“I’m a Gilmore Girls fanatic”: words every other white girl you know says at least twice a day every autumn, but it’s true. I think Gilmore Girls is a phenomenal TV show. It filled the void left by my non-existent social life my freshman year of college. No friends? Gilmore Girls. Debilitating depression? Gilmore Girls. Failed my microeconomics class final? Gilmore Girls. Want to die? Gilmore Girls! It’s a strange thing to admit, but Gilmore Girls might be part of the reason I didn’t kill myself at the lowest point of my life.
Gilmore Girls creator, Amy Sherman Palladino, is a complex and controversial character. She had a tumultuous relationship with the CW/WB, which broadcast GG in its seven-year run. So bad, that by season seven she left the show, and it went on for a seventh awful season run by David S. Rosenthal (best known, maybe, for his obsession with Heidi Klum.)
There’s somewhat of a running joke in the GG fandom that Amy Sherman Palladino genuinely hates, approximately everyone, but especially the fans of Gilmore Girls. Whether it’s because she condescends their generation (I was going to find a quote of hers to hyperlink, but honestly, just watch GG: Year in The Life and you’ll get it), seems intent on making Rory Gilmore the worst, or her because of her clear and obvious hatred of fat people.
In Year in the Life, Sherman Palladino featured a scene which was an extended, beyond-cringeworthy fat joke. It featured the center characters, Lorelai and Rory, glowing role models for thousands of girls, repeatedly mocking fat people at a public pool.
Within the canon of the show, this is frustrating. Both Lorelai and Rory are extremely close friends with Sookie, played by Melissa McCarthy. Are we to believe that Lorelai and Rory hold such animosity towards fat people, that they can make cruel jokes about their bodies, and still love and cherish Sookie St. James? If so, Sookie deserves better. Lorelai and Rory can f*ck right off with that.
Moreover, this is not something I, a fat teenage girl, need or want in Gilmore Girls. When pitching the show to my friends, I tell them it is a nice, warm blanket on a cold day. GG is synonymous with comfort, security, the cozy embrace of Stars Hollow, and all its kooky characters. GG is the closest a TV show gets to feeling like unconditional love. I want to believe that these girls are here for me, they symbolize a notion of smart, witty women who are capable and strong. I don’t want to know that if Lorelai and Rory met me, they’d mock my body behind my back, shout “belly alert” if they saw my torso, and think of me as a joke, not a person.
I chose to watch Amy Sherman Palladino’s new show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I was all of fifteen seconds in when the Mrs. Maisel herself spouted off the words “First of all, my roommate Petra was friendly, and fat. Which was perfect, since it meant I’d have someone to eat with, who wouldn’t steal my boyfriend.”
My heart sank. Amy Sherman Palladino, honest to god, hates me. She thinks I’m the butt of a joke. I’m a woman who can’t steal a boyfriend, clearly, because what man would be attracted to me? I’m a prop, a gag, for the beautiful, thin protagonist. I’m a joke. I’m an ugly, meaningless joke in Amy Sherman Palladino’s world.
Not only is this a clear sign that there is literally no one in Palladino’s writing room telling her to cut it out, but also a reminder that the world outside of my favorite shows isn’t made for me. I could be angry, I could be frustrated, but maybe at the end of it all, I’m heartbroken, I’m heartbroken that media is designed to make me feel like garbage. I’m heartbroken that in a male-dominated world, a woman like Amy Sherman Palladino can earn a chance to speak for women, to elevate us and our bodies, and choose to push us back down. I’m heartbroken that Amy Sherman Palladino, a woman I admire, a woman whose career I totally want, a woman I idolize, hates me.