The new TV season is in full swing now. On one channel is Nikita, a reworking of a past favorite show of mine, La Femme Nikita, itself a spin-off of the movie of the same name. It’s a drama about a former government assassin seeking revenge on the organization that entrapped her for so many years and stars an actress named Maggie Q.
On another channel is Mike & Molly, a sitcom about a portly Chicago cop and the cute but equally portly woman he meets and falls in love with.
I’d rather watch Molly than Maggie.
I am so sick and tired of seeing these stick figures on TV, these women who are no bigger than a minute and who have established an unrealistic standard of acceptable beauty for this culture. Maggie Q should rename herself Maggie Cue Stick – she’s that thin. If she turns sideways, she disappears. And it’s not at all appealing, it’s appalling.
Now Molly, on the other hand, is a woman to whom I can relate. I know many more women like her, struggling with their weight and trying to live up to impossible standards of beauty, than I do women like Maggie, to whom all I want to say is, “Eat something, bubele!” like a Yiddish grandma.
Television’s subliminal message is, “Only certain people are worthy of being on TV. The thinner you are, the blonder you are, the better your chances. All the rest of you can be background characters that we don’t have to care about.”
See what television has done to us. See how television has usurped ideals of beauty to make us think someone who is thin to the point of emaciation is beautiful, whereas someone who has a little more flesh on her bones is ugly and unworthy of love. Mike & Molly throws that notion to the wind. Molly is a smart and funny woman and she is loved. Molly is turning those damaging ideas on end and making us rethink just how our principal perceptions are shaped and fostered. Sure, cynics may say, “But the guy who loves her is big, too – the only guy who could love her.” Well, I had a cousin who often said, “There’s nothing a skinny woman can do for me but introduce me to her big fat sister.”
Yes, I’d rather meet Molly than Maggie. You go, girl!