to be a bit uneasy at the concept of new E4 show "my mad fat diary?"

(65 Posts)

If the trailers are anything to go by, its about a 16 year old who is FAT and feels she doesnt fit in or isnt normal. Oh and did I mention shes FAT.

WTAF has being fat got to do with it. Plenty of people feel like they dont fit in. Especially teenagers. And since when is being fat "mad"?

I really do not understand what message they are trying to put across. And yes I probably should watch it before I comment, but the trailers are making me cross. Since when is it ok to promote that fat people should try to be more normal?

And I hate the word FAT. AIBU? Or do other people feel the same?

Fakebook Sat 12-Jan-13 23:59:34

Being a teenager and fat/thin/tall/short/alive isn't fun. It's just a tv programme.

I saw the trailer for this earlier and my first thought was "but she's not fat" and then it got "uncomfortable" and I can't quite say why, it just didn't look like something I'd want DD to watch iykwim.
If they have such a pretty girl as the one who's playing the title role, and make her out to be "fat and mad", what hope is there for any ordinary schoolgirls who aren't uber glamorous and film star thin confused - I don't like it when anyone is singled out for their appearance, and especially not when it's someone who is prefectly ordinary and nice and not fat etc, who is then held up as someone with "something wrong".

frootshoots Sun 13-Jan-13 00:02:29

Why are you only picking up on the FAT part? And not the spending time in a nuthouse part for example?


You have put that much more eloquently than I could Pom.

But its not just a programme Fake. Teenagers will watch that and take something from it. Its naive to think they wont.

cheddarcheeselover Sun 13-Jan-13 00:05:28

erm, well the girl is very definitely very overweight!

I think it looks quite good, I was a fat teen and having someone to identify with would've been ace. sort of a female adrian mole?

Because the fat part is all over it. 16 stone is written on the screen beside scales. The word fat is used countless times.

Time in a "nuthouse" (I assume thats e4s term and not yours) has completely passed me by. Is that what its about?

It gets worse then.

I was the "fat swotty" one at school, and I hate the thought of anyone else ever going through what I went through. Hopefully it will turn out to be a story of how she is still liked and respected and has friends and self respect and self belief and it will be inspiring, rather than all about how she suffers for being different. I just wish the trailer gave us a clue which way it will go confused

cinnamonnut Sun 13-Jan-13 00:06:20

PomBear, I think it's definitely fair to say that she is overweight.

CaptainRex Sun 13-Jan-13 00:07:06

It actually based on a real diary written by someone in my school, who spent time in a mental institute, and wrote the diary of her life as a way to heal at the time


JaneFonda Sun 13-Jan-13 00:07:30

Yes, you probably should watch it before you comment.

It's based on the teenage diaries of a writer, who was overweight and therefore writes about her difficulties.

Nowhere does it mention that being fat is 'mad' - the premise is that she has just come out of a psychiatric hospital - it seems to be quite tongue in cheek.

The actress playing the lead role is fat, so it's not as if she's a waif thin model who they are portraying as being morbidly obese.

OP, YABU. Lighten up, it's a TV show about the teenage years - where fitting in really does seem to matter!

YABU. And you obviously haven't even watched the advert for it properly.

I'm quite happy to see a programme about a teenager that doesn't fit into the usual stereotype we are constantly fed.

If you don't like it or it makes you feel uncomfortable then just don't watch it.

You would want to identify with someone who hates themselves and wants to be more normal?

Obviously I am taking a different message from it than others then.

frootshoots Sun 13-Jan-13 00:11:54

Its actually based on a true story, the diaries of author Rae Earl she wrote when she was a teenager. It's not just something E4 have cooked up to take the piss out of fat mad people.

