Have Teen Shows Gone Too Far?


BBC News

In the Netflix series Insatiable, audiences follow Patty as she loses an unhealthy amount of weight and becomes accepted by her peers. Instead of advocating being comfortable with oneself, Insatiable tells viewers that altering themselves, even in harsh or dangerous ways, will have favorable results.

Megan Dhingra, Staff Writer

Patty’s friend: “Are you crazy? He’s a child molester!”

Patty: “Which means I might actually have a shot.”


Yes, this is actual dialogue from the Netflix series Insatiable. But that’s not the only thing wrong with this Netflix series or new teen movies for that matter. Nowadays, many teen movies are giving the wrong message to their viewers as they often depict dangerous and offensive scenes such as people unhealthily losing weight or insulting the LGBTQ community, which negatively influences teens. These movies were initially made to spread bullying awareness and “open up” about these issues in our society, but they twisted the message and actually worsened the problem.

Let’s begin with Insatiable. This 12 episode Netflix series stars a girl named Patty who was overweight, therefore constantly harassed at school. After getting punched in the face by a homeless man who insults her weight, she is forced to get her jaw screwed shut and is put on a liquid diet. This diet causes her to rapidly lose weight so she becomes skinny and “beautiful.”

This series doesn’t show how Patty accepted being overweight―instead, it shows how she got skinny and the advantages that came with it. Evidently, this doesn’t convey positive messages and has faced severe opposition as over 200,000 people have signed a petition to remove the series from Netflix. People dislike this show because they think it is a mockery of the pain people who are overweight and unaccepted by society have to go through. Scenes from the series have detrimentally impacted people struggling with weight insecurities because of its horrid depictions of the ridicule Patty receives for being overweight.

Additionally, the show displays Patty trying to “get together” with a man named Bob, who may have been a child molestor. There are many uncomfortable scenes including him stretching her out at the gym. She even tells him, “I’m afraid if I get fat again, you won’t think I’m beautiful.” As someone with a younger sister who is struggling with weight issues, I would never want her to watch this scene, or any of the series for that matter.

On top of all this, the show also makes fun of people who identify as LGBTQ+. Patty’s best friend, Nonnie, tells Patty that she kissed a girl and may be bisexual, but Patty doesn’t listen to her friend and says that she can’t be gay, antagonizing the LGBTQ+ community.

Unfortunately, Insatiable has been renewed for a second season that will premiere in 2019.

Additionally, a teen Netflix movie, Sierra Burgess is a Loser, gives off bad vibes straight from the title. Sierra Burgess, a teenager, struggles with being overweight and is also tormented at school. In a complicated circumstance, an attractive boy suddenly starts texting her, mistaking her for a pretty cheerleader who also goes to her school. Sierra falls in love and convinces the cheerleader to put up an act to help her catfish the guy. The only reason Sierra goes through so much trouble to hide herself is because she is self-conscious about her weight. The funny scenes in this movie are outweighed by the movie’s negative messages, which teach viewers not to be content with who they are, but to change themselves into something they are not.

Both of these Netflix productions shame people that are overweight and do not show these characters trying to live with themselves or overcoming their fears. On the flip side, it depicts the characters succumbing and trying to make themselves more appealing to appease society. Since when did watching someone get bullied about their weight become a form of entertainment?