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August 10, 2018, Netflix releases another toxic example of what 21st-century teenagers must endure every time they flip on the television. The TV show, Insatiable, features childhood actor Debby Ryan in a fat suit, enduring years full of bullying due to her weight. Ryan loses a drastic amount of weight and plans to enact revenge on the students who relentlessly bullied her.
One can predict that this show will fall into the same category as the anticipated show, 13 Reasons Why, which hit the teenage population on March 31, 2017, adapted from the novel written by Jay Asher which was published back in 2007.
13 Reasons Why, was filled with heavily triggering material, which made many of the fan base, many who were young or suffered from mental illnesses, self-harm or even suicidal thoughts and actions uncomfortable as they watched their disorders become romanticized. Now, that same fan base is being spoon-fed triggering material that promotes the idea that only skinny girls are worth anything. In a nation where eating disorders are becoming more common despite the ever-growing wave of self-love, this show is the last thing that the young adults of the world need to be spending their time watching.
As the young children of this world feast their eyes on the toxic material that a widely used entertainment provider is producing, they will soon learn that all they need to lose is just ten more pounds. That a woman is only worth as much as she weighs.
Insatiable is intended to be satire, to attack the sensitive topics of racism, social class, the LGBT community, sexual harassment and self-images of teenage girls. Yet, the show appears to be more offensive than producers had intended. Ryan’s character Patty, known by most of her peers as Fatty Patty, uses sex as a weapon as soon as she becomes what society deems desirable.
Patty meets another character while she is in the bathroom, a trans woman who shares her own insecurities with Patty that comes along with her struggle with acceptance and gender dysphoria. The LGBT community has been striving for representation in the media, be it in movies or television. Yet, some may say that in a television show such as Insatiable, the representation may not be many had in mind.
While the main goal of the show is inherently positive, the way that Patty uses her body to seduce older men, and the evil tendencies that come along with Patty’s drastic weight loss as she strives to ruin the lives of those who worked so tirelessly to do to her life. While many people would originally agree that the show, based solely on the trailer has a positive message about the negative effects of bullying has on a young person. If one sits down and watches the show, they will realize that the show is full of nothing but juxtapositions as the positive message is overwhelmed by the negative aspects.
Children nowadays can be found to be more impressionable than previous generations, as they grow up with a higher influx of technology and role models pushing new diet fads and how losing weight, changing your hair color, or straightening your teeth can instantly turn you into a more desirable, and worthy human being.
This article is not to state that dieting is bad, or that any change a person may make to themselves is a negative one. Many people may find that dieting helps them sleep better at night, feel better about themselves or help their health in the long run. Those are the ideals that a show such as Insatiable should be pushing. An air of self-love, and promoting self-confidence and acceptance of all people should be advertised and promoted more frequently than it is. Shows such as Insatiable and 13 Reasons Why are only a few of the reasons that suicide rates are higher and depression, as well as eating disorders, are found to be even more common among teens than in recent years. As television and media personalities begin to push self-love and acceptance there will be a significant shift in the way people are viewed in society and how society perceives them as well.