Size Positive Spotlight: Treme On HBO

by Golda Poretsky, H.H.C. on May 16, 2011

by Golda Poretsky, HHC

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I was hooked on Treme from the first episode.   For those of you who haven’t heard about it, it’s a show that follows the lives of a number of inter-related characters in post- Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.  It’s been getting a lot of acclaim for its great writing, moving storylines, amazing music and fine acting.

Fabulously Fat Characters On Treme (Courtesy Of The Telegraph UK)

Fabulously Fat Characters On Treme (Courtesy Of The Telegraph UK)

But the thing that I like most about it is the way that size diversity is treated as the norm for the show’s characters.

Season #1 had two fat main characters: Antoine Batiste, played by Wendell Pierce, and Creighton Bernette, played by John Goodman.  And although I really wish there were a fat, female main character, fat supporting women crop often as attorneys (like Toni Bernette’s colleague), teachers, musicians, friends, and lovers.  Many of the musicians who play themselves on the show are also fat.

The really great thing about all of this fabulous fatness is that fatness is never a storyline.  It’s never mentioned.  No one talks about diets or weight loss or whatever.  Every character, fat or thin, has good things about them and not so good things about them.  Fatness isn’t a sign of weakness or strength or good or evil or whatever.  It just is.  Fat people aren’t relegated to flat characters.  They have depth, they live their lives, they dance, they get laid.

Wendell Pierce As Antoine BatisteThe normality of fatness on Treme shouldn’t be weird, but it is.  If you think about television right now, it’s hard to think of a show that doesn’t pathologize fatness (The Biggest Loser, Heavy, Shedding For The Wedding) or leave out fat characters altogether (nearly everything else on TV).  The only slightly size positive show that I can think of other than Treme is Modern Family, which features Eric Stonestreet as a fat, gay father and Rico Rodriguez II as a fat, precocious ten-year-old, and their fatness, again, isn’t part of the storyline.  However, the women on that show, as usual, are all really thin.

Treme is really what TV should be — well-written, entertaining, and representative of real people.  In other words, it’s just the kind of show that gets canceled too soon (except on HBO, right?).

Are there any fat positive shows out there that I’m missing?  Let me know in the comments section below!

Check out the Treme trailer here:

If you don’t have HBO, you can get the first season of Treme here.

Golda Poretsky, H.H.C. is a certified holistic health counselor who specializes in transforming your relationship with food and your body. Go to http://www.bodylovewellness.com/stay-in-touch/ to get your free download — Golda’s Top Ten Tips For Divine Dining.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

(@bodylovewellnes) (@bodylovewellnes) June 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Post Updated! Size Positive Spotlight: Treme On HBO http://t.co/Pv9piNGr #fatpositivenews #popculture


Sarah May 20, 2011 at 7:21 pm

I love the way Penelope Garcia is portrayed on Criminal Minds. She’s loud, confident and wears clothes that reflect her personality. The one time I had a problem with it was when a good looking guy asked her out on a date, he turned out to be a bad guy and one of her co-workers point blank said she should have been suspicious that such a handsome man wanted to date her. But other than that its fabulous – she doesn’t talk about diet, she isn’t seen to be eating (anymore than any other character on the show) and she’s just an all around fun character. She is a background character, but because fans like her, the role has expanded a lot of the years.


Kathy May 20, 2011 at 10:50 am

Mike and Molly comes to mind


Alexis May 17, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva is one of my favorite shows of all time. The main character is interesting in that she was a not to bright fashion model reincarnated into a very overweight lawyer’s body. The first few eps addressed weight very well and realistically, then pretty much dropped the issue to focus on how smart and successful she is in her life and career.


@comalliwrites May 17, 2011 at 10:30 am

http://bit.ly/iUdrOH >> Body-positive size diversity on Treme- article by my oh-so-smart friend @goldaporetsky


Amanda May 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm

OMG! How did I not know about this show?!? I love John Goodman like something fierce. The trailer looks AMAZING! Thanks =0)


Golda Poretsky, H.H.C. May 17, 2011 at 1:41 am

@Amanda, You will love it! Unfortunately, John Goodman’s only in the first season.


Lisa Hatlestad May 16, 2011 at 12:00 am

I love Treme, beautiful show, beautiful people. But then again, that's NOLA where the status quo ain't the status quo. No place like it on earth. But I'm thrilled the city and its people are featured on the show as is, not all tv'd up.


Body Love Wellness December 31, 1969 at 7:00 pm

I'm glad you love it too! I've still never visited NOLA and I really want to.


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