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Fat, Fandom, and Jessica Jones, or “Where the fuck were you?”

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Content warning: fat hate, disordered eating, and every other warning you’ve already heard about Jessica Jones (rape, PTSD, violence, misogyny, all sorts of warnings that fat women don’t deserve).

You’re on the internet, so I assume you’ve heard of, if not already binge watched, the Netflix/Marvel series, Jessica Jones. The show has been praised–rightfully so–for its unflinching, unapologetic themes of rape, PTSD, and even the sinister, casual misogyny of a man telling a woman to smile.

If the title of this post drew you in because you’re looking for another fawning think piece about how refreshing and wholly feminist this marvel (no pun intended) of a modern superhero franchise is, you’re probably the exact feminist I want to have a confrontation with.

I’d heard so many wonderful things about the show, so I tried it. It sucked me in immediately. About seven minutes into the first episode, our heroine is on a fire escape, spying through people’s windows. She sees a fat woman running on a treadmill. The woman steps down and retrieves a fast food burger to messily gorge herself on while Jones looks on and sneers, “two minutes on the treadmill, twenty minutes on a quarter-pounder.”

Despite the claims of notorious fat hating internet enclaves, there hasn’t been an outcry over this “triggering” content. And that’s what I–a sniveling, cowardly SJW, just to get that bit out of the way–am concerned about.

You know about trigger warnings–the term “content warning” is preferable, as it doesn’t appropriate or water-down terminology pertaining specifically to PTSD–because everyone on your Facebook timeline is complaining about them. Trigger warnings are everywhere, coddling the gentle feelings of a generation doomed to failure from being handled with white kid gloves, or so increasingly crusty fellow Gen Xers have decided. So where was the warning for that fat shaming joke that the pathetic, bottom-feeding Reddit dwellers so gleefully noted the absence of? Like most of the online drama that feeds their oxygen-deprived, shriveled little erections, the outcry was totally manufactured. In fact, when I googled the quote, not a single result on the first two pages were about the joke itself, but the overblown reaction the fat haters believed everyone was having.

So where the fuck was the overblown reaction, guys? Where was the trigger warning everyone thinks wasn’t needed? Where the fuck was it? There have been plenty of content warnings for rape, for violence, for suicide, for PTSD flashbacks. Was there no compassion or consideration left for the fat women? If even the fat shamers believed that the absence of a trigger warning should be cause for outrage, where the fuck were you? In a day and age where a marine biology Tumblr tags its posts with the mind-bogglingly obvious “TW: water”, where was a single social media feminist when your fat sisters were being brutally let down? And not just let down, but mocked for a reaction that wasn’t happening at all, let alone on the scale dreamed up by a bunch of sentient pubic hairs on the internet?

“But it’s feminist here! And over here!” you might be tempted to cry. Put a hold on that transaction, because I’m not buying. If I’m willing to cop to my seasonal worship of the misogynist shit-fest that is Love, Actually, you can good and goddamn admit that your unproblematic fave has two lines that are problematic, and you can take two seconds out of your day to acknowledge that and give fat women a head’s up.

By the end of the first episode, it was clear that this is going to be a show I love, and I’m going to stick with it all the way to the end because I am thoroughly enchanted. Krysten Ritter is, without any whiff of overstatement, flawless. The writing–in the first episode, at least–is tight as a drum, and it’s probably the only time I’ve seen a television character who wasn’t Olivia Benson tell a rape survivor that her assault wasn’t her fault. Jessica Jones is a great show. I was about to gush to my husband about how great it was, when I realized that he might want to watch it as a result. I thought about all the times he’s seen me red faced and sweating after a run, how many times I’ve tried to diet only to say “fuck it all!” and launch into some Taco Bell. How many times he’s seen me launch into some Taco Bell when I wasn’t saying “fuck it all!” to a diet and eating just because damn, I love those chicken quesadillas so much. I thought of him seeing the smart, strong Jessica Jones saying something I’d said to myself in my deepest moments of self-hatred a million times before. I thought about a following scene, where Jones tucks carelessly into a sandwich that will be the only thing we see her consume in this episode besides booze. And I thought about how embarrassing all of that was when combined. Even though I know that my husband doesn’t care about my weight–a shocking claim that would no doubt be denounced as a delusion or an outright lie by the slobbering anti-fat internet masses–, even though I know he’s still with me when I can’t stand being with myself, I would be mortified to watch that episode with him. So when he asked how it was, I didn’t do what I wanted to do, which was to grab him and shake him and scream in his face, “Why the fuck haven’t we watched this yet? What is wrong with us?” Instead, I shrugged and said, “It’s okay.”

And that’s me, a fat woman who no longer flirts with disordered eating, who no longer laments that her gag reflex can’t be triggered by something so puny as an index finger. A woman who would now be comfortable getting a tattoo of a Taco Bell chicken quesadilla on her forehead with the words “Fuck it all! Taco Bell!” in letters that replace her eyebrows. I can’t imagine how it must feel to women who haven’t developed a thicker skin yet, who haven’t overcome demons that will wake up hungry and cranky when they see a sweating fat woman eat a burger followed by a rail-thin beauty devouring a sandwich. I can’t imagine how many women turned off the show right there and missed all the powerful feminist content everyone is lauding. And all anyone needed to do to protect them was to mention how the show failed here. A single line in the middle of a four-thousand word praise orgy would have sufficed. A single word in defense to our legions of haters would have been even better.

Look, I’m a realist. Fat shame is here to stay. As long as horrible people are brutally oppressed by having to be nice to the people who count, fat people–who obviously don’t count–will be the target of impotent, frustrated egos that need to lash out at their own insecurities. Would I have preferred that Jessica Jones didn’t feature a fat shaming joke? Of course, especially since the production is helmed by a female show runner and is being praised as a feminist masterpiece. Do I think the show is irredeemably antifeminist because of it? Absolutely not. Do I want to prevent future episodes from being filmed, picket Netflix headquarters, and demand a full apology? Of course not. I’m not one of the fragile, fascist fatties who demand everyone worship us as sexual objects and who were completely invented by the gong farmers of the internet, because those types of fat people don’t exist. But you know what I do want? Some admission by my fellow feminists that fat women deserve just as much consideration and protection as every other woman. It’s one thing to declare that fat is a feminist issue. It’s another entirely to bother to do anything with that information. All you needed was a single content warning hashtag. All you needed was to acknowledge that we could be hurt by such a cheap, throwaway joke. And you didn’t.

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112 Comments

  1. You know what was sad for me, in hindsight? I saw that moment, and as a fat woman, cringed and yelled ‘fuck you’ at the tv, and but wasn’t remotely surprised. It’s just so damn COMMON. How horrible is it that I’m so used to being bombarded with those messages that I’m getting numb?

    When something does slip past that numbness though, it fucks me up for days. I enjoyed Bones thoroughly until the episode where the heroine lit into a fat woman and announced in an authoritative tone of voice that all fat people smell bad because they’re moldy. (Man, I saw that months ago and it still makes me queasy to type that.)

    In think in both cases the aim is to try and show how “edgy” these women are, that they say the rude things that “everybody thinks”. It fails miserably and it’s a trope that needs to fucking die in a fire.

    December 4, 2015
    |Reply
    • Zweisatz
      Zweisatz

      And they do it several times in Bones. In these instances, she’s basically replacing the “What, I just tell it like it is!” dudes. It’s really deplorable.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what’s wrong with Bones …

        It jumped the shark years ago and just keeps getting worse.

