‘My Big Fat Revenge’ Is Big on the Revenge

My Big Fat Revenge sends many mixed messages. The show enables big women to lose weight and get revenge on exes, family members, or anyone who has ever made fun of them for their weight. While it is great that the women receive the help they need to get healthy, the fact that they have to get healthy before they can tell their tormentors off is cruel in it’s own way.

The first episode introduced the audience to Jen and Tamar, whose stories are unfortunately way too common. Jen met her ex-boyfriend through a website specifically for “big beautiful women.” Even though ex-boyfriend was looking for a “big beautiful woman,” he was still ashamed to be seen with her in public. He went as far as asking Jen to lose weight and die her hair, so he could date a skinny blonde chick. Tamar’s problem was her mother, who would call her daughter, a “tub of lard” and say she had a “tire belly.” Tamar had to deal with the jabs at her weight throughout her entire childhood. Understandably, both women wanted to get revenge, but they were sent to Los Angeles to lose weight first.

In Los Angeles, Jen and Tamar spent three months exercising. Every day they were in the gym for six hours. This was shown with the standard weight-loss show montage, but since My Big Fat Revenge isn’t really a show about weight loss it was a quick segment. During those three months, Jen lost 68 pounds and Tamar lost 46 pounds.

Once the women returned home, we were shown Jen being embraced by her supportive family and met Tamar’s boyfriend, who took the opportunity to lose some weight as well, and her daughter. Now that Jen and Tamar were home, it was time for them to get some revenge and the show turn into a tamer version of Jerry Springer.

Jen set up a situation where her ex-boyfriend would go on a date with a beautiful women, who would insult the ex-boyfriend and act ashamed of being seen with him. It worked, but Jen didn’t get the apology she wanted. Instead, the ex-boyfriend didn’t understand why Jen set up the scenario. He pretty much said, “You’re not fat anymore, good for you, and you don’t deserve an apology for what you put me through.” This is where everyone has to admit: the scumbag has a point.

Tamar’s revenge actually made sense. Since Tamar is an aspiring actress, she invited her mother to Los Angeles to see a play she wrote about her life. In the play, an actress acts out several scenes. After each one, Tamar’s mother is asked to give her input. One of the scenes has Tamar’s “mom” berate her daughter for being overweight. Not only does Tamar’s mother not see a problem with it, she outright says to use the phrase “tub of lard” and laughs about it. Clearly hurt, Tamar confronts her mother, who doesn’t want to look directly at Tamar and tries to escape into her cell phone. Tamar and her mother eventually sort things out. Even though Tamar’s mother doesn’t understand what she did wrong, she does apologize for hurting her daughters feelings.

In the end, the women do get healthy. However, they have let the people who said they were fat and needed to lose weight win. While the women did lose the weight for themselves, losing the weight was also about getting revenge at the people who called them fat. By losing the weight, the people who wanted the women to lose weight have won because they are partially responsible for the change. If the women on My Big Fat Revenge lost weight purely for themselves, they wouldn’t need the “satisfaction” of seeing their bullies faces when they get “hot.”

For those who want to find out more, Oxygen’s website has a follow up interview with Jen.

About Allison Lips

I am the Toastmasters District 83 Public Relations manager and President of Freehold Phrasers.

Posted on September 4, 2013, in Cable, Oxygen, Primetime, Reality TV and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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