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What do you think of Glee's portrayal of eating disorders?


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#1
Auntie Snixx

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This is just something that recently just popped into my head. Glee takes such good care of dealing with bullying and gay problems, but it doesn't seem to take body image/eating disorders seriously (other than Mercedes starving herself in "Home" and Finn's insecurity in "The Rocky Horror Glee Show").

Here are some examples:

  • In "The Rocky Horror Glee Show", Sam clearly exhibits signs of body dysmorphic disorder, thinking he's fat and cursing himself for eating Doritos, yet becomes a stripper somewhere between "New York" and "Hold On to Sixteen".
  • Santana's possible bulimia/anorexia/other eating disorder e.g. the excitement over the "Sue Sylvester Master Cleanse" in "Home", Rachel hearing someone throwing up in the bathroom and automatically assuming it's Santana in "New York", Mercedes' comment "like you eat" in "Asian F".
  • Quinn's post-pregnancy body has been joked about several times ("Dream On", "Audition", "A Very Glee Christmas" and "Prom Queen")
  • Rachel's attempts at bulimia are met with an oral sex joke in "Showmance".


Has anyone else noticed this?

#2
Jugz da' Clown

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See this is the problem Glee runs into when it shifts back and forth between being a black comedy and being a PSA-filled drama. Things that's were once played for laughs, despite being un-PC, are now looked at in a new light. People are like "Okay, you made this a serious issue. Why not this? And this?" and pretty soon nothing is funny anymore, and we're made to feel guilty for laughing.


#3
Moni

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QUOTE (Jugz da' Clown @ Feb 27 2012, 10:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
See this is the problem Glee runs into when it shifts back and forth between being a black comedy and being a PSA-filled drama. Things that's were once played for laughs, despite being un-PC, are now looked at in a new light. People are like "Okay, you made this a serious issue. Why not this? And this?" and pretty soon nothing is funny anymore, and we're made to feel guilty for laughing.

Yes, this is really a big problem.

How they handle bullying in Glee is a perfect example of this. Sometimes it is treated totally serious, especially if it involves gay characters, and at other times the bullying is used for jokes.

#4
Guest_Stephanie

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I remember being quite upset that people wanted to punch Sam in RHGS for "being shallow" when they clearly showed he had issues. Would've been nice if they expanded on them but Glee are rubbish at taking anything seriously if it's not to do with gays being bullied.

#5
sinnfb

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It would have been a much better and less repetitive theme to explore this season. They have a perfect opportunity with Santana so I hope they don't waste it and if it happens, then I hope it's not simultaneously with any gay bullying storyline... that would be way too much drama.

QUOTE
I remember being quite upset that people wanted to punch Sam in RHGS for "being shallow" when they clearly showed he had issues. Would've been nice if they expanded on them but Glee are rubbish at taking anything seriously if it's not to do with gays being bullied.


I think people read way too much into the things Sam said this episode. My impression was always that he had a personality transplant with Puck since the producers didn't know if Mark was going to come back or not.

#6
Auntie Snixx

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QUOTE (Moni @ Feb 27 2012, 03:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes, this is really a big problem.

How they handle bullying in Glee is a perfect example of this. Sometimes it is treated totally serious, especially if it involves gay characters, and at other times the bullying is used for jokes.


Yeah, like Puck gets locked into a portable TOILET (how un freaking hygienic is that?) and Artie gets rolled down staircases and that's played for humour, but Saint Kurt gets bullied?

#7
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QUOTE (sinnfb @ Feb 27 2012, 10:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think people read way too much into the things Sam said this episode. My impression was always that he had a personality transplant with Puck since the producers didn't know if Mark was going to come back or not.

When has Puck been shown to be self-conscious about his image besides from having his mohawk cut off? One of the first things we learnt about Sam was that he dyed his hair to try and fit in and that he's actually a total dork, so it seemed perfectly in character to me.

#8
sinnfb

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QUOTE (Stephanie @ Feb 27 2012, 08:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When has Puck been shown to be self-conscious about his image besides from having his mohawk cut off? One of the first things we learnt about Sam was that he dyed his hair to try and fit in and that he's actually a total dork, so it seemed perfectly in character to me.