        December 7, 2015
        |Reply
    • Ilex
      Ilex

      That comment on Bones really stuck in my craw, too, with its implication that overweight people can’t bathe properly and have terrible personal hygiene. I saw that episode years ago and have felt ticked off about it every so often ever since.

      December 7, 2015
      |Reply
    • Jelly Bean
      Jelly Bean

      I watched that episode yesterday and it pissed me straight the fuck off. The woman served no purpose in the episode except to be made fun of. I also loved (hated) how they made sure she said she had a glandular problem but the implication was that all fat people say that, and isn’t it just so funny ’cause they are really just lazy slobs?

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who was bothered by it.

      December 15, 2015
      |Reply
  2. Maeve
    Maeve

    Um…spoilers here kind of? And content warnings…

    There is also a scene where a mother forces her daughter to purge in a later episode. I’m not sure if that would be triggering for people…

    December 4, 2015
    |Reply
    • Kayla
      Kayla

      As someone with an ED, yeah, that definitely could be triggering.

      And between the rape/sexual assault and all of this, evidently I’m never gonna be able to watch Jessica Jones. Sigh.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • Shannon
        Shannon

        Are you seriously so weak willed that you can’t watch something fictional that alludes to an issue you may have?
        If something that basic triggers you, have fun in the real world where nothing has trigger-warning labels and not everything is wrapped in cotton wool and bubble wrap.
        If your brain doesn’t outright explode from all the stress of real conversations and experiences that humans tend to have, maybe you just might learn to not be such a fucking child.

        December 5, 2015
        |Reply
        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          Maybe you can help me out with this, Shannon: why are people like you so sensitive to the idea of trigger or content warnings that you must throw epic temper tantrums to prove how reasonable and completely unaffected by the words of others you are? Do you not see the vast ocean of contradiction you’re drowning in? Do we need to give you a content warning so you know you won’t see anything about content warnings, since you’re so emotionally disturbed by them? Because this conversation is clearly disturbing you.

          Someone is a fucking child here, but it’s not who you think.

          December 5, 2015
          |Reply
          • alicia
            alicia

            jenny, i love you and want to have your genetically engineered lesbian babies for this comment.

            December 7, 2015
          • Toffeemama
            Toffeemama

            My hands literally went up to applaud my computer screen when I read your comment. The things you say….they’re just perfect.

            December 7, 2015
          • Mel
            Mel

            Fantastic comeback, Jenny – couldn’t have said it better myself. Not being fat or having suffered from an eating disorder, rape or PTSD (yeah, I know, lucky me) I don’t know what it’s like to have a ‘trigger’ that sets off my anxiety but I do know the harm words can do. I was bullied mercilessly in high school and some twenty years later I still have self esteem issues stemming from that. So I recognize the need for TV shows to either rein in their impulse to slut/fat/victim shame and blame or at least warn viewers of what they’re in for. But there also comes a point where you can’t add any more warnings to the rating at the start of a show. Have you ever seen the ratings screen for Dexter, Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead? They’d run out of room!

            December 29, 2015
        • Andrew
          Andrew

          So should they remove ratings from movies to prepare people for the “real world”? Because those all have content warnings on them.
          Most people who want content warnings on movies and TV shows are well aware that in conversation they might not be able to avoid certain topics. But TV fortunately isn’t like conversation in that if you don’t like it you can turn it off or look away.

          December 5, 2015
          |Reply
        • A. Noyd
          A. Noyd

          Oh, fuck off, Shannon.

          First, no one has trauma or mental health problems because they want them, and no one gets over them by merely steeling their will or being berated by strangers. They have to work at it, which takes time and energy and isn’t always successful.

          Second, fiction is deliberately created and deliberately consumed as an escape from “the real world.” If people don’t want to stumble blindly into sharp edges and pitfalls in their time off from reality, then they have a right to ask for a basic heads up.

          Third, part of “the real world” is that we don’t meekly accept chance or misfortune, but strive to make life better for ourselves and our fellow humans. Why, instead of compassion and support, would you choose to offer abuse towards someone whose situation you know dick all about?

          Fourth, you’re in no way affected either by notices that X media contains Y themes or Z scenes, or by people choosing to avoid X media for the sake of their mental well-being. So maybe get over yourself and let people have simple things that make their lives better without bleating your ignorant judgment at them.

          December 5, 2015
          |Reply
          • JennyTrout
            JennyTrout

            What’s really funny about the “BUT YOU CAN’T BE PROTECTED FROM REALITY!” line here is that it’s a show about a woman who was (at least in the comics) granted literal superpowers from contact with toxic waste. But realism is suuuuuper important.

            December 5, 2015
          • Well said!
            And Shannon, wow! I think you might be the one who needs to examine whether they’re childish or not for being so aggressive to someone about possibly not watching a tv series.
            Can you seriously not tell how hypocritical that is?

            December 7, 2015
        • Kayla
          Kayla

          What’s it like to be so emotionally fragile that a stranger on the internet choosing not to watch a television show ruins your entire day? I can’t fathom the idea that something which in no way affects my life or the lives of literally any other person on the face of the planet is enough to send me into such a tizzy.

          Do you just go through life constantly tizzified? Does it cause nausea? Is that why you’re so grumpy? Perhaps some Dramamine and a nap is in order.

          Feel better soon, Shannon.

          December 6, 2015
          |Reply
        • monkyvirus
          monkyvirus

          Taking care of yourself is a priority. It’s seems more irresponsible to me to watch something you know will give nightmares, flashbacks or other triggered issues that could affect your daily life for days than just avoid a piece of media.

          If you have the flu going out in the cold will make you worse even though walking in winter is a normal human experience. If you can be triggered by something you’re still sick, in some sense, and need to concentrate on getting better not making yourself worse.

          I’m replying to you as it’s important to point this out to people on the fence about this issue who might read this. You however are just a horrid person.

          December 7, 2015
          |Reply
        • K
          K

          Wow, ya’ll really eviscerated Shannon. Allow me to say a word or two in her defense:

          We’re all going to see or hear things at some point that make us uncomfortable or upset. Some of us are struggling with mental illness or the aftereffects of trauma, which makes those encounters particularly unsettling. This is not groundbreaking or novel stuff. But – this increasingly PC, “fire that college professor because he talked about something that made me uneasy” mentality absolutely *is* new. You have the right to be offended. You don’t, however, have the right to expect that everyone around you, including people who bring you various forms of media, fully anticipate your “triggers” or other personal hang-ups and warn you at every turn. Work through your issues with a therapist – that’s the appropriate setting to focus on your own needs outside of the societal frame of reference.

          December 8, 2015
          |Reply
          • Maggie
            Maggie

            I’m not a big fan of firing people for one off color remark (especially if they said it off the job), but I always wonder in the cases where someone does get fired like that- were their employers looking for any excuse to cut them loose? Did they have a pattern of saying offensive stuff in class, which was documented? Did students give them poor evaluations? Did they alienate colleages? There’s a lot of factors in the hire/fire process that goes into this.

            And (un)fortunately, dirtbags do get to keep their jobs most of the time. My dad comes home and tells us he had to reprimand a high up official for yet another incident of sexual harassment, and nothing happens to that guy. Dad also has to be the shoulder to cry on for the person being harassed, so I’d say that this is more than “choosing to be offended.” He also gets to deal with the lovely people who say racially charged epithets at work.