I'm not sure she is "very overweight" *Cheddar - I think we get conditioned almost by the media. We see hyper thin stars and they are held up as icons of all that is beautiful and stunning and lovely, and then when we see someone with a normal figure we think "oooh look at the size of her arse/thighs" she's fat" when really, she is perfect, and it's the celebs who are overly thin iykwim.
Someone like Alexandra Burke comes to mind, she is fit and toned, and dances and is a star, and yet all the pictures of her look hefty or chunky next to the Keira Knightly, Victoria Beckham, Nicole Richie types. It's not that AB is the slightest bit overweight, it's just what the media tell us we should think confused
They say the camera adds weight too, when people are on screen, and people just are bigger now than they were previously, puberty comes earlier (in the western world anyway) because we have the diet and health care to allow it.
Yes a lot of people including me are obese, but not everyone is, and the very very thin look that is touted as being beauty isn't ideal either - being very overweight or underweight are just as damaging.

cheddarcheeselover Sun 13-Jan-13 00:12:16

pretty much every teen wants to be more normal though don't they?
It looks like something I would have liked, but it is impossible to jude before anyone's seen it!

frootshoots Sun 13-Jan-13 00:12:21

God I'm a slow types grin x posts galore!

cinnamonnut Sun 13-Jan-13 00:14:18

PomBear, I know that the media conditions us, but I really DO think that actress is overweight. It is unhealthy if we all assume that is normal - she is bigger than is healthy

volvocowgirl Sun 13-Jan-13 00:14:37

YABU. And either haven't watched the ad properly or have seen a different one to the one I keep seeing.

But I also think they have been unreasonable in setting it in the nineties rather than the eighties like the book - which is very good BTW.

cheddarcheeselover Sun 13-Jan-13 00:15:36

I think it can work the other way though - so many people are overweight now that people become accustomed to seeing bigger people, and a healthy person looks skinny!
I'm v overweight myself btw!

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 13-Jan-13 00:17:15

The first trailer I saw for this she was saying she was 16 and gagging to get laid. hmm

WorraLiberty Sun 13-Jan-13 00:17:28

Pom she's clearly fat confused

OP I think the 'mad' part comes from the fact she was in a mental health unit or something? I'm not overly sure because I've only seen the trailer twice and wasn't concentrating.

Probably best to watch it first and then comment/decide.

I wonder if the actress is big, or if she's put on weight for the role - Rene Zelwegger (sp?) did for Bridget Jones iirc. I wonder what the girl from this one weighs ordinarily?

I have watched the ad properly. I looked at the screen and listened to the words. At no point was "nuthouse" mentioned.

The trailers are very misleading then if its not a pisstake of fat people. A person shouldnt need prior knowlege of the book to "get" the trailer.

threesocksmorgan Sun 13-Jan-13 00:18:16

just don't watch it

WorraLiberty Sun 13-Jan-13 00:22:39

Yes the words 'nut house' were definitely mentioned in the two trailers I saw.

It is mentioned in the first few sentences of the advert.

LadyBeagleEyes Sun 13-Jan-13 00:23:27

I think this show seems to be controversial in the trailers, but I'm hoping it could be one of those groundbreaking type series that Channel 4 do seem to do so brilliantly, and can show issues that no other broadcaster can be arsed to tackle.
I'm thinking Queer as Folk and the early episodes of Shameless.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

"Just dont watch it."

Or come on to a chat forum and find out others opinions and educate myself? No?

frootshoots Sun 13-Jan-13 00:25:46

There's a shortened trailer where it isn't mentioned, but for a while after it was first aired the words nut house were definitely used in it, "I'm 16, 16 stone and have just spent 6 months in a nut house" or something along those lines.

To be fair I didn't know it was based on true events until DH of all people told me a couple of weeks ago. Probably still wouldn't know if he hasn't mentioned it, not from the trailer alone.

WorraLiberty Sun 13-Jan-13 00:28:51

I was thinking the same LBE and 'Skins' sprang to mind too...or at least the earlier series'.

BreconBeBuggered Sun 13-Jan-13 00:47:15

Love the book it's based on and don't understand why the adaptation has been set in the 90s. Being a bigger teenager was that bit rarer in the 80s when the diaries were written, which would have made the writer feel more conspicuous amongst her slimmer friends. I'll be interested to see why the era has been changed. The reason for the 'madness' isn't spelt our explicitly in the book.

