Wall-E accused of Fascism. Um, I mean Fattism.
Pro-obesity groups are up in arms about the depiction of humanity as slobbish in the highly successful Pixar movie.
Wall-E, the hero of Pixar's latest huge success, has waddled into an unexpected spat.
If you have not yet seen the movie, I won't spoil the story.
However, I can tell you that the second half depicts human beings as obese, lazy, mindless slobs who glide around on lounge chairs, slurping humoungously-proportioned cupcake drinks as their flab flaps in the slipstream.
This vision of the future is, naturally, a vast stretch.
However, the National Association To Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) is largely unamused.
At its conference in LA, which ends today, the organization enjoyed entertainment from the Fatimas, declared its members' determination to make the word 'fat' their own and much private debate apparently whirled around the deleterious influence of Wall-E.
The Wall-E debate seems to have been begun by Ms. Rachel Richardson.
She voiced her concerns about Wall-E's anti-fat depictions even before the movie came out.
On her blog, 'The F-Word,' she accused Pixar of 'fat-bashing.'
"WALL-E specifically singles out and targets obese people as the primary cause of mankind's demise," she wrote.
This use of words seemed a little careless as NAAFA, for example, believes supposedly PC words such as 'obese' or 'overweight' are not merely sad attempts at largesse. They are moral judgments, created by thin people to suppress their more sizable brethren, just as certain world leaders of the past attempted to champion only the perfect eugenic specimens.
Anyway, in her next post worrying about Wall-E's poisonous effects, Ms. Richardson wrote:
"The real truth is that people just don't care that others are being discriminated against, as long as it's not directed their way. They don't - or won't - see how such stereotypes harm both fat and thin people, and contribute to an environment where a recent study of teen girls reveals they'd rather be blinded or lose a limb instead of becoming fat."
Ms.Richardson continued to express her concerns in a post yesterday.
"Pixar should be out of business for portraying this level of prejudicial bigotry-mongering. These are 19th-century hatreds repackaged in modern animation. It's amazing."
Here's the truly amazing thing, though.
Ms. Richardson, for example, hasn't seen the movie.
She does, however, reference those who accuse Pixar of 'lazy logic' by equating environmental collapse with overconsumption.
I'd be a little more interested if she and other fat-tivists wrote about how they felt having actually seen the movie. Would they feel better about it? Or even worse? Would they order the large popcorn? (Yes, I am ashamed of that last question. I am weak. I am in the stranglehold of stereotypes. I watch too much Sarah Silverman. Please save me.)
As it stands, isn't it something of a stereotype confirmation to criticize a movie you haven't bothered to actually see? Isn't this the very logic of the lazy she is warning us against?
In any case, fat-tivist critics are surely missing the deep-seated, positive message of Wall-E's remarkable story.
There he is with his tiny little neck and sweet little binocular eyes. And his rather disproportionately large belly.
The thing is, he puts that belly to such good use. He takes the waste that overconsumers have left behind and makes pretty little buildings out of it.
Surely that's what Pixar is getting at.
The Obesity of Hope.