‘Insatiable’ proves to be a one-of-a-kind show

September 10, 2018 — by Esha Lakhotia

Binge watching Netflix TV shows

When Netflix released the trailer for their original show “Insatiable,” the world was hit by storm. Thousands accused Netflix of fat-shaming due to scenes that showed character Patty Bladell, played by fat suit-wearing actress Debby Ryan, getting terrorized and bullied by her fellow high school peers. The trailer received so much backlash that it led to a 235,000 signature Change.org petition to prevent Netflix from even releasing the show.

According to the trailer, after the main character loses weight, she goes back to school, seeking revenge on her fat-shaming bullies with her new sense of self confidence.

Body-positive critics claim that the show conveys the wrong message by telling young girls around the world that they need to lose weight or be “skinny” in order to be confident or accepted by society.

When Netflix aired all 12 episodes on Aug. 10, I decided to see what all the controversy was about. After watching the first episode, in which Patty shamefully shoves food in her mouth all day after getting rejected by a boy from her school, gets called “fatty” by a random homeless man and seems to live all her days in sorrow and depression, it was clear to me that Netflix plays out every possible stereotype.

The show takes an unexpected twist when Patty loses weight and decides to invest her energy into beauty pageants. Patty then falls in love with her much older, married beauty pageant coach and the rest of the 11 episodes circle around her beauty pageant training as well as with her unhealthy obsession with her coach.

As I was watching the show, the ways that Patty manipulated her friends and coach were so shocking and strange that the show actually became entertaining to watch. I found myself wanting to watch the next episodes to see what kind of messed up scenario she would find herself in.

I can definitely see how the show can be perceived as dangerous for those who are sensitive about their body image, but to me, the main focus of the show wasn’t Patty’s transformation — it was the process of finding herself and her identity after. The critics took the show too seriously; it isn’t supposed to be anything more than a comedic and dramatic show.

Overall, the show itself felt so unrealistic and ridiculous that for me, the fat-shaming aspect disappears in the strange, yet somehow intriguing plot. I would recommend the show to anyone who is able to take it lightly and watch it purely to experience the amusing oddies of the show.

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