I hope I'll like it. I usually watch book adaptations moaning that they're not right all the way through. I've already started with 'Those aren't their names!' <tedious viewing companion>

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 13-Jan-13 01:20:41

YABU - as other's have said they are based on the diaries of a real writer and fat doesn't equal mad. She spent time in a psychiatric hospital as is clearly stated in the longer advert.

Also pom the girl is clearly overweight. Nothin to do with media manipulation of perceptions,it's a fact that she is over weight. She's playing someone who is meant to be 16 stone! She'd have to close to that,they can hardly trot out a an 8 stone waif to play the part can they? confused

Not sure who mentioned the names but I thought the very much not names of the average teens in the 1990's.

I have been thinking, and tbh, the fact that its an adaption of diaries doesnt make the trailers any less insulting or worrying.

If someone came on here and started telling everyone they had been in a nuthouse and they are fat and have to try to act normal, people would be genuinely worried about them. It wouldnt be seen as tongue in cheek at all.

Why is it acceptable on E4?

cheddarcheeselover Sun 13-Jan-13 01:47:06

I think we are meant to be worried about her! Even in th worst situations there can always be found comedy though.

Booyhoo Sun 13-Jan-13 01:55:01

actually the ad uses the word 'madhouse' not nuthouse.

OP there are i think 3 trailers for this ad and i agree that seeing just 1 of them left me a bit confused about what the point of the show was until i had seen all 3 trailers.

i dont think teh show looks any good at all but i haven't read the book and intend to watch it to see what it is all about.

as an aside, i think e4 have been lurking on MN. a few weeks ago i posted on a thread saying that it looked rubbish and that the line saying "i wnat to find out if there really are any cool people in lincolnshire" was stupid. i have noticed the absence of this trailer on e4 since then! grin <claiming credit>

grin I would love to know if they do lurk!

Booyhoo Sun 13-Jan-13 01:59:40

oh wannabe, i just realised you are the OP. i'm not stalking you! honest! grin

Haha I didnt even realise grin

LadyBeagleEyes Sun 13-Jan-13 02:06:18

Maybe we should all just wait till the programme is aired before we judge, eh?

Booyhoo Sun 13-Jan-13 02:10:51

i think it's ok to judge the trailers as we have seen those. the trailers dont give me much hope for the show. but as i said, i intend to watch it. but yes, the trailers i judge as shit.

They have released trailers with, presumably, the message they want to put out. So I will judge them.

And like I said before, a person shouldnt have to know the programme is a true story in order to understand the trailers.

thatisall Sun 13-Jan-13 02:31:57

Trust me the hurl who plays the main character is a strong woman who would make a great role model for teens everywhere, regardless of her weight.
The tale is one of a girl who struggles through her teens and spends time in an institution. I believe the 'fat' situation is something she feels upon often, this being part of the title.
Perhaps people should watch a show before they deem it distasteful no? Or are we just banning the word fat or the right to use ones weight as a form of comedy? It's been down for years!!

TinyDancingHoofer Sun 13-Jan-13 02:35:51

Isn't the point that she isn't mad or fat? But that is how a lot of young girls see themselves.

Booyhoo Sun 13-Jan-13 02:42:34

i recognise the girl but i cant think what i've seen her in. does anyone know what else she has acted in?

cheddarcheeselover Sun 13-Jan-13 02:42:42

or maybe she's mad and fat but it doesn't matter, she's still awesome!
who knows, we'll have to watch and find out grin

thatisall Sun 13-Jan-13 02:45:29

She's a Glaswegian stand up comic

Loveweekends10 Sun 13-Jan-13 04:56:42

And ugly Betty was....

I hated the concept ot Ugly Betty too. America Fererra is vvere ugly.

Is beautiful rather. Dont know what went on there.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sun 13-Jan-13 06:52:24

Firstly you are missing out totally that fact she's been in hospital hence the mad bit, she's a larger girl hence the fat.

