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Fat Betty: In 'Mad Men' Season 6, Why Are We Still Commenting On Her Weight Gain?

04/08/2013 02:25 pm ET | Updated Jun 08, 2013
  • Emma Gray Executive Women's Editor, The Huffington Post

Attention "Mad Men" fans: It's time to leave Betty (Draper) Francis' body alone.

Last night "Mad Men" returned -- and along with Don's cheating ways, Megan's excellent sartorial choices and Peggy's badass lady boss demeanor, we were subjected to a deluge of fat-shaming comments about Betty. For some reason, people seemed genuinely crushed that Betty hadn't dropped every pound of her gained weight during the hiatus between "Mad Men" season 5 and season 6:

When Betty's weight gain first appeared last season, it was depressing but unsurprising how much negative commentary it elicited. After all, it was a change for the previously trim character who constantly reminisced about her model days. But it seems that after 13 episodes of "Fat Betty" in incredible muumuus, many viewers still can't get past the fact that she is no longer skinny. Somehow this fact warranted more attention from a lot of people watching than did her shocking and off-color rape joke about Sally's 15-year-old violinist friend or her adventure through a rundown house in the Village.

Betty is a divisive character, one that fans and critics alike love to hate. She is consistently cold, fails to connect with her daughter -- who makes an excellent sullen teenager, by the way -- and is stuck in the often uninteresting role of malcontent suburban housewife. But besides one comment about how she's trying to "reduce," none of last night's Betty story line had anything to do with her body. The consistent obsession over this character's size says much more about our own weight anxieties than it does about Betty Francis. Here's hoping that as this season progresses, we start to have a more interesting conversation.

"Mad Men" Season 6 and 7

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