            I went off on a tangent, but basically, I’m not opposed to trigger warnings. My dad uses them in real life by making a “T” sign with his hands. And the internet is not the only place we run into someone’s emotional problems. Back in high school, a girl broke down crying during a lecture on drugs because her mom overdosed and she was not prepared to handle it that day. TW would have meant those who weren’t going to be upset could have learned something for the final, and without upsetting her during a really bad time in her life.

            December 10, 2015
          • Mel
            Mel

            Well put. It was basically what I was trying (and failing dismally) to say.

            December 29, 2015
      • Frank
        Frank

        I’m going to go on a limb here and recommend you watch it.

        Or, keep being a pussy.

        Choice is yours.

        December 6, 2015
        |Reply
        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          I’m going to go out on a limb here and recommend that you keep your bitch mouth shut, Frank.

          December 6, 2015
          |Reply
    • MadGastronomer
      MadGastronomer

      That was SO MUCH worse than the nasty comment in the first episode.

      December 7, 2015
      |Reply
  3. hil
    hil

    i hadn’t heard about any of this outcry—on either side—but i just really appreciate what you wrote here and thought you said it all so well. this joke was just so unnecessary and gross and then glossed over, and it would be so easy to acknowledge without having to take away from any of the show’s good qualities.

    December 4, 2015
    |Reply
  4. Megan M.
    Megan M.

    I watched all of Jessica Jones and I really liked it, while recognizing that it wasn’t perfect, but I don’t even know if that moment made me angry. I think it probably made me feel a moment of shame, because I recognize myself in that woman who (used to) exercise a tiny bit and then keep on eating the same fast food.

    An instance of fat shaming that did make me angry recently was on Hulu’s original show Casual. The admittedly shallow male main character sleeps with a “fat” woman (and they barely showed her body at all, unlike the complete full-topless nudity that all of his “thin” conquests got) and then tells her “I’ve never slept with someone just for their personality before!” as though it were impossible for her to be attractive (but she was!!!) THAT made me say a huge “oh, fuck you” to the screen. And even though by the end of the episode he’s had his comeuppance and realizes that he fat-shamed her, it honestly soured me for the entire remainder of the show’s season. I don’t think I’ll be watching the next one.

    December 4, 2015
    |Reply
  5. Jjj
    Jjj

    That scene isn’t going to show your husband anything he doesn’t already know.

    December 4, 2015
    |Reply
  6. Ella
    Ella

    Okay, so two things:

    1. Jessica is a bit of a bitch. She isn’t empathetic. She’s caustic and angry and rude. She’s the depiction of abuse-survivors that we rarely get shown – the depiction that isn’t all shrinking violet and crying in corners. Sometimes my PTSD makes me want to PUNCH ALL THE PEOPLE and it was great to see someone like that too. I took that line as their first attempt to set up that.
    2. I really bloody wish they hadn’t used it. It’s a throwaway comment that’s far too damn common and most people aren’t me. They don’t see an angry woman with PTSD and very little empathy towards others (aside from those also hurt by Kilgrave). They see an awesome superhero laughing at a fat person. It’s obnoxious and kinda lazy and could have been done differently.

    So, like, sorry. It sucks. Like the prison rape jokes in Buffy. A moment of ragedespair. But if you feel up to it I’d love to know your thoughts on the rest of the season?

    December 4, 2015
    |Reply
    • jooyous
      jooyous

      If that were the case, it would have been*really cool to later see Kilgrave tell some fat person to stop eating forever and have Jessica go, “Hey, that’s not cool.” And then Kilgrave’d be like, “Oh please, you’re always mean to fat people too blah blah” the way he usually does. And she’d be like “Okay yeah, but that’s because I suck, not because fat people don’t get to choose foods. .__.” Would have been such a good opportunity and 1000% better.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
  7. The Unicorner
    The Unicorner

    When I watched the show, the line reminded me of a device I see being used on TV shows a lot lately: having a character utter an utterly offensive line to ostensibly show how much of an asshole they are, yet said character never suffers any repercussions for it and we’re presumably meant to root for them anyway, which defeats the entire purpose. It reminds me of all the racist/homophobic lines Chanel utters in the Scream Queens pilot. It was so gratuitous I felt like the writers were secretly getting a kick out of being able to write such lines while claiming plausible deniability (“she’s an awful character! It’s just to show how awful she is!” “it’s ~*ironic*~ racism!”) Like… there are plenty of ways to convey a character’s assholitude without gleefully putting these kinds of lines in their mouths.

    December 4, 2015
    |Reply
  8. mitzy247
    mitzy247

    I did watch with my husband, and it did make me uncomfortable for that split second before I rolled my eyes and shook my head.

    And, really, who takes a big bite out o a burger and continues to eat it while on the treadmill? Hi, choking hazard.

    December 4, 2015
    |Reply
    • Barbarella
      Barbarella

      It’s a fat strawwoman. Which kind of makes it more offensive. It feeds into the fat-haters idea of what a fat woman is, and then mocks it in the exact way they would.

      It’s shit and I feel fine saying that. I’m allowed to critique things I like. I’m not a drooling reddit misogynistic lemming who will refuse to say anything bad about a show I like.

      Rant wasn’t directed at you, obviously. 😛 You just gave me the perfect prompt to point out what it was.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
  9. M
    M

    I cringed at that line and I found it inconsistent with the rest of the writing.

    I did love the friendship and the absolutely unwavering condemnation of rape.

    December 4, 2015
    |Reply
  10. Meghan
    Meghan

    I thought it was a gross, disappointing, and jarring line in an otherwise really good show. They should have done better.

    December 4, 2015
    |Reply
  11. Abbey
    Abbey

    Reminds me of how annoyed I get when I hear that something’s super feminist, and then run right into shitty lesbian bashing when I go to watch it. (The supergirl trailer really turned me off, for example) it just isn’t necessary to make mean jokes about things real people have had to spend a LOT of time working through.

    December 5, 2015
    |Reply
    • Supergirl is even worse with the fatphobia, tbh (and just…grossness in general). In JJ there’s the one off line that’s shitty, yeah, but also obviously shitty, and aside from that…it’s pretty tight, and does a good job.

      In Supergirl there’s a line between Kara and her foster sister about how her sister “hopes she gets fat” because she’s eating the last gyoza or whatever. And the girls giggle and we’re supposed to see this as a great female empowerment bonding session. And continued attitude of “haha, thank gods I’m a Kryptonian and will never get fat on earth!” (and in general the writing is just…ugh. mediocre at best. there are some really great points in the show, and a lot of awful ones.)

      Mind you, I’m kinda pissed in general with the current penchant to scream about how things are OMG SO FEMINIST RARAREAWRWGSADGAS because, you know, media is always gonna disappoint someone in some way, and while something might be really feminist in one area, it’s not going to be in another. Not made in a vacuum, after all.

      So when I heard all this flailing and fansqueeing over how super feminist Supergirl was and then I watched the first episode with the line about hoping one’s sister gets fat and the lines from people saying, I shit you not, “Wow! A real live female superhero! How amazing is that? Finally, someone for my daughter to look up to!” BECAUSE WE REALLY NEEDED TO SCREAM ABOUT HOW FEMINIST THIS SHOW IS IN THE SHOW ITSELF…ugh. so, so disappointed. Apparently “feminist media” = “shitty, over the top, hamhanded writing that relies on sexist fatphobic and friendzoning tropes to move the story forward” if Supergirl is anything to judge by. (though I’m pretty sure it’s not the only example out there right now, I’m just really tired and can’t think of any others.)

