Fighting with the Sky

You Get Fat in a Relationship

Posted on: November 10, 2009

After I worked last night, I sat down this morning to catch up on some of the television shows that I missed while working.  I turned on How I Met Your Mother (episode: “Rough Patch”) and could not believe what I saw.  I usually greatly enjoy How I Met Your Mother‘s inappropriate humor and I really like the actors on the show, particularly Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan. (Just a warning: this post is going to be very sarcastic at points, please don’t take the sarcasm seriously)

himym_rough_patch_8But in this episode, “Rough Patch,” Barney and Robin are going through a rough patch in their relationship and “letting themselves go.”  Barney is gaining weight and Robin has stopped “putting herself together.”  Barney spent most of the episode walking around in a fat suit as a way to show that he’s letting himself go.

The message that I got from this storyline is that a) it’s bad to gain weight and b) when you are in a relationship, you don’t care about yourself anymore.  Their friends are horrified that Barney and Robin are letting themselves go.  They think that they are killing each other because they are so miserable in their relationship but don’t want to admit it.

And of course, when you are miserable, you get fat.  That’s just the way that it works, obviously.  And getting fat is bad.  No one will want you when you’re fat (SPOILER: but don’t worry, he magically lost all his weight when they broke up at the end of the episode).

This episode was full of fatphobia.  The humor on the show is often inappropriate, but this just crossed a line for me.  I didn’t find it funny.  I’m pretty sure a lot of people were offended.  But we all now only pretty people watch How I Met Your Mother and pretty people will find the fatphobic humor funny because it’s not about them.  Fat people are funny.  It’s exactly these kind of storylines that add to the fatphobic culture and hinder the attempts of size acceptance activists.


2 Responses to "You Get Fat in a Relationship"

Ah yes, the good old “once you trap someone into a relationship, you can let the inner fatty out” plotline. Delicious.

The show is going a bit downhill and that is ridiculous but my ex used to bargain w/ me to lose weight. He’s buy me things if I got to a certain weight. and now we’re friends (soon to be not anymore now that I have finally realized he has been verbally abusing me for a decade), he told me it “wouldn’t hurt for me to lose a few pounds” for dating. Guys find me attractive. I want to lose weight to feel better but I will do it as I can and for myself. That hurts to say that and to think of his hurtful remarks.

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