Fat Pig

Jul. 17th, 2008 02:43 pm
polyhorde: (Default)
[personal profile] polyhorde
For those who are not aware I have been cast as Helen in TTR's production of "FAT PIG" by Neil LaBute. Helen is an over-weight/obese woman who falls in love with an attractive but shallow man. Of the four characters she's the most genuine, the most playful, the most comfortable and the one with the highest self-esteem (at the beginning of the play).
Tom and his co-workers Carter (self-proclaimed asshole) and Jeanie (bitter ex) are all overly preoccupied with image, both their own and that of those around them. When prejudice, body image, and love collide Tom is left with a choice: to be spurned by his friends and remain with the woman he can't help but love, or to reject her for the societal approval he can't help but need.

This play worries me. Not the subject matter but rather issues I fear it will dredge up.
I am obese. I've been over-weight my whole life, I've gone through the rigmarole of being insulted, of hating myself, and have finally - after 20 years of effort - reached the other side. I'm fine with who I am, hell, I even like me most of the time. I have a loving family that looks after each other. I'm in a supportive, wonderful relationship with a man who finds me attractive even when I wake up with gorgon hair and wander around the house all day in my pjs. I'm honest, helpful, reliable, caring, somewhat talented, and have an above-average IQ. I have a lot going for me in life, enough that my appearance has taken a back burner.
Helen has gone through the same and come to the same conclusion. But I still worry, because slowly she looses that acceptance and puts all of her self worth into Tom's opinion of her.
I know it's a play, and I should be able to keep the script from effecting me personally - but even just reading it I still wish to strangle Jeanie and Carter. It hurts, just a little when people call you a disgusting sow who could eat for five, even if it isn't for real.
And I'm not certain whether I should be touched at my father's protectiveness or disappointed that he is choosing to miss this one. He's worried that he'll take the insults thrown at Helen personally "I mean, I know it's a play but they're still insulting my baby girl."
I hate it when guilt and righteous anger blend. I get pissed because they're insulting me, but at the same time I cry because a part of me still agrees with them.

ADDENDUM: This was bugging me, so I spoke with Dad asking for a clarification as to why he wouldn't come to the play. He said he wasn't partially to people being openly thrashed on stage in general but most especially when they were relatives. So that makes me feel better (or maybe it's Octopus's Garden cheerily playing in the background). I have this odd thing of not being bothered by theatre until some asks "Oh my god, I can't believe how well you're taking it, I would be so insulted" and then I kinda feel hurt . . . because they think its a personal insult to me, so I take it as a personal insult -- Yeah, that doesn't make any sense to me either.
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Jess

August 2010

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