      I honestly think things would be better if we stopped trying to label media as AOMGASDFASDFAS;DLHG FEMINISSSSST SOOO GOOOOOD and just, you know, allowed there to be nuance. “This media tackled this issue in a great way with a definite feminist angle, but on this other issue they were sorely lacking.”

      But the internet doesn’t allow for nuance anymore, so. It’s either 100 or 0. Shame, really.

      January 29, 2016
      |Reply
  12. Lisa
    Lisa

    I hated that line too.

    December 5, 2015
    |Reply
  13. manybellsdown
    manybellsdown

    This is super timely, because we just started watching this tonight (I insisted we finish Person of Interest first). And I had also heard how this was such a great and feminist show and then boom. A throwaway fat joke for an unnamed extra. And I just went “what? Why??” There’s no narrative reason for it!

    December 5, 2015
    |Reply
    • Mydogspa
      Mydogspa

      Actually, I think there was a reason, namely to deliberately show Jessica was not a likeable hero at the start of the show. I think this was done on purpose to show how damaged she was ( from Killgrave, as we later find out)

      December 7, 2015
      |Reply
      • Mel
        Mel

        …Or it was done on purpose to show how human she is. Let’s face it, we all have moments where we make a nasty comment about someone, whether it’s the person who falls asleep in front of you at the traffic lights or the Indian/Asian telemarketer who disturbed you during dinner. We’re all assholes occasionally. Maybe the writers put the line in because they realize that not everybody is perfect 100% of the time. Would anyone complain about that line if the person on the treadmill eating the burger had been average, or even thin? I think not. But I know plenty of people who are unfit, with unhealthy habits.

        December 29, 2015
        |Reply
        • Mel
          Mel

          Oops sorry, meant unfit, with unhealthy habits – who aren’t fat.

          December 29, 2015
          |Reply
  14. ella
    ella

    *different Ella, *waves hi name twin*

    The fat and vague slut shaming in the first episode almost put me off to watching the rest of the season. I worried it would be 13 episodes of “I’m not like other girls” internalized misogyny. I’m happy it wasn’t and those lines in the first episode were one of the few sour notes in the overall series. I was also a little surprised that there wasn’t as much criticism being given over that part of the first episode.

    Jessica Jones is a step in the right direction in regards to mainstream feminism, but like everything else, it did stumble a little and it does need to be and do better next season.
    To be honest, the only thing I could of while watching was that I was glad the show’s creative team didn’t use “Joss Whedon’s Ultimate Guide to Feminist (*oops, Non Genderist) TV Writing”.

    December 5, 2015
    |Reply
  15. pony
    pony

    Thank you for this piece!

    I just want to point out two minor things that I disagree with, though they are not the main topic here.

    1. trigger warnig/content warning:
    I prefer the latter as well, because triggers can be highly specific, so it is not possible to warn for actual triggers, only for commonly distressing themes, and some people with PTSD, EDs or any other thing that an be “triggered” feel patronised by this use of the word, because it implies someone else knows how they are supposed to *feel* when reading about a certain topic. So, conent warning all the way.
    But, as I already implied, the term trigger is not specific to PTSD. There are other areas where the term is used routinely – different anxiety disorders, physical pain, misophonia. But it is also used for depression, general emotional states (“what triggered this feeling?”) and mental mechanisms specific to other mental illnesses. Tumblr is one of the few places where sometimes a very narrow definition is used.

    2. “tw: water”
    yes, this might be mind-bogglingly obvious, but it can be helpful for some people. take the example of a recipe tumblr that tags each post “food cn”. People asked about it multiple times – and each time people with eating disorders wrote in to say how glad they are they can follow the blog but still block its posts when it’s too much (with xkit/tumblr savior). I imagine it’s similar with this.

    – don’t really want to start a discussion bc off topic, merely point it out

    December 5, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      With regards to #2, that was my point. It makes sense to people that a marine biology tumblr would need to tag their posts with “tw: water”, but it completely flew over the heads of anyone discussing this show that fat women or women with EDs might like a heads up about that line. We will slap a TW or CW on any and all content for any reason, but fat people/people with EDs don’t deserve them?

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • Maggie
        Maggie

        What about topic warning? I like using TW better than CW.

        December 10, 2015
        |Reply
    • Elisabeth
      Elisabeth

      I also think “content warning” is better than “trigger warning”, because it doesn’t assume that people will be triggered. People can find things like child abuse or rape scenes upsetting without actually being triggered.

      I’m all for content warnings – if I ever published anything, I’d use warnings as appropriate – with the exception of silly warnings like “water” on a marine biology blog.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • Mel
        Mel

        LOL yeah… I’d prefer a trigger warning like “Shark” on a marine biology blog. Because I actually, seriously do have panic attacks at the sight of sharks.

        December 29, 2015
        |Reply
  16. The scene portrayed the truth. If you don’t exercise enough, you gain weight. You have to use the fuel you put in. That cheeseburger looked mighty tasty.

    December 5, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      And if Jessica Jones was a show about weight loss, you might have a point. But it isn’t, so you have more of like, a circle of fully not understanding what’s happening here.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • Neurite
        Neurite

        Also, as pointed out above, the scene didn’t exactly portray the “truth,” because even those of us who may dare to indulge in not-weight-loss-promoting food after working out (the horror) are unlikely to lay into a burger right there at the treadmill and keep going (as was noted, choking hazard!). Instead of “portraying the truth,” the show decided to ignore realism and instead go with a cheap strawman for a throwaway joke.

        Which isn’t even going into stuff like
        a) thanks internet MDs, guess what, we know eating cheeseburgers will not make us lose weight, so please don’t pretend that this show is trying to educate us about this important fact – nope, it’s just going for a cheap, cruel joke; and
        b) I know it’s hard to believe, but some of us work out without the goal being weight loss!

        December 8, 2015
        |Reply
  17. I actually thought the whole first episode was sort of clunky and badly written, with lazy shorthand like that scene of her watching/insulting people (and like The Unicorner points out, I think it’s supposed to show us how “edgy” she is, but… Yeah, no). Like the first Ella said, I think we’re supposed to see it as part of Jessica’s lack of empathy, but it’s not very effective— we should see her do something unusually cruel, not something typically cruel, if that makes sense. Thinking something bitchy/judgemental about someone society is, on average, bitchy/judgemental about anyway, doesn’t actually demonstrate what I think the writers were trying to demonstrate (lack of empathy/loveable asshole-ish personality). For it to be effective, the audience has to know it’s awful, not know were meant to chuckle at it.

    I’m only on episode 3, and by then it’s great, but I actually thought episode one was badly paced (slow/boring) and not super well written. (Total opposite by the end of episode 3! But until the last 5-10 minutes, I was seriously about to quit and go re-watch Veronica Mars for the fifth time.)

