In Netflix’s new show, Insatiable, Patty (Debby Ryan) goes from being overweight and extremely unpopular to skinny and competing in beauty pageants after having her jaw wired shut for three months due to being punched in the face. Her luck immediately changes with her new body and new attitudes emerge.
Immediate backlash started when the trailer landed, even starting a petition on change.org. Critics have been calling out the obvious undertone of the objectification of women’s bodies and diet culture being an unsavory influence for today’s youth.
Alyssa Milano (Coralee) and Ryan responded to the controversy on USA Today on August 9th, 2018. Milano stated that she thinks it’s a “satirical look at what happens at the point of your life when you’ve accepted your own truth and that truth has empowered you to then move past it.”
Ryan added that the writing was done with fearlessness, but not recklessness. That the subjects they were touching on were approached in a way that was intentional, careful, and thoughtful, but not a way that was precious in which it would take a somber tone.
Lauren Gussis, the writer and creator of Insatiable, discussed with Vanity Fair about why she thinks we should give her show a chance. “The story is not ‘somebody gets thin, becomes happy, and gets everything she wants.’ It’s actually quite the opposite, but the story has to start somewhere.”
Gussis herself, had a problem with binge-eating growing up (starting at twelve years old) and that time of her life is kind of the backbone to the show. She discusses how the show correlates to that part of herself and how it attacks the myth of “fitting in” which seems to overtake almost every adolescent at that impressionable age.