I’ve always been a fan of Glee. In past seasons, the show has had a poignant way of presenting cogent issues like gay relationships and Obsessive Compulsive Order. Not only does the show cover relevant events, but the music is shamefully catchy, even if everything is auto-tuned up the wazoo.
I was nervous for this season because a lot of the main characters were being phased out and new faces were being introduced. Still, I decided to watch every episode on my DVR. One of the new characters, Marley, has a mom who is the overweight lunch lady. Marley is terrified she’ll become obese like her mom. After she lands the lead in the school musical over her rival, a blonde cheerleader, things with Marley really started spinning out of control.
This evil, jealous cheerleader, Kitty, re-sews Marley’s stage costumes in the middle of the night so they’ll be too small. Okay, that’s a little over the top. Then Kitty tells Marley that she needs to make herself throw up so she can fit in her costumes. This is when I legitimately had to pause my DVR. GLEE, what?
Kitty nonchalantly convinces Marley to become bulimic as if it’s the perfect solution to everything. In reality, Marley is a perfectly skinny girl, and Kitty is a perfectly horrid bitch for convincing her she’s gained weight. I seriously felt sick when I was watching this. Kitty has got this bright smile on her face, and I couldn’t help but think that the show was not covering this harsh topic gracefully at all, and I should know. I was bulimic for four years. The way Glee talks about the eating disorder is seriously so off handed that I wanted to stop watching the show altogether after I throw my TV out the window.
Kitty follows Marley around holding up two fingers to stand for the two fingers that she’s supposed to gag herself with. Really? I understand if the topic should be discussed on the show, but to present a person encouraging someone else to have an eating disorder? It’s almost like it’s telling all the young girl viewers out there, that yes, it is in fact okay to make yourself throw up when that is NOT THE CASE AT ALL.
During the times of my bulimia, I wasn’t ever told I needed to lose weight or anything like that. The reason I developed the disorder was psychological, and it really bothered me when I was seeing a TV show I loved talk about it so offensively. Marley’s love interest catches her after she makes herself throw up, and then he comments on her vomit breath, and they giggle like it’s this hilarious joke. No.
In the last episode, Marley passes out on stage from her eating disorder. I’m hoping that the show will somehow redeem itself, and bring a serious tone to a very serious issue. I plan to watch the next few episodes out of pure curiosity, but if it all doesn’t come together soon, I’m out. I can’t watch the encouragement of bulimia and be okay with it knowing that some people are easily persuaded by television shows. People with eating disorders need help, not light hearted jokes and off the wall encouragement to induce vomiting.