Writer covering pop culture, books, and bodies. Bylines include The Guardian, The Washington Post, Glamour, Vice, and Mental Health Today. firstname.lastname@example.org
From "Fat Monica" in Friends to Patty in the new Netflix comedy Insatiable, it's time for TV shows and films to put away the fat suit.
While I loved high school English classes where we read everything from Macbeth to Maya Angelou, my dad finished just one book before leaving school at 15, The Day of the Triffids. (He liked it, but not enough to repeat the experience.)
It offered something that was hard to come by in the days before blogs and Facebook groups: community. And not just figuratively – you could call in with your opinion and actually have a discussion, rather than clicking “Dunno” on a Twitter poll.
After decades of erasure, the tide is turning in terms of how people with chronic illnesses are depicted in pop culture—and not a moment too soon.
I’d never craved alcohol, only the confidence it gave me. Is that just me being naive or was I some kind of situational alcoholic?
At that moment, the show establishes its worldview: Fat people deserve self-esteem, too. That might not sound subversive, but if you’ve lived and watched TV as a fat person, particularly a woman, you know that it is.
One episode, in which Leslie locked herself and Ron into an office so they could resolve an argument, was almost as good as the old times. But it didn’t outweigh all the filler, including an inexplicable Bill Murray cameo and that bloated finale.
As I grew up, I didn’t relate to the way marriage was usually presented, in real life and in pop culture: as aspirational, a source of validation and the only way to escape loneliness.
Imagine if everywhere you looked — even in the dark — you saw static, as if the entire world were an untuned analogue TV. For people with a mysterious condition called “visual snow,” that’s the frustrating, often agonizing daily reality.
When it started in 2005, the satire about a suburban Los Angeles mother who risked jail by dealing the green stuff after her husband’s early death felt revolutionary.
It seems there’s an endless appetite for man-boys working in technology: before Loaded, there was Silicon Valley, Amazon’s Betas, The IT Crowd and what was that other thing …? Oh yes. Reality.
The link between A.I and mental health is less hyped, but Franklin and his team have developed algorithms that can predict whether someone will die by suicide with over 80 percent accuracy.
Another silly American idea, you might be thinking, like compressing marshmallows into a jar and calling it sandwich spread, or teasing Kim Jong-un about his nuclear capability. But it’s taken hold internationally, too.
Of course, the developers aren’t claiming that Robin provides an in-depth exploration of the illness. But as a society, we seem to have embraced the idea that a superficial brush with other people’s lived experiences can bring us real insight.