Watch enough Hollywood movies especially comedies and you will see that same stereotypes and typecasting for overweight actors. They are almost always portrayed as:
- a little (or a lot) dim
Don't believe me?
Let's take Melissa McCarthy. On Mike and Molly she's a teacher and like a real life person, she struggles to improve herself, maintain a relationship with her spouse and her family and generally acts like a normal albeit overweight human being. She dresses well, speaks at a normal volume, combs and styles her hair and is a bright funny loving woman.
Now lets look at her filmography shall we?
Do you detect a pattern here? These are by no means the only 3 movies in which Melissa McCarthy plays the overweight bumbling obnoxious buffoon. As far as I know, she has yet to headline in a single movie where she plays anything approaching the Molly character but she has starred as many different variations of what can only be called the poster girls for People of Walmart.
Ok, so that's one actress you say. Let's look at Rebel Wilson. In her latest movie she plays a character who has named herself Fat Amy, who wears a T-Shirt that says "Born a Loser," flashes a full frontal to the U.S. President during a live televised performance and performs some crazy staircase slide for comic effect. She comes off as a loveable but dumb buffoon who is both self-deprecating and horribly oblivious. And this is what we find funny.
Need more examples? Paul Blart Mall cop, just about anything Chris Farley or John Candy ever filmed, most Jack Black and Kevin Smith movies, everything Jonah Hill did before he lost weight, and the list goes on. Rarely do we see top billed overweight actors that are not in comedies and even rarer still it seems do they play characters who are respected, intelligent and stylish.
There are a few exceptions -- Queen Latifah, Octavia Spencer, Vincent D'Onofrio, Pruitt Taylor - these are actors who have not let their size dictate that they be typecast as buffoons. And for them I am grateful.
I wish the other overweight actors had the same self-respect because as long as obese actors are willing to act the part, Hollywood will perpetuate the stereotype.