Last year, the WWE initiated a feud between Mickie James and the teaming of Michelle McCool and Layla based on the latter two calling the former “fat”. I don’t know about you, but if Mickie is fat, then I’m a blue whale. The angle itself was punishment for Mickie’s indiscretions backstage. At first it seemed like she was being called out for being more full-figured and not a stick-figure like McCool or Kelly Kelly or some of the other Divas are.
It was later learned that Mickie was kind of a creeper backstage and had some wild partying tendencies that the company frowned upon. Be that as it may, to make light of a woman who wasn’t fat as being fat because she wasn’t anorexic looking is irresponsible and just plain offensive. However, their only saving grace happened to be that Mickie was the face and Team Lay-Cool were the heels, and the angle had a satisfying conclusion. At the Royal Rumble, Mickie destroyed McCool for the WWE Women’s Championship and was portrayed as having won the feud, vindicating herself as not fat, but healthy.
[adinserter block=”2″]It was a disgusting promotional technique, but in the end, there was comeuppance for the chauvinistic actions of the thinner heels. However, the WWE broached that topic again last week and last night on RAW, only this time, the bullies were faces and the target a heel who’s job it is to take punishment and embarrassment. Last week on the Slammy Award RAW, Jerry Lawler and Vickie Guerrero presented an award, and Lawler made a crack about Vickie’s weight.
For those not in the know, Vickie has taken off a ton of weight in the last year, and if they didn’t dowdy her down, she would look very attractive, like the cougar she’s sarcastically and ironically portrayed as. If that wasn’t bad enough, this past Monday on RAW, not only was Lawler in on the act, but so was John Cena, the face of the company and a guy who for the last six months had been playing the role of noble, respectful and righteous babyface as well as anyone has in the post-Attitude era.
In a time when TNA actually has the right idea on the subject (one of the very few times they’re ever more in the right than the WWE), it’s embarrassing and shameful for Vince McMahon to perpetrate the same dated and patently insensitive stereotypes about what fat is and how these people who aren’t statuesque folks with low body fat indexes should be treated. Cena is nothing better than a bully.
Let’s forget the fact that the WWE is marketed to kids. Parents need to do a better job parenting their children rather than letting things like TV, movies and pro wrestling do that for them. This is patently offensive because Vickie Guerrero is not fat, and she’s worked damn hard to take that weight off. How do I know? Because I’ve done the same thing she has. Back in April, I weighed in at a pleasantly plump 336 lbs. Sure, you’ve all probably seen fatter, but it’s still morbidly obese.
I needed to do something lest I have lingering health problems for the rest of my days, so I changed my lifestyle. I ate less, what I did eat was healthier and I exercised more. The result to date? I’ve taken off more than 70 lbs. It’s hard work, and I’m tempted by Baconators and macaroni and cheese and ice cream and all the trappings of eating crappy every day. I indulge every once in awhile – you have to or else you’ll go insane – but for the most part, I watch what I eat and the pounds keep coming off.
[adinserter block=”1″]For the WWE to make light of that effort in an attempt to garner heat, especially when the victim is someone who can turn a room full of Quakers into a bloodthirsty mob just by screeching “EXCUSE ME!!!” five or six times is shameful. Utterly shameful. Vince McMahon should be ashamed of himself. John Cena and Jerry Lawler should be ashamed of themselves, especially Lawler since he’s got a beer belly himself. And hell, Vickie Guerrero herself should be ashamed of herself for going along with it. Why should she belittle her hard work? Why send the message that no matter how much weight you remove, you’re still going to be considered fat? Folks, people don’t just look like Cena by accident.
There are plenty of other ways to garner heel heat for Vickie Guerrero. Making light of her weight loss like it’s nothing is not one of them. I don’t mean to go all PTC on the WWE here, but they can sit on a fencepost if they think that this is how you should sell an angle. Shame on them. Shame on the whole lot of them.
Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.
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