    December 5, 2015
    |Reply
  18. Nellie
    Nellie

    I binge- watched Jessica Jones in one evening/night.
    Honestly I called her an asshole for that comment but forgot all about it shortly after. Without you pointing it out, I wouldn’t have remembered that at all. That’s no excuse just what actually happened.
    I love the show but as with all fiction I read and movies/series I watch, there are some things I absolutely hate about it.
    First of all I don’t really like Jessica and in some of the later episodes I outright hate her.
    And while it might be a feminist show it’s often typical “what- young- nerds- think- is feminism”- show.
    Jessica often reacts and thinks very much like a pissed off 15 year old girl.
    (Yes, she’s meant to be an anti- hero and she is one.)
    Anymore I could write about my problems with the series would contain spoilers, so I wont comment further on that.
    Just one more thing. The reactions of some Whovians about David Tennant’s role as Kilgrave were just ridiculous. Like “now that I’ve seen that I will think of the Doctor’s companions as kidnapped” and more comments like that.
    David is one of my favorite actors and definitely my favorite Doctor ever. His performance as Kilgrave is brilliant and I enjoyed watching him as the villain.
    He’s just awesome.

    December 5, 2015
    |Reply
    • Sara L.
      Sara L.

      Here here, on the Doctor Who stuff. People kept commenting that David Tennant’s performance reminded them of the doctor, and I kept thinking “Are they watching the same show I am?” Tennant as Kilgrave is fantastic and terrifying, but so different from the Doctor that I don’t really understand the comparisons. The accent, sure, but everything else about Kilgrave is different. He is wheedling and nasty and that kind of scary where you’re not sure if they know what they are doing is horrible or not. Either way is a horror. Such a great performance.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • CIB
        CIB

        And David Tennant’s played creepy baddies before! One of them was also an emotionally manipulative abuser boyfriend who won’t seem to leave the female protagonist’s life after she breaks up with him (Brendan Block, in Secret Smile). No superpowers, though, and it pretty much predates his stint as the Doctor, so maybe no one draws that comparison for that role.

        December 7, 2015
        |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      That doesn’t even make sense, considering Tennant’s Doctor didn’t really want a companion after Donna.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • Nellie
        Nellie

        I don’t want to give away anything of the plot but as impossible as it might seem, at one point you will actually feel sorry for Kilgrave.
        For a few minutes you will pity him and (if you’re as crazy as I am) you’ll want to punch Jessica in the face.
        Enough said. 😉

        December 5, 2015
        |Reply
        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          I’ve heard people say that. Like for a split second, they felt bad, and then they were like, “WTF? Why do I feel bad for him? What’s wrong with me?” Which I think must be a testament to Tennant’s acting, if he can make a monster seem human enough for pity.

          December 5, 2015
          |Reply
    • ella
      ella

      I’m trying to avoid opinions of the Tennant fangirls in regards to Kilgrave. I fear they will be on par with Loki/Tom H. fangirls, twisting themselves into pretzels to make him the misunderstood woobie of the story.

      I felt a slight twinge of empathy for Kilgrave, which I attribute solely to the charm and talent of David. But then I remembered who Kilgrave was and said, “fuck him.”

      I agree that Jessica did act extremely immature when she was face to face with Kilgrave and it was slightly grating. However, I kinda understand where her head is at. After everything he did to her and how he fucked her up, when she gets him where she wants him, she wants to hurt him in anyway she can for revenge. So she went with her first impulse, which was more of a knee jerk reaction, the words and actions of someone who doesn’t want to think through a plan, just inflict as much pain as she can.

      December 6, 2015
      |Reply
  19. Harry
    Harry

    People who have been raped cannot do anything about it.

    People who have been abused and murdered cannot do anything about it.

    People who are gay or trans or what ever cannot do anything about it.

    Stuffing food into your fucking face is preventable.

    Hey Jenny, learn to cook and you can make healthy chicken quesedillas rather than eating the overly processed Taco Bell shit.

    December 5, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Hey Harry, I don’t allow my dogs to shit all over my carpet, so I’m sure as fuck not going to let you shit all over my blog. If I could hit your nose with a rolled up newspaper, I would, but I can’t, so you can just roll one up yourself and go fuck yourself with it.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • Harry
        Harry

        But have I lied?

        You can control what you eat, how much you, and when you eat.

        The food is not jumping into your mouth.

        You can prepare chicken quesadillas that are more healthy than what Taco Bell offers.

        So, you can enjoy a flavorful meal that will not deposit who-knows-what type of chemicals in your body.

        December 5, 2015
        |Reply
        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          I never called you a liar. I also never asked you to be my dietician, so again I’m going to have to suggest you fuck off.

          December 5, 2015
          |Reply
    • Amber Rose
      Amber Rose

      Euuw Harry, your ignorance is showing. Gross. Cover that up will you? Ugh.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
    • Zweisatz
      Zweisatz

      Don’t talk about a topic you appearantly don’t even have a passing knowledge about just because you want to justify your hatred for a group of people. FUck off.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
    • yogacat
      yogacat

      My lovely wonderful fantastic husband is fat. He wakes up at 5am to get ready to sit in a car for an hour to get to work, where he sits. He eats what he has time and money to eat at work, which I suspect is fast food. He sits in the car for an hour to come home at 6pm where he sits down to a healthy meal I prepare for him, and eats portions equal to mine (I’m a skinny bitch). He sits to play for an hour with our child before she goes to bed. Then he has 1-2 hours (depending on how long it takes for the kid to get to sleep) to decompress from his very stressful job before he has to sleep and do it all again.

      We have discussed it over and over. We try to squeeze in time for fitness. I make one of the 2 meals he eats each day. He has chosen to spend his limited free time on his family rather than his fitness and he shouldn’t be casually dismissed for that. He shouldn’t be shamed or thought of as lazy (I’ve never met anyone who works harder in his job) or less-than. That line in the show made me angry on his behalf. It was meant to show that fat people are idiots with no self control, yet it was muttered by a woman who can’t get through the day without enough alcohol to put me in the hospital.

      Now even if my husband was a lazy, time-rich, food-guzzling fat man, he is still a human being. Making fat the butt of a joke is not helpful or productive, but for some reason it is seen as fair game.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • vulcan
        vulcan

        Why doesn’t your husband eat a protein bar or banana during his long commute? Why don’t you (or he) pack a healthy lunch for him? Your husband won’t have much family time if he dies of a heart attack or complications from type ii diabetes.

        December 7, 2015
        |Reply
        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          Why don’t you mind your own business? It’s smart, makes you look like less of an a-hole, and it’s absolutely free!

          December 7, 2015
          |Reply
        • ifyouevercomeback
          ifyouevercomeback

          Cause neither skinny or healthy people die from these things.

          December 8, 2015
          |Reply
        • Maggie
          Maggie

          Hey, my grandma was the queen of eating right, and she had a massive heart attack and got cancer. My grandpa smoked two packs of cigarettes a day since he was eleven, ate hamburgers for every meal, washes down vodka/rum/bourbon with medicine you shouldn’t mix with booze, grinds stool softener and instant coffee and mixes it with a bit of tabasco sauce, and generally does whatever he wants, and he’s ox healthy at ninety. I think genetics and stress play a huge role in our health.

          Anyway, Vulcan, Yogacat said that her husband does eat fairly healthy, but regardless, it’s not right to make fun of him or snipe at him. My grandpa might make Prevention magazine shudder, but he’s my grandpa and I love him. I don’t love people for their BMI or their predisposition for atherosclerosis.

