite possibly, your undies off.
They have it just like you.
Oh, and also, they enjoy it just like you.
I know, right? Mind. Blown. Who would have thunk it?
Well, for starters, not anyone in popular media and culture.
Can you remember the last time you gazed up at a movie screen, watching new love or a tingling romance unfold, and instead of a size 2 woman and a 30-inch-waisted man getting it on, there were average-sized bodies rolling around in the sheets? Me neither, because it simply does not happen — ever. It’s always perfect, non-cellulite covered, nothing jiggling, no muffin top, rock hard bodies having sex on screen.
That’s not real life.
Luckily, someone wants to change all that, and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited that she is the one to be taking a stand because she’s amazing. Chrissy Metz, who plays our favorite female triplet on NBC’s hit show This Is Us, recently told People magazine that she is ready to act out a love-making scene with her on-screen lover. “I want it on screen — I guess it’ll offend people, still. But fat people do have sex, for the record,” Metz told People.
Metz’s character Kate is obese, and her storyline is one that follows her on a weight-loss journey, much like in real life. “I wouldn’t have this role if I had already lost weight. Now it’s about telling a story of a woman struggling with her weight, just as I have and still am,” she said.
We couldn’t agree more with Metz, though why she has to make a point of specifically pitching and hoping for a sex scene between her and her on-screen fiancé is actually quite sad and speaks volumes about what our culture has been served as a normal definition of sexuality in relation to body size.
How have we gotten to the point that we feel we need to “normalize” overweight (and honestly, average-sized) people having sex scenes on TV? Isn’t it normal already? Yes, people of all sizes are ready, willing, and able to engage in intercourse. Their bodies are sexual and beautiful too. So why is there damn near no coverage on television or in the movies?
Furthermore, how is it we think a larger size simply isn’t sexy and would be a turnoff to watch? We have little evidence telling us so, since we haven’t actually been served any yet. For as many people who potentially may be turned off by seeing overweight characters engage physically with each other (we call those people “assholes”), there will be more people who welcome the change in scenery.
Representation matters, and people appreciate seeing people who look like them on-screen. We know this.
The answer? Show them all varieties of bodies, and let the viewer decide. I have a feeling if This Is Us chooses to listen to Metz’s instincts, it will be the beginning of a trend in the right direction. And by right direction, I mean a more inclusive one where all shapes and sizes of people are deemed beautiful, and of course, sexually attractive. But we already know this, don’t we? We should. And the media needs to follow suit now.