“We were both really tired one night,” McKinnon explains, “and I just said to Aidy, ‘Man, dyke is tired,’ and Aidy said, 'Fats is tired, too.’ And then it became our beautiful thing that we had together and we wanted to make something out of it,” McKinnon says.
How can we fix this? Is there a way that popular culture can offer a path to body positivity? We posed these questions to some of our staff, and they had some interesting thoughts:
“In all of this, I have mostly thought about the wonderful SNL sketch from a few years ago called Dyke & Fats. Cast members Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant play Chicago cops Les “Dyke” Dykawitz and Chubbina “Fatz” Fatzarelli in a spoof of 1970s police dramas. It’s corny, it’s cute, and it’s really, really funny. The two cops are capable and competent, perhaps beyond belief, while also leaning heavily into stereotypes about lesbians and overweight people. (McKinnon, for example, shows a wallet full of photos of English bulldogs while Bryant’s has sausage links.) At the end of the sketch, however, the police chief, played by Louis CK, congratulates them on a job well done, he addresses them as “Dyke and Fats.” The two lose it: “Those are our words! You don’t get to say it!”
It is not so much about it being wrong to be plus-sized but more so that women are often categorized against their will. I agree with Caroline that we are, in general, moving in the right direction and (slowly) building toward increased representation of different body types and backgrounds on television and film. What is so empowering, or, if I can use Glamour’s word, inspiring about women like Schumer and McCarthy and Dunham and Kaling is that they’ve taken ownership over the way we view them. They’re not inspiring because they’re plus-sized or despite being plus-sized. They’re inspiring because they’re forcing us to see them as something beyond that. They’re writers and producers and directors and actors, and they’re making roles for themselves that regularly defy cultural expectations. A willingness to talk about one’s own body becomes an allowance for everyone to talk about it. Let these women set the course for their own narratives and be “inspiring” on their own terms—and they’ll break through even more barriers.”