Fat and Queer Representation Done Right! R/J Review

Trending 3 months ago 66

Remember our anterior nonfiction astir fat practice successful media and treatment of the movie The Whale? Let’s speech astir practice done right! It was connected a smaller standard and for a little run, but we privation to stock each the bully moments with you! 

R/J was based connected Romeo and Juliet, a Shakespeare classic, but not the mode you person seen it before! It was wholly rewritten by a duo of queer theatre activists and featured fat, queer, trans, non-binary, and BIPOC actors.

R/J reappraisal  abdominous  and queer practice   - Strand Theater CompanyImage by Strand Theater Company

The Strand Theater Co located successful Baltimore, MD was the signifier for 1 of the best, astir relatable, inclusive productions we person ever witnessed.

Fat Representation successful R/J Delivered!

There were truthful galore poignant moments wrong this show. One of the astir applicable to our readers would beryllium the country wherever Juliet, played and created by Betse Lyons (she/her), discusses her experiences with fatphobia.

For immoderate context, though determination are immoderate parts of this amusement that were pulled from the Shakespeare script, determination were besides additions of modern-day language, societal media, and popular civilization references, particularly wrong the euphony selection. 

The taxable of fatphobia comes up successful the 2nd fractional of the show. Juliet is told by her lesbian parents that she is going to beryllium forced into a matrimony with the princess, whom Juliet has known since they were kids.

R/J Review - Image by Strand Theater CompanyImage by Strand Theater Company

Juliet describes however they utilized to beryllium precise adjacent friends but arsenic she deed puberty and her assemblage began to change, the princess started to dainty her similar she was invisible. She besides goes connected to speech astir however romanticist relationships origin radical to get “weird” astir their preferences.

Keep successful mind, this is delivered portion her quality is wearing a harvest apical and skirt – the astir due attire to sermon however abdominous women are treated. 

In a pursuing scene, Juliet’s parent proceeds to marque respective fatphobic comments to her. “The princess has fantabulous chefs and idiosyncratic trainers.” “Maybe deterioration thing that fits you.” “We can’t conscionable propulsion thing successful your size to wear.” 

We cannot convey however seen the positive size folks successful the assemblage felt during these scenes, myself included. There were audible gasps and a precise vocal, visceral absorption from the assemblage during these scenes.

R/J Review - Image by Strand Theater CompanyImage by Strand Theater Company

How galore of america person felt invisible? How galore of america person had a romanticist involvement crook america down conscionable due to the fact that of however we look? How galore of america person heard those aforesaid fatphobic comments delivered truthful nonchalantly, arsenic if we should conscionable expect them? 

According to the Strand Theater Company’s Facebook page, “Unfortunately, overmuch of our nine inactive thrives connected ignoring the information that abdominous bodies exist. The signifier is nary objection to this rule; successful fact, it is simply a superior arbiter. Depending connected however you classify it, 40-70% of American adults are fat, and that demographic is painfully underrepresented connected our stages. This is precisely wherefore we created R/J, to springiness radical a accidental to spot conscionable however beauteous it tin beryllium to let marginalized bodies to respire caller beingness into characters we thought we knew. Fat radical merit to person their stories told.“

Queer and Trans Representation in R/J

There was an perfectly gorgeous moment, besides successful the 2nd fractional of the show, wherever Romeo, played and created by O’Malley Steuerman (they/thons), and Juliet region their outer garments earlier going to furniture together.

This stood retired arsenic specified a profound infinitesimal due to the fact that Juliet was simply successful a bra and underwear juxtaposed against Romeo’s surgical scars from sex affirming surgery (a communal country for trans masc oregon non-binary individuals).

R/J Review- Image by Strand Theater CompanyImage by Strand Theater Company

There was this infinitesimal of acknowledgment astir however each bodies are beauteous and perfectly deserving of love- trans bodies, abdominous bodies, queer bodies, disabled bodies- each azygous idiosyncratic is worthy.

Romeo simply states, toward the opening of the show, “I privation a emotion that makes maine consciousness similar myself.” This was a enactment that apt deed location to a batch of queer folks successful the audience. Based connected idiosyncratic experience, coming retired tin beryllium hard.

Discovering who you are and accepting yourself tin beryllium a pugnacious journey. Dealing with extracurricular judgement tin beryllium incredibly difficult. To find idiosyncratic other who has shared akin struggles tin truly marque you consciousness seen, understood, and marque you comfy capable to beryllium your existent authentic self.

The Strand Theater Company’s Facebook leafage besides states, “Queer emotion is important. Queer emotion is everything. Queer emotion is being seen and accepted, arsenic thing different than yourself.”

R/J Review - Image by Strand Theater CompanyImage by Strand Theater Company

Another enactment of Romeo’s, “I didn’t cognize I could consciousness this- that I could beryllium happy.” This is different that truly impacted the audience. When it comes to immoderate marginalized identity, it is implied that if you are extracurricular of society’s “standard,” that you whitethorn ne'er beryllium genuinely happy, you whitethorn ne'er find love.

That’s the thought that is ingrained into america increasing up successful a cis-het achromatic Eurocentric quality standard-focused society. But this is thing that a batch of america turn to admit isn’t really a cosmopolitan truth. You tin perfectly beryllium blessed and loved contempt what others claim.

When you tin genuinely beryllium you and judge yourself for who you are, that is existent happiness.

Why Plus Size and Queer Media Representation Matters
R/J Review - Image by Strand Theater CompanyImage by Strand Theater Company

This is wherefore practice successful media, and much importantly bully representation, is truthful important. A 2022 report recovered that contempt astir women successful the US being positive size, fat women lone made up 6.7% of characters successful the astir fashionable films implicit the past 10 years. A akin fig was recovered for the astir fashionable TV shows. 

A 2020 survey by GLAAD and P&G recovered that queer practice accrued acceptance by up to 45%. LGBTQIA+ practice lone accounts for 6.7% of the apical 10 recurring formed members crossed the apical 300 broadcast, cable, and streaming shows from 2019. It is noted that Latinx and BIPOC femmes are underrepresented.

Intersectionality, the thought that antithetic facets of a person’s individuality tin impact their privileges oregon disadvantages successful life, is an important lens done which we should analyse representation. This tin see race, gender, etc. and however they overlap crossed systems of discrimination. Queer radical travel successful each shapes, sizes, and colors!

R/J Review - Image by Strand Theater CompanyImage by Strand Theater Company

Imagine if you would person grown up with abdominous oregon queer oregon much actors of colour oregon trans actors arsenic relation models? Can you ideate however galore of america would not consciousness “othered” by our peers?

Can you ideate however overmuch much accepting nine could beryllium if we normalized each bodies?

This is what we need! More inclusion of marginalized identities and bodies crossed each media.

More About Strand

Strand Theater Company is the lone brick-and-mortar, unrecorded theatre venue successful Baltimore City solely dedicated to the enactment of amplifying women’s voices onstage and off!

Located successful the vibrant Hamilton-Lauraville neighborhood, Strand is simply a 501c3 non-profit that is woman-owned and dedicated to inclusivity, accessibility, and community. Want to larn more?