I realized that my personal opinion on Insatiable is very much personal, and not reflective of the communities I’m a part of as a whole. I want to stress that I had to come to this new perspective (that intent doesn’t always matter when people get hurt) in my own time.
People who told me my feelings were invalid led me to experience heavy stress and sadness.
People who told me that I was fatphobic and a negative influence led me to retreat further into my own biases.
People who lashed out on me fed into the very thing they were trying to stop.
Having time away from assumptions, and just to myself, I’ve been able to effectively explore ideas other than my own. Having time to myself where I was not being burned at the stake helped me come to this conclusion:
I look at my initial reviews of Insatiable and understand them because it was my truth last week. And truly, the series is not meant to stand on its own; it was meant to cause outrage. This factor matters because I was given the opportunity to review two episodes of the show about a week before they were released to the public. Really, my only opinions I could have were my own. I didn’t have anyone to discuss how I felt. That doesn’t excuse it — but it’s a reason. I personally found healing in myself watching the first two episodes. I had no access to critics or other people speaking out about Insatiable as a whole. And maybe you’ll say I shouldn’t have needed that — that I should have known better, but to me, conversations are helpful and hearing other ideas other than just ours enables us to communicate and understand. Having this world of just myself and the first two episodes last week is very, very different from nearly every single person in the world having access to the content. It’s different. It makes sense why my ideas have evolved.
There is no right or wrong in how we feel — there never will be. All emotions and feelings are valid.
It’s our words and actions that follow that can warrant either justice or complacency. At the same time though, I was still forming my opinion, as many of us relate to in all sorts of topics.
Also, I believe there are constructive and dangerous ways to voice concerns to people. Similarly to how hating and shaming fat people makes things worse, hating and shaming me for my initial feelings and reactions exacerbated exactly what you are trying to stop.
Hate and shame and defensiveness breeds more defensiveness, and, ultimately, continued willfulness.
I feel this is important to share not to paint myself as a victim, but to be authentic and open, because it’s much more complex than just me making a mistake.
I relate to both you, and Lauren Gussis, the creator of Insatiable, right now.
I am outraged about how this series is negatively impacting people. It makes me sick.
On the other hand, I greatly sympathize with the creators because I feel they are well-intentioned, but ultimately, misguided.
And yes, you can say that they don’t deserve compassion or respect, and you can say that impact is greater than intention, and that may be true, but that will never mean that there isn’t a human being on the other side of your words.
Feelings are not wrong.
There should be no shame in myself or anyone not initially realizing an issue goes beyond ourselves. There should be no shame in your opinion growing and evolving. Your opinions and perspectives are supposed to grow — it’s healthy.
However, what is not healthy is blaming and shaming people for seeing things differently than you. Perhaps they don’t understand the magnitude, and maybe they need genuine guidance to get there. Perhaps their opinions are still evolving. You saying they are wrong is like taking away the sun and rain from a plant. If you want to encourage learning and growing, you need to give it what it needs — you don’t take away what helps it grow just because you were hurt first.
In life, where everyone is doing their best with what they have in this very moment, “I told you so” is unfair because then, I didn’t have the perspective that I do today.
What was also unhealthy was my disregard for other people’s feelings.
So, let’s grow together.
I hope to continue addressing these topics in the upcoming weeks.
I apologize to those who I unintentionally harmed in the process of finding my stance. In the future, I will work harder to set boundaries with myself and others if I ever feel unsure about my full opinion on a topic. I recognize that I personally take time to process, as I am naturally indecisive and think a lot. I will take this into account before partaking in more extensive conversations.
What I explained about other people shaping how I felt, and how I remained in willfulness — that is not meant to excuse my behavior. I played a role in this. Those paragraphs are simply an example of why I feel it is so important to meet people with critique, rather than hate. Communication matters just as much as impact; they play into each other.
Below is a short questionnaire for my next post if you’d like to participate. I value your feelings and ideas. I sincerely hope you can find value and understanding in mine, too.