Forbes steps in it with op-ed questioning readiness for ‘mixed-weight’ relationships

The show ‘Bridgerton’ has taken Netflix by storm, but a recent opinion piece regarding an on-screen romance has the Internet up in arms.

A recently written opinion piece published in Forbes explored whether people are ready for “mixed weight romance,” referencing the love between characters Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton. Featherington, played by actress Nicola Coughlan, is notably heavier-set than Bridgerton, played by actor Luke Newton, which the author of the piece claims “creates friction around the socially acceptable limits of desire and desirability.”

In referencing a different piece written about the show, the author claims that “fatphobia” is the reason the characters’ romance is being criticized online.

First, Strimpel’s description of Penelope as “the friend” reveals a need to sideline plus-size people, even when they are the main character of their own love story. This is a form of fatphobia we’ve seen frequently in romantic comedies that cast larger-bodied actresses as the asexual sidekicks of smaller-bodied ones.

Second, it’s important to notice that Colin’s desire for Penelope isn’t even addressed. Only the implausibility of that desire is mentioned. The truth is, though, that Colin wants Penelope, right? He’s not a prisoner in this romance, right? Yet, it’s not Colin’s desire that’s being pathologized or chided at all. It’s Penelope’s body.

This didn’t sit well with people on social media, who were quick to respond:

Sierra Marlee


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