          December 10, 2015
          |Reply
    • Kayla
      Kayla

      My fiance and I recently closed on a house. It’s been exhilarating, terrifying, and mind-breakingly stressful in equal measure, due in part to some shenanigans on the seller’s part, and just being first-time homeowners. Neither of us have had a space like this before, so we’re dealing with learning how to take care of a house at the same time we’re trying to furnish and fill it.

      Meanwhile, my mom has declared war on clutter and “stuff” in general. I think it’s due in large part to my grandma passing in May, and my parents having to take care of all of her stuff. As a result of this confluence, my mom is pushing as much stuff on me as I’m willing to take. I’m getting china sets from great-grandmothers on both sides of my family, linens, knickknacks, a waffle maker, all manner of things. Including, as it happens, a telescope that my uncle gave to my dad about twenty years ago as a Hanukkah present, but that my parents have never used.

      So, Harry, if you’d like to borrow a telescope to locate the point that has sailed through the stratosphere above you, I can help you out with that.

      December 6, 2015
      |Reply
      • Alba
        Alba

        I’m delurking just to say that this was the best comeback I’ve ever read.

        December 7, 2015
        |Reply
      • Maggie
        Maggie

        This comment was boss! I am so sorry for your loss of your grandma, though.

        December 10, 2015
        |Reply
    • Mydogspa
      Mydogspa

      People who have been raped have also been known to binge eat to make their exterior look as ugly as how they feel inside. Ditto those who have been abused. There are other things going on that you have NO CLUE about. Now , granted, some folks are too lazy to exercise, like my Mom, who wanted someone to give her a pill so she wouldn’t have to work at it. She died last January from congestive heart failure after decades of neglect. That WAS her fault for not getting off her butt and exercising.
      But not everyone is like that. So don’t lump them all together.

      December 6, 2015
      |Reply
  20. Amber Rose
    Amber Rose

    When I exercise, I have unbearable cravings for McDonald’s. I know it’s bad for me. I know it’s ridiculous to spend 3 hours forcing my poor body through it’s paces and then eat a box of deep fried “chicken” nuggets.

    I also know that McNuggets are fucking delicious, not very expensive, and fuck it, eating some nuggets every couple weeks is not going to negate all the muscle building, balance and peace of mind I get from training.

    And finally, I know that when I see that kind of shit on TV, it kills me inside a little. The way an off-hand comment a friend made to me 10 years ago about how women are only fat once their gut sticks out more than their boobs still kills me inside a little. It hurts even if I know it shouldn’t, even if I finally fought past the “seriously considering swallowing a tape worm” stage of self hatred to some level of acceptance.

    Not that i’ll ever see that show because Canada’s Netflix is so bullshit that I refuse to use it, and it quite probably does not include that show because it doesn’t include any shows that anyone would want to watch, with the exception of Magic School Bus for some reason. But that is neither here nor there.

    December 5, 2015
    |Reply
    • AltoFronto
      AltoFronto

      Not condoning any kind of illegal pirating activity or streaming at all, *ahem, cough*, but like… that is totally a thing that is possible to do. *whistles innocently*.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Whoops, I put a comment in the wrong place! WAIT! No I didn’t. The original comment was:

      “You know what’s weird though? I recently did that 50 nugget challenge thing, and it didn’t fuck with my weekly caloric allotment. I probably shocked my system or something, but I ended up dropping 2.5 pounds that week.”

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
    • tessany
      tessany

      I’m Canadian. I use Canadian Netflix. The Show is on there. There are lots of shows on there that I actually do watch. Justified. Scrubs. Firefly. The Fall. Downton Abbey. Hannibal. Homeland. Broadchurch. Doctor Who.

      Just lots and lots of really good TV shows, most of which you can’t even get on US Netflix. (For some reason US netflix gets the good movies, we get the good series, and UK gets Disney and Pixar movies).

      I mean, maybe none of those appeal to you, which, cool I guess. But I know a lot of people who really enjoy Canadian Netflix and it’s certainly not complete garbage.

      December 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • Tania
        Tania

        Not only that, but you can get services that fake your location and have US Netflix anyway. And UK Netflix, and Australian, Swedish, etc. Etc.

        December 6, 2015
        |Reply
      • Amber Rose
        Amber Rose

        Fair enough, I worded my rant kinda badly. Because none of those shows appeal to me, and all the ones I want to watch I can’t get here, and husband and I are tired of being disappointed. *grumps*

        December 8, 2015
        |Reply
    • Neurite
      Neurite

      “I know it’s ridiculous to spend 3 hours forcing my poor body through its paces and then eat a box of deep fried ‘chicken’ nuggets.”

      It isn’t even necessarily ridiculous, though! Of course, if your only (or primary) aim for the exercise is weight loss, then yeah, not ideal. But if it’s, say, building endurance/strength, that’ll still happen even with the fried food. Even stuff like lower blood pressure and better blood sugar levels will likely still result from “just” working out without also losing weight. Sure, a person may get more of an effect if they combo exercise with weight loss, but research is starting to be pretty clear that exercise will have plenty of its effects whether or not it comes with weight loss.

      …and now I am turning into one of those internet MDs. Let me be clear that I know nothing about your personal situation, exercise goal, and what is or isn’t ridiculous for you. Just wanted to throw in that it isn’t necessarily ridiculous for everyone.

      December 8, 2015
      |Reply
      • Amber Rose
        Amber Rose

        Well, there’s that. I loathe exercise for exercise’ sake. Treadmills, bikes, etc. Ugh. So when I joined my martial arts class 7 months ago, it wasn’t because “I want to lose weight” it was because “I need something fun to do to give me a reason to remove my butt from the couch.” And I haven’t lost weight, so that’s good! xD

        But seriously, the health benefits from exercise have been astronomical, regardless of my rather poor diet. And i’m cool with that, even if I still feel shades of that guilt when I eat fast food after because of jokes like the one in the show.

        December 8, 2015
        |Reply
      • Even if weight loss is your goal, it’s calories in/calories out. So if you worked out hard for three hours, you can probably eat Chicken McNuggets and be fine.

        The biggest, most common reason that so many people regain weight after losing it is that they punish and deprive their bodies and then when they hit goal, they stop punishing and depriving. But if you work things you enjoy that are maybe less “healthy” (which is subjective — those nuggets have a decent amount of protein, which is a necessary macronutrient) in reasonable amounts, then there’s nothing to go back to.

        I lost nearly 40 pounds over three months on Weight Watchers and I did it by eating food I enjoyed, and that included desserts and sometimes fast food or pizza or whatever. I kept every pound off for years until my thyroid went wacko and my doctor refused to diagnose and treat my Hashimoto’s.

        So eat your Chicken McNuggets after your workout if that’s what you need to do to keep going. Everything in moderation! And don’t feel guilty over it, either.

        December 9, 2015
        |Reply
    • Neurite
      Neurite

      Also, high five of belly-sticking-out-more-than-boobs solidarity!

      (And yes, some days I still have to fight to not let that get under my skin. It’s an especially stupid/insidious “criterion” for those of us with small boobs, too. Fuck that noise.)

      December 8, 2015
      |Reply
    • ifyouevercomeback
      ifyouevercomeback

      Jessica Jones is a Netflix original so it’s on all the Netflixes. BTW, you should brave Canadian Netflix for Narcos(another Netflix original) alone.

