Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where are the fat females in cartoons?

The other night I was watching TV when I saw an ad for a new adult cartoon show called The Cleveland Show. Normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to this type of thing, but something caught my attention and I couldn’t stop thinking about it: The male characters in this show are really fat, and the female characters are slim to average. It got me thinking about other adult cartoon shows like The Simpsons, King of the Hill and Family Guy, and I realized that in all these shows there are some seriously fat male characters, and little-to-no fat female characters.

To prove my point, I came up with this nifty little list.

The Simpsons
Fat male characters: Homer, Bart, Chief Wiggum, Dr. Hibbert, Nelson, Comic Shop Guy and Barney.
Fat female characters: Patty and Selma

Family Guy
Fat male characters: Peter Griffin and Chris Griffin
Fat female characters: none

King of the Hill
Fat male characters: Hank Hill, Bobby Hill and Bill Dautrieve
Fat female characters: none

The Cleveland Show
Fat male characters: Cleveland and Cleveland Jr.
Fat female characters: none

So, a quick tally shows that on these four shows there are 14 fat male characters and two fat female characters. Why the discrepancy?

We all know there are serious double standards in our society when it comes to fat.
We fear female fat and forgive male fat. Fat men can easily get married, find a good job, and generally be successful in life, but the same isn’t true for fat women.

It seems that the cartoon world is simply portraying how we think about fatness in the real world: essentially, that it doesn’t really matter if a man is fat, and fat women are… well… invisible. And when they do exist, as in the case with Patty and Selma, they are single, lonely, childless and unsuccessful.


  1. You are wrong abut the so called double standard, here look. Fat men and marriage:

  2. That's very sad and true.We live in a world full of stereotypes.We need feminism more then ever.