Spoilers abound for this week’s episode, read on at your own risk!
I just finished watching Glee’s Rocky Horror episode and beneath the incredible music (I am not always into Glee’s music, but this episode was possibly my favorite ever) they tackled not only the usual theme of misfits in society, but also body image in more than one capacity.
Mercedes is one of my favorite characters. She’s chubby, but doesn’t think it makes her un-pretty. And it doesn’t – she is gorgeous. They never force her into frumpy clothes, instead they show off her curves in form-fitting style that reflects the personality of her character. For those that haven’t watched it inthis episode, she requested to play the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter and she rocked it. I loved that they twisted the gender of the role for her; it worked within the story and I loved the different style she brought to the music. Her body shape has rarely held her back from being incredible in every way and I strive to be more like her in that regard. She is, I think, one of the most excellent role models for young girls on TV.
In a somewhat related subplot, two boys struggled with body image. I know this is an issue that’s not often discussed, and while this could easily have come across as petulant, it didn’t. The writers and actors made it not only believable, but also quite natural. Sam worried about having to maintain his perfect body, and Finn had to work on becoming comfortable with something unconventionally handsome. My only beef – and it was, rather, a large one – was that it seemed that Finn’s character was considered chubby by all around him (smacks of Tracy Gold’s character on Growing Pains) and he is so clearly not chubby even a little bit. Such an assumption by the rest of the characters gives real bodies and the diversity of shape and size a blow once again.
I’ve always loved the way the show breaks social barriers, and not only did I love the music this episode, but I REALLY loved the subtopic of body image and how it was dealt with (mostly).
What did you think?