The Tom Holland Fandom is Problematic: Yet ANOTHER Racism Rant ft. Fat Shaming and Toxic Masculinity because I'M ANGRY
and it’s a collaborative rant! with @spideyfloof and @themultilingualmartell and my sm:h fam because we’re all very very done with this. Let’s get to it! (This is a very long rant. But if you can read a 10k word long smut fanfic then you can certainly read this.)
JUST BECAUSE JACOB BATALON ISN’T A SKINNY WHITE BOY DOESN’T MEAN HE DOESN’T DESERVE LOVE AND APPRECIATION.
Okay, to start off, this rant isn’t about one specific person. It’s about the Tom Holland fandom as a whole (and really every fandom), but it was triggered by one event. A user on here said that they didn’t write for Jacob because they don’t know much about him. That’s an excuse that I’ve seen too many times and I’m tired of it. It’s not just that person, it’s almost every user in the fandom.
1) Disproving this excuse. I think we all know the real reason behind this: our 2 favorite horsemen of the apocalypse: racism and fatshaming! Isabel, you don’t know these people, why would you saw that? Now let me back myself up. Let’s take an example. Sam Holland. You all know him, love him, write headcanons and fanfiction about him every easily. He rarely posts on social media, and is very quiet about his private life. And yet, somehow, some way, the fandom has developed a popular characterization of him. Now let’s look at Jacob. He posts on social media a lot more than Sam, including using Instagram stories, and has MULTIPLE interviews. AND HE WAS LITERALLY IN THE MOVIE! Harrison, Harry, AND Sam were all not in the movie, and yet we’ve developed detailed headcanons about them. So why can’t we characterize Jacob? Why don’t we “know much about him”? Oh, that’s right. RACISM AND FAT SHAMING! Nobody wants to bother to at least give a couple thoughts about to Jacob’s characterization, and so it becomes a cycle of ignorance.
2) Racism in the fandom. I’ve already talked about this before. We constantly ignore any person of color in the Marvel universe, and I’m going to use Jacob and Tony Revolori as examples. A direct quote from the sm:h fam group chat (I don’t remember who said this, someone lmk!) “I joined the fandom thinking that there would be a lot of Jacob content because he basically starred in the movie.” STARRED. He was Peter’s BEST FRIEND. Yet the only posts in the jacob batalon tag are pictures of Tom.. And TONY! Tony was the star of an Oscar winning movie, who brought a totally new and realistic spin to the Flash Thompson character, and do I see anything about him? NO. And it’s because we inherently discount any person who isn’t white. I know (most of) you don’t intend to be racist, but in the society we’re raised in, there’s always an undercurrent of racism by which we’re affected. Please at least try to fight that internalized racism, or else we’ll end up worse than where we are.
3) Fat shaming. This is Jacob specific, but he’s not skinny or has toned abs like Tom or Harrison. And we all know that’s part of the reason why you all ignore him. NOT EVERY BOY, NOT EVERY PERSON, IS GOING TO BE TALL AND FIT AND ATTRACTIVE ACCORDING TO OUR SOCIETY’S UNREALISTIC STANDARDS. We always talk about fat shaming with girls, BUT IT’S JUST AS REAL FOR GUYS! Body type is (literally) skin deep, and it’s no excuse to ignore someone and their accomplishments, which brings us to…
4) Toxic masculinity. Now you might think, “I’m a #woke tumblr user! I know what toxic masculinity is and I don’t support it!” Ok, sure, so why don’t you support Jacob? Jacob, who is around 5′5″ and not skinny and a person of color. THIS. THIS IS TOXIC MASCULINITY. BOYS WHO ARE UNDER 6 FEET ARE LOVED AND VALID, BOYS WHO HAVE BMIS OF OVER 18 ARE LOVED AND VALID, BOYS OF ANY BODY SHAPE AND TYPE AND LOOK ARE LOVED VALID. Do you realize that when you say “I only like boys who are taller than me”, you COMPLETELY INVALIDATE any other boy’s experience? And make them feel like they are unlovable and not enough for people? Because you do. Toxic masculinity is NOT just boys bullying boys, it’s girls and nonbinary people who unknowingly perpetrate it too when they fall prey to society’s standards. And a great segue into…
5) Representation. Jacob played a short, plus size character of color who WAS NOT USED AS A STEREOTYPE. He is smart and kind and never once was the butt of a fat joke, or stuck into the “smart, square Asian” stereotype, or a short joke, or ANYTHING. Do you REALIZE how refreshing that is? For short kids or kids who aren’t skinny who get teased at school to see someone like them on that screen? For ME, and MARE, Filipinos who FINALLY SEE SOMEONE WHO LOOKS LIKE US. On a movie screen! A Filipino with tan skin and tapered eyes and big lips who is smart but not the stereotypical Asian smart, someone who I can finally RELATE TO. And you completely ignore all of the impact he has. It’s bothersome and, frankly, rude and it needs to stop.
6) I actually don’t understand why people don’t stan Jacob. He’s sweet and caring and talented and unproblematic and he ACTUALLY SUPPORTS THE TRANS!PETER PARKER HEADCANON. HAS SAID IT, OUT LOUD, AND WAS QUOTED IN AN ARTICLE. COME ON. The guy plays multiple instruments (not just piano cough), sings, acts, CARES ABOUT KIDS SO MUCH (went on the hospital visits WITH Tom), has a great sense of style, has a great sense of family, and yet you stick to your same skinny white boys for who knows what reason (actually, I addressed those reasons in the previous 5 paragraphs).
7) Conclusion. THIS FANDOM IS A MICROCOSM FOR SOCIETY. It’s not just one person who’s perpetrating all of these injustices, it’s ALL OF US. Including me. And we need to stop. We need to start giving attention to people who deserve it, and BROADEN THE DIVERSITY IN THE FANDOM! I’m not saying to completely stop stanning the Hollands and Harrison, or that you’re required to write for Jacob and Ned or whatever. I’m saying to diversify your blog, because if none of us start, then this ignorance will never stop. Start writing about Jacob or include Laura in your headcanons or add Tony to your list of ships or SOMETHING. This isn’t just about Jacob, this applies to every fandom with people of color in it.
At the risk of sounding arrogant, you really can’t argue with this. You might be able to argue with the details, but not with the main points of why people don’t stan Jacob, and needing to appreciate actors & characters of color in general more, because I’m right and I have this entire website (and other social media websites!) as evidence. If you disagree with this, go ahead and bring your finger or cursor to the upper right hand corner and hit that unfollow button because it’s been time to take out the racist/fat shaming/generally rude trash.