lifetime logoI don’t usually say this about Lifetime Original movies, but: I thought that To Be Fat Like Me had an interesting topic and could have been interesting. A pretty, popular jock puts on a fat suit in order to explore the world of overweight people like her mother and younger brother. Perhaps by experiencing their everyday world, she would learn something about humanity and compassion and begin to understand the complex struggle with weight that many people confront daily.

Instead, well, I’m not sure. I guess instead of learning about humanity and compassion, I learned that although characters may constantly refer to the current summer season and summer classes, many people may still wear jackets and long sleeves and walk through several scenes filled with gratuitous fall foliage. I also learned that Caroline Rhea (who played the overweight and unhealthy mother character) is considered overweight and unhealthy even though she looks barely overweight and totally healthy for a middle-aged mom.

I’m also slightly concerned with the portrayal of fat people in this movie in general. We are led to believe that 1) fat people have enormous, vague candy stashes in their glove compartments and 2) shovel in cheese fires like they were oxygen and 3) eat pizza every Monday as if it were part of some sort of fat person religion. Surprisingly, all fat people are happy how they are, and simply “don’t like health food or exercising” and that people should accept that. In short, I’m pretty sure that the person who wrote this movie (and probably the person who directed this movie) have no idea what fat people think and feel. That’s not a good thing when you are trying to write a humane compassionate movie on the subject.

I’m pretty sure the movie’s main character came to the following twisted and horrifyingly simplified conclusions:

  1. We shouldn’t be mean to fat people – that’s mean.
  2. Most people are mean to fat people, except for other fat people and vaguely gay regular-sized men.
  3. Even though your hunky jock boyfriend loves you for who you are and loves how “real” you are, he wouldn’t be romantically interested in you if you were fat. DUH!
  4. Fat people are way better at math and science.

More importantly, in my long-running study of Lifetime Movie Network films, this movie allowed me to finally complete my analysis of how to tell when a LMN hunky jock boyfriend is good or evil.

  1. If your hunky jock boyfriend is poor but works hard to succeed, he is good. If your hunky jock boyfriend is rich and ungrateful for what he has, he is probably evil.
  2. If your hunky jock boyfriend does not sleep with your slutty ex-best friend even though she basically rapes him by wearing short skirts and batting her eye lashes, he is good. If he not only sleeps with her but also them plans your murder to get you out of the picture, he is probably evil.
  3. If your hunky jock boyfriend has a tumbling wave of shiny brunette locks, in the style of the late 80s or early 90s, he may equally either be good or evil.
  4. If your hunky jock boyfriend believes you were raped, even though no one else does, and then goes out of his way to bring justice to the offender, he is probably good. If your hunky jock boyfriend laughs off your rape story and then date rapes you just to teach you a lesson, he is probably evil.
  5. If your hunky jock boyfriend drives a classy antique sports car he paid for himself by working late night at the local nursing home, or if he fixed up said sports car during his free time at the mechanics where he works, he’s probably good. If your hunky jock boyfriend drives a classy antique sports car because he received it as a gift, and he often drives said car recklessly because he does not understand its value, he is probably evil.
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