Jeanie Finlay, the filmmaker, creates a kind and gracious portrayal of Aubrey Gordon, an American activist, podcaster, and successful writer. Gordon gained widespread attention for her blog, Your Fat Friend, where she spoke out against the unkindness – whether intentional or not – directed towards people like her. Her clever and spirited complaints gained her a following that included celebrities such as Roxane Gay, James Corden, and Adele. However, it also subjected her to online harassment and cruel criticism.
Gordon shares her personal experiences of enduring uncomfortable and patronizing language and also critiques the deceptive diet industry, now disguising itself as the “wellness” industry. She strongly argues that this industry is a profit-driven machine that preys on women’s insecurities and promotes self-hatred, all for financial gain. In fact, she boldly compares the diet industry to the tobacco industry, a dissenting viewpoint considering many often use the cigarette industry as a comparison when discussing processed foods.
The movie also interviews Gordon’s parents and subtly suggests that her mother’s decision to enroll her in a junior diet class during her early teens may have contributed to her eating disorder and ultimately, her parents’ divorce. It is also possible that this decision may have created a sense of unhappiness for Gordon. Ironically, her father is a retired pilot, despite the negative treatment of overweight individuals on planes. He later remarried a flight attendant who fit society’s standards of attractiveness. Interestingly, the film cleverly shows us how Gordon criticizes the phrase “you have great skin” as a way to avoid talking about weight – and then we hear her stepmother say the exact same thing sweetly. However, the film does not delve into issues regarding relationships, possibly a flaw.
In essence, Gordon believes that certain individuals have a physical makeup and bodily processes that will inevitably lead them to be overweight, regardless of their efforts. He suggests that any attempt to control their weight would consume them to the point of neglecting all other aspects of their life, akin to a zombie-like fixation. In summary, it is not worth the effort and as Keynes may have stated, ultimately we all die, so accept it. Let overweight individuals be and cease victimizing them.
This perspective presents a libertarian viewpoint that contradicts both left and right arguments, asserting that the problem at hand is a result of American prosperity. However, the matter of doctors being accused of insensitivity regarding heart disease and diabetes could have been approached with greater thoroughness. Gordon’s wit and kindness are evident throughout.