by Chris Bodenner
A reader sees “a couple of glaring holes” in this monologue from Louie:
First, lots of fat girls have boyfriends. Maybe that one fat girl can’t get one she finds acceptable, and her frustration is well-expressed, but the idea that being a fat girl means you CAN’T get a boyfriend is simply false. This country is full of fat women (and fat men) who are dating and married and popping out fat kids. We have an obesity epidemic, remember?
Second, when she goes into the thing about how he can just talk into the microphone about being overweight and it’s adorable – well, yeah, but he’s a famous comedian. Again, it works great in the scene, and for those characters, but trying to generalize that point is insane. Lots of fat guys get girlfriends (just like lots of fat girls get boyfriends), but tons more fat guys have absolutely no success with women. They can’t all just get on stage and have a persona. Lots of them end up with crippling anxiety and social phobias because they can’t get an iota of positive female attention.
So, as usual with Louie, it’s an amazing show with a fresh perspective and characters that seem to intimate universal truths. But also as usual, under close investigation those universal truths turn out to be closer to polemics that are just really well-written. Louis CK doesn’t intend them to be philosophical arguments, but expressions of his own very narrow, very personal perspective, and we should read them that way.
Another is much less forgiving and makes some solid points:
Wow. What a pathetic mix of self-pity and self-indulgence. “How is that fair? And why am supposed to just accept it?” Should I mention the obvious: during this whole scene a number of people pass the whining lady actually running. Yes, exercising.
So, here is my reaction to this lady:
No, you are not supposed to just accept it. Stop whining about fairness, put a pair of sneakers on and start doing something about your weight if it is your real concern. And no, you don’t have to if it does not get in the way of your fulfilling, happy and productive life – but that’s not what you sound like. So if you excuse my bluntness, either make your inner peace with your fat arse or do something about it.
And no, I am not some arrogant prick with good genes. It requires constant efforts for me to stay fit, and it has been that way for my entire adult life. I am a middle-aged man whose weight has been fluctuating around the “dreaded” BMI of 25 separating “normal” from officially “overweight” for as long as I remember. For the last 2 years I managed to stay below that mark, but not through some genetic luck or “fairness”. As I said, I was not dealt particularly good genes as far the waist size is concerned. All it will take for me to go back over that BMI 25 waterline is stopping to pay close attention to what I put in my mouth and starting to skip my every-other-evening swims and Sunday soccer games. And it will not take long to get there, no more than a month.
And by the way, I work long hours. I have to – I am a sole bread-winner in the family. Heading back from work at 7 pm I always have a choice to make: go home, have dinner and relax, which sounds incredibly appealing every bloody evening, or get over it and head to the swimming pool for an hour first. Trust me, the latter is never an easy choice, and I routinely find excuses not to do it and yet I also know that it feels very rewarding afterward whenever I don’t listen to my own excuses.
I also realise that my choices are not for everyone: small children at home or a number of other very real priorities may skew the balance and make my personal “good” choices not so good for someone else. But my point is exactly that: for many of us with with “susceptible” waistlines the actual girth is merely a matter of priorities. If it really bothers you, make it a priority. If you’d rather spend that extra hour at home with kids and/or indulge in sweet treats – it’s a legitimate choice, but then don’t whine.
And by the way, you want to know what is really unfair as far as the dating market is concerned? Try talking to short men. Or better yet, short bald men. No, I am not bringing any personal complaints here: I am 5’9” – definitely not tall but not pathologically short either, and in any case I am happily married to a beautiful woman. Yet I observed on many an occasion the short end of the dating stick reserved for short men. I understand that for many women these are unconscious decisions rooted deeply in biology (height + full head of hair may signal some genetic superiority), but that does not make it any fairer to the recipients of such unconscious attitude. And guess what: we can’t change our height or simply regrow a full head of hair while the chances are, you actually can change your waistline. So just knock it off please.