CW: Fatphobia, Depression, Body Issues, Avengers: Endgame Spoilers
My boyfriend and I sit in the car headed to the theater. We have been seeing Marvel movies together since Captian America: Winter Soldier. He is the Bucky to my Steve. So Endgame was always something we knew was going to be a date night. As I navigate us to the nearest theater we start up a conversation.
“Have you been spoiled at all?” I ask, knowing my answer is that I have.
“Yeah, just one thing though.” He answers.
The spoiler was the same for both of us. Thor being fat. It strikes up the conversation on how we feel about it. We talk about the posts we had both read in various places. Though at that point, we are choosing to wait and see how we feel. Not letting things color how we are going to feel about the movie as a whole.
Fat jokes suck. Fat suits on actors who are not fat are also just the worst. Though lately, we have pushed back hard on it. It always hurts seeing it. Because of the light that it is used in. Fat = Bad, Skinny = Good. So I was still apprehensive.
“Oh my god. He looks like me..” I hear my boyfriend say in hushed tones as we first see Thor on screen. At that moment, my boyfriend identified with the character on the screen even more. He understands and connects with Thor in a way he has not been able to before. Feeling represented even at seeing his body type on the screen. Even going so far to connect with how his body changed because of what he was going through.
It was at that moment, I stopped and thought about it. Thor is depressed. In Ragnarok, we saw him hit that high of saving his people from his sister. Ready to guide them off to a new Asgard. Only for Thanos to rip that from him in almost what seems like an instant. The last of his family killed in front of him. Then not being able to save any of them from the Snap. The weight gain after what happens in the aftermath of Infinity War, suddenly made more sense.
He keeps trying so hard, trying to be of some good when he comes back to the Avengers. There is a lot of in-betweens we see. Taking jeers from his peers with what seems to be almost no recognition at the jokes at his size. Finally getting to see his mother again, that is what pulls him back. Council from a woman who meant the world to him. But all of the moments in-between, I watched someone trying so hard to find a reason to be worth again. You see it finally, at the moment he calls on Moljiner and the hammer comes flying to his hand. He is worthy.
There is no ‘get him into shape’ montage. There is no magic to fix him the moment the lighting hits him to be in his armor. He is still fat. In the end, we still see him larger after what might be a few weeks after the battle. Might we see him down the line still that size? We don’t know really when it comes to what is next.
For the Laughs
There is one thing I need to also talk about. While representation matters. I believe we need to get there with out the jokes. We have seen in a lot of recent female led media getting there. But I do think we have a lot of ways to go when it comes to other genders and size representation.
Jokes at others expenses can hurt a lot. It also underplays the importance of what is trying to be shown on screen. There is no justifying it based on what character said it or how it was played. What the jokes and the laughter as said jokes says in the moment to anyone can often be, you are the joke. And no one wants to feel that way.
We all want to feel worthy. That is all. And our worth should not be our weight.