My impression is she comes out tries to adjust and finds some friends and they have some adventures.

What you are completely missing is that you are not the target audience. I actually have high hopes for this one. How often is the 'fat' one or the 'mad' one the main character? It's diary based so totally from her perspective. Tbh I think you are judging this one by its cover as it were. There are plenty of trailers that I thought have looked crap and ended up enjoying when I've eventually watched them (and crap when they looked good)

FergusSingsTheBlues Sun 13-Jan-13 07:29:18

I have a bigger issue with the fact that the book was set in the era of baggy, madchester, early festies and aciiiiid raves, and theyve moved it forward to the oasis era. Cop out. Was looking forward to remiscing my early teenage years!

cozietoesie Sun 13-Jan-13 08:24:54

Oh the programmes are going to get a lot more on the edges yet. They're running out of ideas for things.

AnitaManeater Sun 13-Jan-13 08:31:46

What is the name of the book? Sounds good. Would also love to revisit my madchester days!

meditrina Sun 13-Jan-13 08:33:44

The ad uses the terms hospital and madhouse, and it seems the programme's scenario is the return of a teen to ordinary provincial teen society after release discharge from hospital.

Probably more important from the pov of the MH issues; though it's clearly not going to be a serious examination of ishoos.

JakeBullet Sun 13-Jan-13 08:39:38

The actress is Sharon Rooney, she was in Harry Hill's "I wanna Baby" video which is why she might look familiar.

FergusSingsTheBlues Sun 13-Jan-13 08:42:59

anita, its called " my mad fat teenage diary" by rae earl. I lent it to my best schoolchum, it got passed around all our friends, how we laughed! It was her real diary, btw.

Samnella Sun 13-Jan-13 08:47:49

Hmmmmm. I must admit I didn't like the feel of the trailer but figured it wasn't meant for me. I found this about it and it looks as though the impression the ad gives isn't what the programme is about. Doesn't look to me as though the girl is the victim but we will see. I shall withhold my judgey pants until I see it.

For those who say the character is not overweight. She is .She's meant to be 16 stone , she may well be less in real life but she is overweight. It wouldn't really work if she wasn't given the title. Someone said we are conditioned in seeing thin people on TV but we have also normalised being overweight. But that's another argument.

JakeBullet Sun 13-Jan-13 09:12:04

Remember too that trailers are meant to be provocative. They want to draw people in......and look at this, we are all discussing it here smile . It might bear no relation to how the story line pans out.

foslady Sun 13-Jan-13 11:20:52

Another vote for read the book - couldn't put it down and could identify with a lot of the angst as I was another kid that didn't fit the 'cool' criteria. If the programme's been done well then it should be great, showing the cool/uncool crap that you grow up with for what it really is

JakeBullet Sun 13-Jan-13 13:25:41

A sure it will be fabulous, not read the book but now want to based upon what I have read here.

volvocowgirl Sun 13-Jan-13 13:48:47

There must be a few different trailers for this show as I've seen two different ones but both of those mentioned the mental health stuff confused

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 13-Jan-13 14:00:57

I don't think you're being unreasonable to be uncomfortable with what you are seeing in the trailers. I am, too. I can see how it might be a good show that is great for teen girls to view. But the way it is presented makes me go hmm.


I hope that the show, itself, is very different because what people are saying about the actual person and her diaries sounds like it has the potential to be good for girls.

JakeBullet Sun 13-Jan-13 16:46:29

Have tweeted the actress playing the part of Rae.....told her this thread is here.....she is too scared to look grin.

PimpMyHippo Sun 13-Jan-13 17:00:54

I'm quite interested to see this programme just because I was a diary-writing overweight 16 year old with a mental illness living in Lincolnshire! When I first saw the trailer I actually wondered if someone had found my old diaries... So I'm interested because it's the first programme I've seen where the main character has so much in common with me. I'm going to have a look on Amazon now for the book. smile

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