      December 8, 2015
      |Reply
  21. Carolina West
    Carolina West

    Pretty much everything having to do with superheroes annoys me, so feminist or not, this show is one I’ll be skipping.

    December 5, 2015
    |Reply
  22. Mydogspa
    Mydogspa

    Jessica is clearly a damaged, ugly woman trying to do right. At first I thought this line was a throwaway line when the writers room wasn’t quite up to speed yet. But my wife makes an interesting point that this was deliberate to show how ugly Jessica truly was, and that if the writers aren’t pissing off someone then they’re not doing their jobs right. We’re MEANT to see how nasty Jessica is. And then join with her in her struggle to do good and stop Killgrave.

    Loved the ending. “Smile!”

    December 6, 2015
    |Reply
    • monkyvirus
      monkyvirus

      Isn’t the issue that the person she sees is in some sense living up to Jessica’s image of her? Like actually stopping her excercise to eat a burger. Jessica didn’t say some shit then have egg on her face when she realised that this person was a regular at the gym. That’s my issue, as I see it, the show backed up this offensive view of fat people by showing it to be “true”.

      I’m basing this on Jenny’s description as I haven’t seen the show so please feel free to correct me.

      December 7, 2015
      |Reply
      • Mydogspa
        Mydogspa

        Not really. The line occurs over a fifteen second span when Jessica is on a fire escape doing her job as a PI scoping out her targets in an apartment across the street While she looks for her real target she sees the woman on the treadmill get off and chow down. The person is never seen again in the show. To me the line was not meant to far shame, rather, it was supposed to show us how damaged Jessica was.

        December 7, 2015
        |Reply
        • Mydogspa
          Mydogspa

          Sorry, “fat” , my stupid phone autocorrects when I don’t want it to. But, yes, this line happens only once over the course of 15 seconds or so out of a total series duration of over 10 hours 50 minutes.

          Jenny, I’m sorry you felt offended. But I do feel it was meant for us not to like Jessica.

          December 7, 2015
          |Reply
          • JennyTrout
            JennyTrout

            Okay, but let’s pretend she said something racist, or homophobic? Would it be all right for her to have said it to show the audience she was unlikeable? It’s not about offense, it’s about the fact that the line reinforces a dangerous societal perception of a certain group of people.

            In an episode where she drinks like a fish, puts a guy’s head through her window, acts surly to the people who try to help her…why was it the line about the fat person that was absolutely necessary to make the point that she’s unlikeable?

            December 7, 2015
          • Mydogspa
            Mydogspa

            Jenny,
            I don’t know as I wasn’t in the writer’s room at the time this was written and approved by the showrunner. Throughout the nearly 7 hours of the series this is the only time this comes up. sometimes , especially in the pilot episode, writers make subtle mistakes in theme, continuity, you name it, when trying to show ( not tell) their stories. I’m sorry they messed this up for you, especially coming from a female creative team. But unlike EL, they never repeat their mistake for the rest of the show.

            *hugs Jenny* the rest of the show is total diametric opposite of EL’s crap (it’s totally kick ass) Please don’t give up on a woman’s show with complex female lead and supporting characters run by a female showrunner because of one slip up. I’m sure they didn’t mean for you to interpret it that way.

            December 7, 2015
          • JennyTrout
            JennyTrout

            Okay, well, to be clear, I actually said in my post that I was going to finish it, because I really liked it. And this isn’t a thing about being comforted, or what the writers intended, or my bad feelings about it. My beef is with the online fandom, for slapping trigger warnings for literally everything possible *except* for this (and apparently a forced purging scene later in the season that I haven’t gotten to yet because I’m only two episodes in). Especially when fat people were taking the heat online for trigger warnings that weren’t even there, and there was this radio silence from feminist fandom. That’s the issue, more than the content of the show itself.

            December 7, 2015
    • Lindsay
      Lindsay

      I only just finished the first episode, and when that line came on, I instantly wondered, was the intent to show that Jessica is kind of terrible or was the intent to validate fat-shaming?

      And then I realized, the fact that I have to ask myself that question makes the scene problematic. If the intent was to show that Jessica is an offensive (and I mean actually offensive not “she’s just saying what we all think!” offensive), then they should have done it in a way that is way more obvious, like, say, not choosing to hate on a marginalized group.

      The fact that it was not clear means they failed at pulling off the scene effectively. Thus, the scene was problematic precisely because so many people could interpret it as condoning fat-shaming.

      December 8, 2015
      |Reply
  23. I watched the whole season and, by and large, liked it a lot. The scene with the woman on the treadmill was a punch to the gut. Not only was it hurtful, it was entirely unnecessary. I spent some time trying to figure out why the hell it was needed, and all I can come up with was that it was meant to foreshadow Jessica’s own tendency to self-sabotage. But what a stupid, lazy way to show that.

    I’ve weighed as much as 300 lbs in my life. The advice “just exercise and eat healthy” works if you are NOT ALREADY FAT and don’t want to get fat. Once you are already fat, it is a tremendous battle to no longer be fat, and I personally don’t listen to the advice of anyone who hasn’t already been fat themselves.

    (As to the “why” of getting fat in the first place, before people get all sanctimonious they really ought to take a look at Dr. Peter Attia’s TED talk (google it); he was a doctor who used to look down on his diabetic patients for being the “cause” of their own bad health. And then he started to gain weight himself and had a shift in perspective.)

    The lowest I was able to get down to was 170 lbs. I was eating 800 calories a day and doing a combination of cardio/weight-training for two hours a day, 5-6 days a week. The scale refused to drop lower. I hired a trainer who suggested I eat “around 1500 calories a day” and when I told him I already ate less than that, he was baffled as to what I should do next. He thought I was lying. “You’re not drinking your calories, are you?” Fuck you, I only drink black coffee and water.

    I’ve gained some weight back since then, because eating 800 calories and day and working out like crazy really makes you feel like shit, as it turns out! I don’t recommend it.

    December 6, 2015
    |Reply
  24. Kylie
    Kylie

    I think as someone had mentioned above that while it isn’t an excuse I do think being able to binge watch the entire show does make a bit of a difference in perceptions. In retrospect I feel bad that I didn’t talk about it myself when I gushed on Tumblr, but I also literally didn’t remember until you brought it up here and I realized that I’d had a gut reaction where I was like, “Ew no, not this shit.” I can’t comment on the perceived reaction or lack thereof as I didn’t realize that was a thing that was happening, but I think since nobody is stopping to analyze the show episode by episode stuff like this slips through the cracks since it is a lazy, one off occurrence so you don’t think to mention it again because it isn’t reinforced. It’s not a good excuse, but I think that’s why it got glossed over. Not to mention the show literally gets released the week before Thanksgiving so I would imagine you have a lot of articles where maybe the first episode got skipped in favor of making a publishing deadline or people watch it and then only the reinforced stuff sticks through the holiday etc. Once again none of it is a good reason or a good excuse, but it may at least offer an explanation as unsatisfying as it may be.

    However, I am glad that you brought it up though I’m sorry you had to have bad feelings first. I feel like while the rest of the show was brilliant and spot on in a lot of ways that we definitely need to be vocal about where even good shows have failings, because that is the only way things get fixed and we can let people know that it isn’t okay and that we aren’t going to be quiet about it when they do make these sorts of mistakes.

