"Insatiable": The Controversy Surrounding The New Original Series Of Netflix

The original Netflix series "Insatiable" gained the spotlight at the launch of their trailer. Women from all over the world were outraged by the way the series deals with the character Patty, the fat young woman who suffers from bullying every day because of her body.

The trailer shows in the first few seconds the sadness that Patty lives by having a body that doesn’t fit the standards of her school. The scenes show the unhappy young woman in front of the mirror, her narration shows that she was already reaching her limit!

Patty ends up arguing with a homeless guy and gets punched in the face, which makes her live on a liquid diet for 3 months. Because of this, Patty loses many pounds and believes that now she can start her life the way she always wanted to.

But it's not like that. In some scenes the young woman says that on the outside could be different, but in the inside, she would always be "Fatty Patty". There is an insatiable void that neither food nor her new body could fill.

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The series even received an undersigned asking for its cancellation because it was considered fat-shaming. The director, Lauren Gussis, in an interview, says that "so many of the messages I believed the kid growing up were, if you fix your outside, you're suddenly a good person," but when she tried to script her own traumas of childhood in an ironic way, Gussis could not imagine that her message would be misunderstood. “She has no tools. People assume things about her because she looks a certain way, but she doesn’t know who she is; she never really did. She focused all her attention on what things would be like ‘if only.’ Then she gets the ‘if only,’ and it doesn’t fix her. Now she’s even more mad and devastated, so she’s behaving very badly.”

However, the problem wouldn’t be to show the bullying that fat girls suffer every day, trying to accept their bodies (or change them), even with all the insults and figures around them that do not make it an easy task.Image Source: Netflix

The problem was the derogatory speech that Patty herself applies about herself, of not being able to do anything if she continues to be fat. The actress chosen to play Patty, Debby Ryan, is a girl who is within the standards of beauty and uses a fat suit to represent the stage when she was still fat in the series. This kind of costume and speech do not satirize, it make fun of people who have their bodies like Patty's fat suit and who deal daily with the acceptance of themselves. The actress still says that "we're out to turn a sharp eye on broken, harmful systems that equate thinness with worth."

This statement really represents the stereotype that Patty wants to pass, because once she is thin, she definitely does not show the best of the character. The incessant search of herself made the character do bizarre things and continue without accepting the her body.

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Patty had the support of only one friend, Nonnie, played by Kimmy Shields, who brings in her character another discussion for the series: accept herself as homosexual. Insatiable brought in 12 episodes many current debates, such as homophobia, acceptance of sexuality, sexist mans, harassment and fat shaming. But, according to the brazilian YouTube blogger Alexandra, from the chanel Alexandrismos, the series is also very prejudiced because it wants to be so, because all these subjects are not discussed and debate throughout the series, they’re even standardized.

But we can’t blame the character Patty. She was victim of her school and from a world that says she couldn’t accept herself, that she needed to change. It isn’t difficult to find many people in the world who hate their bodies and think they would be happier if they were thin. In one of the scenes, Bob, Patty's lawyer, talks to her mother to find out more about her once he is representing she in court. In her mother's speech, we can see how well she believes that her daughter’s appearance can help her in court.

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The series brings this kind of controversy. A good image is something indispensable in any situation and without it you will lose everything. Bob, the lawyer, is also a misses coach and sees in Patty's new form a chance to return to the stage. But he is also haunted by a past with bullying because of his appearance and to this day doesn’t accept his body as it is.

He also doesn’t think that being fat is good ou beautiful, stating, as if it were an overcoming, that he also bought clothes in the plus size section and that his life improved when he started to buy "normal" clothes. It is this kind of derogatory speech that made Insatiable stop being a series that fights bullying to fat people and shows how the world of most of them is, to be another series that shows how wonderful is to overcome this image.

Bob's speech reaffirms to Patty that now, thin, she's an option, she can be chosen. It shows that now she is beautiful and has chances, choices, that she can be someone beyond fat. Now she's not Fatty Patty anymore, now she could be whatever she wanted. Patty begins to judge herself even more with Bob's speech, the first man that called her pretty. Now she is afraid to get fat again and not be noticed by him, even saying that the homeless guy was right, that she deserved the punch and all the bullying of the past years.

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In that insatiable struggle to be thin and accepted, Patty becomes a problem when, to win in the miss contest, she ends up almost kidnapping a candidate and committing murders, all to get to the crown. Unexpectedly, Patty believes she is possessed by a demon, but those actions are nothing more than an attempt to show that she is out of control. Image Source: Netflix

Patty has never had a healthy relationship with her body and her mind. For her, being fat was a unlucky thing, not a consequence that may have come from depression, father's absence, bullying and from a standard imposed by the world since childhood. She was just unlucky.

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So, against all those bad thoughts she still had about her body, Patty, eager to win the Miss Crown to prove herself, seeks the investment of a restaurant to fund her miss campaign. It features a more "healthy" line for some of the dishes. She would be the advertising girl in this healthy campaign "defending a positive body image."

The world makes people insecure with their bodies believe that positivity and good life is linked with thinness. Being fat prevented Patty from loving her body, being positive about herself and believing she could win a contest even though she was fat!

Image Source: Netflix

Patty's new shape begins to control her mind as everything is a justification for winning the miss contest. But her actions begin to become impulsive, caused by this feeling of having a new body she doesn’t know how to control. She came up with crazy things like taking laxatives, running out of food, and using garbage bags with clothes to sweat, but this may have ended up messing with her mind in a destructive way. Image Source: Netflix

The truth is that Patty could never accept her body, fat or thin. It was bad luck for her to be fat, but it was also bad luck to do so many bad things to stay lean and continue to be accepted.

Years of bullying made the teenage girl not believe in her potential as a person, fat or thin, and the only way she saw to make up for the emptiness was to get revenge, get revenge on her own body for her fat years and get revenge on all those who try to get in her way and do more damage, psychological or physical.

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She feels wronged, misunderstood and in times of loneliness, only food could be beside her. There are few scenes that we see Patty eating, but when she eats, it's to fill in everything no one else can.

Everyone left Patty, either because of the her own actions, or just because they leave once again. And it is this same food, her only ally, that saves her from death in a moment of lucidity. She even starts to believe she can do it and that her body, no matter what it was, did not make her a loser or a winner.

Image Source: Netflix