I hardly ever see people who look like me — fat, ugly, unrefined people — reflected in popular culture, let alone in a positive way. Then I ran across a few songs that really struck a chord with me. It started with “They Call Me Big Mama” by Big Mama Thornton, which led me to Sophie Tucker’s tune “I Don’t Want To Get Thin.” Next thing I knew I was on a quest, scouring the web for all the odes to obesity and requiems for regular bodies I could find.
Unfortunately, quite a few of the songs I found contain absolutely abhorrent lyrics about fat people. Take “Fat Girl (Thar She Blows) by hair band Steel Panther:
Friends keep tellin’ me, I must be goin’ blind
You got cottage cheese all over your behind (yeah)
Even though some people point and laugh at us
You can kick their ass because you’re bigger than a bus
Fat Girl, I can’t believe you’re eating again
Fat Girl, Where does your neck begin?…
Come here baby, where you goin’?
Yeah, you’re a cow!
C’mere here baby, hey I love you
I can’t live without you
I can’t live without you
C’mere, hey, (whistle) hey
The speaker seemingly has a sexual attraction to a fat woman, but still can’t seem to reconcile his desire with his hatred of fat women, routinely disrespecting her while still objectifying her in the lyrics. I suppose misogynistic lyrics are not exactly news, but this double whammy of body shaming while objectifying her body is intriguing. About half the songs I found, all sang by men, went something like, “I would do so many nasty, sexy things to you girl, but you’re fat and ugly so I’m gonna be a jackass to you, but it doesn’t really matter because you should consider my dick a gift because who else would want to fuck you?” Catchy, right?
Fortunately, I found about 50 awesome songs about fat people, ugly people and other outcasts, and created the Big Fat Fatties & Co. playlist. Gathered in a gluttonous attempt to glorify rebellious bodies, this playlist features music from all different genres, time periods and continents.
The playlist includes some popular favorites, like TLC’s “Unpretty” and Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls,” but it’s mostly composed of new-to-me tunes like “Big Boned Gal” by k.d. lang and The Reclines, “Happy Being Fat” by Big Dee Irwin and “Beauty’s Only Skin Deep” by Ike and Tina Turner.
Most of these songs are new to me, so while I tried my best to weed out songs with body hating and other crap, some of these songs are rather obscure, and do not have lyrics posted online. So please, let me know if you think a song is problematic or you have an addition to the list.
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