Saturday, September 09, 2006

Being PHAT (Pretty Hot and Tempting) in America

When people here in America tell me that I have a big behind, I tell them that I wish it was twice the size. When I answer that, I can see them in shock. I grew up in Africa and believe me, the bigger the behind the more beautiful one is considered.

In America having a blessed behind is considered ugly, being overweight. Look at the way people initially laughed at Jennifer Lopez because they said she had a big one. I was appalled at the airbrushing of her pictures to reduce the size of her behind. Funny, nowadays people are buying padded pants to make themselves look like they have big one. Thank you Beyonce? and all the others in the ‘bootylicious’ movement.

Truth said in most African cultures having a flat behind is considered ugly. Being thin is a sign of illness and misery. This brings me to my point today, and that it the film Phat Girlz.

Phat Girlz is a film written and produced by an Ethiopian-American, Nngest Likke. The film is based on her frustrations that she felt in America as a plus-size women. Phat Girlz did not do well at the Box office, and I’m not surprised. America is a society that worships what Hollywood feeds it. It’s image of beauty is a skeletal thin, blonde blue eyed woman. Phat Girlz protagonist is a heavyset black woman…a no no in Hollywood .

In Phat Girlz many Americans are in disbelief that a gorgeous well toned, Dr. Tunde (Jimmy Jean-Louis) can fall in loved with heavyset PHAT sister Jazmin (Mo’nique). Well, of course it’s possible and to him she is the most gorgeous woman on the planet. He was raised in a culture where the ‘Thick Madam’ is Queen. The saying that, “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder” rings true here.

Well I have the Phat Girlz DVD, and I have watched everything on it and heard about thetrials and tribulations of making them film. I have to say that I am and will be forever grateful that this film was made. As I have said before it is long overdue. The film will definitely have a cult following. And with the release of the DVD Phat Girlz has moved from the #1 worst movie on the Internet Movie Database to the #7 its rating will probably rise as more people watch it. It’s no secret that there were racist and anti-fat campaigns against the movie which led to low turn out at the movies.

Phat Girlz is not about glorifying being fat, but accepting who you are, living life and yes, Phat peoples dreams can come true too.

Director /Producer Nnegest Likke asks viewers which ending they prefer. I prefer the Extended version ending where Jazimn tells viewers to go be with the one they love. That’s a romantic ending that gets viewers involved.

I look forward to Phat Girlz 2.