fat shaming and stealing: tosh.0 style

I want to let you know about Daniel Tosh’s theft of Substantia Jones‘ photograph that features my friend Janie Martinez. Below, is the original, fantastic photo, used with permission from Ms. Jones. If you need to see the vitriol currently being spewed out onto it at the Tosh.0 website, go here. (The page has been removed.)

Over and over, fat people are the butt of jokes, and it must stop. To add insult to injury, Comedy Central and Tosh.0 are using Substantia’s photo illegally. Substantia is a professional photographer who features professional models and every day folk celebrating their beauty and life.

To have Mr. Tosh or anyone steal these photographs for the explicit use of mean, snarky jibes continues a cycle of bullying culture. We wonder why people, especially women, have body image issues, yet the fat shaming entertainment industry encourages this belittling of people. It perpetuates a myth that one cannot be beautiful at any size, and it encourages trolls and bullies to believe what they write is actually funny. It’s not. It’s angry, spiteful and hurtful.

You can do something about this illegal, immoral activity. Please contact comedy central to protest Daniel Tosh’s theft of intellectual property:

Phone: (212) 767-8600
Fax: (212) 767-8592
Email: mail@comedycentral.com

It may not seem like a big deal in this day and age where we right click on photos and share them like toys in a sandbox, but Comedy Central and Daniel Tosh make money off stolen images like this. Reach out, stand up for artists, and help renounce sizeism.

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UPDATE

Lindy West at Jezebel reports the post has been removed from the Tosh.0 blog. Thanks to all who wrote or called in. Kick ass.

Jezebel article by Lindy West

what a week

It’s taken me over a week to process all that happened last week, for it was wild, teaching me not only about human nature, but the impact one has with one’s words (namely, my own).

Three days after the first woman who told me I was “remarkably accurate” in my portrayal of feederism and posted a link to the show from the Dimensions Magazine website (if you go to this site, there will be plot spoilers from my play…so, if you plan on seeing it in the future, you may want to avoid), two woman showed up and sat in the front row, indignant and scowling during the entire play. After the show, they stopped me, asking all sorts of questions about the show: “What was my point?” “What research did I do?” “Did I talk to any feeders or feedees?” After 45 minutes of their grilling and my friends leaving one by one without my getting to hang with a them, I realized I handled the situation very poorly. Not only was I starving and out of my mind with hunger, I was “post-show” head space, which is not very coherent. As a result, I wasn’t as articulate as I would have liked. Disappointed, I chalked it up to a bad experience, one which if given an opportunity, I would’ve handled differently.

Kicking myself for having done such a poor job explaining my show, I went to the Dimensions Magazine website, and I checked out the chat thread that started after the woman on Saturday night. Sure enough, one of the women disgruntled with the show went on and posted a scathing review of the play. Then, she talked about how, after the show, I described my play as “bad art” and misquoted me on a few facts. Basically, she asked me what the show meant. Did I want people talking about my show after they went home from the theater? I told her I believe “good art” should resonate. People should continue talking about it when they go home. I don’t propose to tell people what they should think – “good art” should just provoke people to conversation. Then, I qualified and said, “Not that I’m saying this is “good art…I’m just saying that’s what good art is, and if people keep talking about it once they get home, that’s great.” Trying to be humble. Didn’t work.

As a result, I figured I’d revise my previous post and “thesis” regarding the show and post it here:

A van speeds across country. Inside, a man tells a tale of a relationship with a woman named Jesse. To whom does he speak? Where is he going? And what will happen when he reaches his destination? FEEDER: A Love Story is an oddly touching, surprisingly funny, dark and twisted tale of passion, revenge and dessert. The play delves into a fringe fragment of the BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Submission & Masochism) world of feederism, where feeding and “growing” ones partner to enormous sizes is considered beautiful.

Living in a country where “thin is in” and plastic surgery is the norm, FEEDER: A Love Story holds a fun house mirror up to society and forces the audience to question the absurdity of typical beautification tactics. Additionally, it questions the fetish of feederism, imagining what would happen if said feeder became obsessed with the fetish, knowing no boundaries, and broke all the rules.

We are obsessed in this country with beauty. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The point of the play is not to say that if someone finds a fat person beautiful that they are crazy (as the third woman who posts on the Dimensions site suggests I am saying), it suggests, as with any relationship, it can move to obsession when one refuses to accept the change in that relationship.

Too, one last point, the ladies who disliked my show were very polite (while obviously unhappy) to me, and I’d like to thank them for challenging me. The anger they show in their posts are not to be mistaken for how they treated me in person, which was with respect. I don’t want to disrespect them either, but it seems I have, which brings me back to my original point. You can’t please all the people all the time. And, the challenges these women presented me have forced me to rethink the mission of this play. I am writing a second act. I am going to try and sit down with either a feeder or a feedee and interview him or her…and I the second act will be from the feedee’s point of view (while the monologue I presented was from the feeder’s point of view). It’s a love story. And there’s always two sides to every love story. So, why not tell it?

Thanks to everyone who came out last week and supported. Your thoughts and comments have been invaluable and have also been instrumental in bringing me to the decision to expand the play. And, for those of you who couldn’t make it, it will return soon.