For better or worse, Netflix Instant Watch has completely changed my life. Before this year, I was perfectly fine having not seen every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Married with Children. But now, thanks to my overwhelming desire to gobble up as much of the popular culture that I was too young to appreciate, I can say that I am nearly an expert on all things network T.V.
My quest to become the reigning champ of early 90s television led me to watching the show I hated most as a young television addict-- Roseanne. I'm not entirely sure why I hated Roseanne so much, but seeing that atrocious crocheted blanket hanging on the back of an even more hideous brown couch sent rageful shivers down my adolescent spine.
Now, as a slightly less adolescent television addict, Roseanne has opened my eyes to the possibilities of what great television can accomplish. The stories are simple enough to wrap up in 22 minutes, but are so honest and caring in it's representation of everything from family to body image.
Growing up, we've all been told that women like Roseanne, who were loud, outspoken, and most of all, large were everything that we should avoid becoming. We've always loved to criticize the Rosie O'Donnells and Whoopi Goldbergs of the world, and if they are ever present on television, they are filling the role of angry women who cannot be tamed. How dare they speak their minds, love their bodies, and embrace their femininity in front of our precious eyes!
As Roseanne and I were becoming close, the rest of the world was introduced to a group of new ladies who aren't apologizing for their bodies.
TLCs new show, Big Sexy, seems to be part Jersey Shore and part Sex and The City, but with a plus sized twist. These women are having a lot of fun and showing that size shouldn't dictate how you live your life. And I really appreciate that. But, I am nervous about a television show that focuses so much on the size of it's subjects instead of... well... everything else. I doubt a show like Roseanne could ever exist and have the success it had in our current culture. But shows like Big Sexy and Mike and Molly seem so radically on the other side of the spectrum that I have to wonder if we will ever find a balance.
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That being said, I do love reality television for all of it's tacky fun, and I LOVE these ladies and their fabulous style. So, maybe I'll just set down my critic hat and appreciate that there are some seriously lovely, fun and entertaining plus size ladies gracing my television once a week.
Big Sexy airs on TLC. Check your local listings for air times.
Amalia Nicholson is a plus-size blogger, fashion enthusiast and advocate of beauty at every size. She currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota where runs her personal style blog, Double Vision.