    December 6, 2015
    |Reply
  25. CIB
    CIB

    I’m only 1 ep in, and that moment, as well as the one right after it (I think) with the shoe/foot fetishist both kind of irked me as fat-shaming and kink-shaming, respectively, and just seemed to drive home that JJ can be judgey and petty – you’d think she’d be more blase about seeing people in their (supposed) private time, given her profession. But it didn’t phase me much, and I hadn’t even thought of how that shitty offhand comment might affect a person with ED – and I’m getting an idea now. Thanks for blogging this.

    December 7, 2015
    |Reply
  26. Gray
    Gray

    Thank you for pointing this out, Jenny. I watched the first episode with super high expectations, but that line really took my enthusiasm down several notches. I hated it so much. Jessica Jones is a bitch, yes, but I thought she was a bitch I was going to be able to root for 100%.

    December 7, 2015
    |Reply
  27. MadGastronomer
    MadGastronomer

    The reason for using content warning instead of trigger warning is not that the term trigger is specific to PTSD. It’s not. That’s simply not the case. A wide variety of mental illnesses have triggers, including, to name two I actually have, anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder. Both of those can be triggered by content, and I can and do have anxiety attacks and then get really depressed because of content.

    No, you use content warnings instead of trigger warnings because even people who don’t have triggerable issues in general, or don’t have content-triggerable issues, deserve a chance to stop and think before consuming media.

    Trigger is NOT NOT NOT a term that only belongs to PTSD.

    December 7, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Thanks for the input! I have anxiety/OCD and used to use “trigger” to describe things that would set me off, but I’ve lately been using “stressor” instead, because I don’t think they’re truly “triggers”, and think there is a lot of confusion lately (probably due to increased discussions of trigger warnings, etc.) between triggers and stressors.

      My understanding of “trigger” as being only PTSD related comes from some…let’s say “spirited” conversations with some PTSD sufferers on a friend’s FB post, and since having my ass handed to me, I’ve been like, “Okay, I don’t have it, I don’t know what it’s like, if I’m not supposed to say ‘trigger’ to mean this, then I won’t because it’s not my place to say,” but if that’s not the case, I’ll file that away, too.

      December 9, 2015
      |Reply
      • drmaggiemoreau
        drmaggiemoreau

        I have a question. My mom has cancer, and a side effect of her condition is full bodied twitching, particularly when she’s stressed. A few weeks ago, we went to a luncheon, and the speaker started talking about cancer, and my mother started twitching because it stressed her out. The condition is aided by stress, so it could be a stressor, but it also causes an uncontrollable reaction. Wouldn’t that be a trigger?

        December 16, 2015
        |Reply
  28. Sara
    Sara

    This has probably been mentioned elsewhere in the comments, but the show is going to need another similar trigger warning (eating disorders/child abuse) in the later episodes, as there’s a scene with a mom trying to force her daughter to purge.

    December 9, 2015
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    • thegreatdragon
      thegreatdragon

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was actually going to continue watching the show (I left off w/ episode 3) but now I don’t plan on it. I absolutely can’t handle the purging stuff.

      December 10, 2015
      |Reply
      • If it helps, no one actually vomits anything. While the mother is trying to force the girl to do it, she’s stopped before she can do it (and somewhat punished for it).

        December 12, 2015
        |Reply
  29. Crystal
    Crystal

    No one talks about the sex work shaming (strippers=bad comes up twice that I recall), but it’s there and hurt me as much as the fat comment did.

    December 11, 2015
    |Reply
  30. Lol
    Lol

    Jessica is the type of character who says what she thinks. It’s not always gonna be nice. Get over it.

    December 15, 2015
    |Reply
    • AnonZ
      AnonZ

      Jenny Trout is the type of person who says what she thinks. It’s not always gonna be nice. Get over it.

      March 25, 2019
      |Reply
  31. Katerina
    Katerina

    I’ll admit, at first I read through this thinking you were joking and this post was a satire because I think the last thing I read from you was your 50 shades commentary.

    I’m sorry if you have ever been bullied or triggered by fat shaming. I want to state that.

    I’m not trying to invalidate your own feelings and opinions but if anything that scene is supposed to piss viewers off and make us think she’s an asshole. It’s supposed to be a disgusting comment. Hell, she is SPYING on random people because she’s stalking a guy. Like…this is not a “haha she is so right, that woman is so gross” scene.

    Jessica becomes more likable as the show goes on but I just want to point out that it’s not like one of those shows where we are supposed to agree with what the lead is saying/doing at all times.

    PS: She also basically only keeps alcohol stocked in her home with regards to food, so once again, she’s not exactly a person with any kind of authority on health.

    December 20, 2015
    |Reply
  32. Mseegz
    Mseegz

    It’s funny, before I sat down to watch this show, I was just thinking of how annoying it is to watch a Netflix series i’ve heard such good things about, only to be broadsided by surprise fat jokes I didn’t expect.

    it’s like the universe heard me or something.

    fat jokes aren’t feminist. i came in on the idea that this show would be feminist, andd while i can get behind the show’s stance on other topics, fat jokes still sting. A lot. i think, unfortunately, if that’s how the showrunners decide to greet me barely five minutes in, then i’m going to be giving this show a miss.

    and you’re right, tumblr is notoriously good at glossing over fatphobia in movies and shows. i miss the old fat acceptance blogs where we’d talk about that stuff. Like there was a five minute long scene in jurassic world that was essentially one long, drawn out fat joke that culminated in the bisection of a fat person and barely anyone said anything about it. the fat acceptance community seems like it’s in shambles and it’s being replaced by lip service. the fact that no one bothered to warn anyone about the fat jokes in either of these things is unreal.

    December 23, 2015
    |Reply
  33. Melissa
    Melissa

    I noticed this and was very disappointed. I was concerned that this, “feminist masterpiece” was just another show the media was hailing feminist purely because it was led by a female actor.
    I stuck it out and realized like all media I consume, I have to hear or see things which morally conflict with my worldview. In the same way, I noticed ableism throughout. The only character who had a disability was asking to be mercy killed. And Killgrave would rather risk the life of another, and withstand surgery sans anesthesia than be anything but fully recovered.
    No show is perfect but I think it’s important to give my viewership to shows which are getting more and more right while still acknowledging when something needs to be remedied.
    I’m sorry you were triggered. I hope we can continue to improve and create a space for you that is safe, honest and accepting.

    January 8, 2016
    |Reply
  34. Sam Smith
    Sam Smith

    Jessica Jones, especially in the beginning of the show is supposed to be an antihero. She’s not supposed to be super-likeable. So it’s not too surprising that she made the joke. It’s supposed to make her somewhat unpleasant.

    January 15, 2016
    |Reply
  35. Squim
    Squim

    It’s been a while since I saw the first episode (and whoa, am I commenting late) but as I remember it, I thought there was supposed to be audience empathy with the fat woman (she’s clearly experiencing some heavy self-hatred) and that it was illustrating what Jessica was doing – being awful and drinking like a fish – because she has her own issues.

    November 22, 2017
    |Reply
    • Squim
      Squim

      Just to add – as a fat woman myself, I don’t think the woman should be experiencing self-hatred, it’s just what’s portrayed in the scene. She’s suffering some kind of eating/exercise compulsion disorder and Jessica is (mentally) completely unsympathetic and awful to her, because she’s in pain herself.

      I didn’t feel like the audience was being invited to judge the fat woman, or that Jessica was ‘telling it like it was’.

      November 22, 2017
      |Reply

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