That's a good point but I still think Sam acted too superficial and too concerned about popularity on the episodes Puck wasn't part of than he's ever acted on the show so IMO he was OOC.

It's just speculation but this, combined with the fact they paired him up with Quinn (and it seemed like they wanted to revisit Quick), makes me think it was just another case of the writers trying to fit/change a character in order to tell the storylines they wanted to tell.

#9
Graffme

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QUOTE (Jugz da' Clown @ Feb 27 2012, 03:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
See this is the problem Glee runs into when it shifts back and forth between being a black comedy and being a PSA-filled drama. Things that's were once played for laughs, despite being un-PC, are now looked at in a new light. People are like "Okay, you made this a serious issue. Why not this? And this?" and pretty soon nothing is funny anymore, and we're made to feel guilty for laughing.

Well put.


#10
Kamakana

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This is why I think Hannah and Marissa should have made it further on the Glee Project. I absolutely hate how Santana and Sam have absolutely no reason to hate their bodies (except maybe for the trout lips) and they think they still need to lose weight? Marissa had a really good vulnerability with eating disorders and Hannah showed us how to stand up to the challenge even if obese. Both very inspirational, moreso, in my opinion, than the predictable exchange student and the third Christian character in the cast.

#11
Auntie Snixx

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This is why I think Hannah and Marissa should have made it further on the Glee Project. I absolutely hate how Santana and Sam have absolutely no reason to hate their bodies (except maybe for the trout lips) and they think they still need to lose weight? Marissa had a really good vulnerability with eating disorders and Hannah showed us how to stand up to the challenge even if obese. Both very inspirational, moreso, in my opinion, than the predictable exchange student and the third Christian character in the cast.


I personally don't see the appeal with the Glee Project. I would prefer them to focus on the characters and cast they have rather than introducing new people.

The eating disorder thing is definitely a sensitive issue and should be dealt with seriously, rather than "let's have Sam end up as a stripper" or "let's have Santana's grandmother compare her to Jesus dying on the cross".

#12
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I hate it on glee when they make it out like only "ugly" people have body image issues. E.g, Rachel has a bit of a different nose, so she has body image issues, Mercedes is a bit chubby, so she has body image issues. It was really obvious when in "Born This Way" Quinn showed signs of having bad body image issues... when she used to be ugly.

I want to see a show prove that "pretty" girls like Santana and Quinn, who may have pretty much nothing wrong about them, can hate their looks and hate their body too. And I'd have loved to see an episode touching on Santana, clearly she could have been angry and violent because she hated herself (for something other than being GAY GAY GAY) - but no, it was all about GAY GAY GAY. Whereas Mercedes, who could have had an episode about being a strong black woman, ready to rise up above stereotypes and discrimination for her race, has had SO many comments and songs about her image because she's overweight.

Overall, Glee is too cliched.

#13
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i think sam for sure has some sort of self image issues, and he he isnt "ugly" in the tv ugly person sense and his mouth is flawless. i wish they had played it for something other than comedy though.

#14
KurtBlaine4Ever

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I think they could touch it, but would have to with someone who is on the show every week.


I can see Rachel doing it if someone remarks "shes too fat" for a stage or "it adds 20 pounds".

I can also see Emma doing it.

#15
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I think they were definitely planning to do something with Santana having some kind of eating disorder, because they kept bringing it up so often. The writers have demonstrated time and time again that they aren't that great with planning, so I think what happened is that they just kept shoving it back and back until the end of season 3 rolled around and they figured it wasn't much use now, since it is a primarily teenage issue, and slapped the storyline on to Marley when she was introduced. I really wish they would touch back on it, just Santana or someone else looking back on it or even showing her as still having problems to show that it's not just teenagers. 

With Sam it was more brief, but not so much that it should just be pushed aside. That's the problem with Glee, as stated above, they try to address issues like this in a serious light but then also try to joke about it and it doesn't match up. I don't think they should stop the serious part, because that's what makes Glee so unique. It addresses issues that other programs are too scared to or don't care enough about. I don't think the writers realize that they can be funny in a non-offensive way (a la Bob's Burgers). I'd really like to see them try their hands at that.






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