Heard things are getting bigger!
In the age of social media influencers, content creators, artists, musicians, and bloggers, we are truly experiencing a new renaissance of representation and black creators of all identities come and show themselves. Over the past few years we’ve seen Hollywood and different industries go from lack of representation or no representation to people who look like us on the camera bar and scripts and in front of the camera. It’s been a great trip to watch it unfold, but I have to be honest. In terms of how far we have come, we still have a long way to go for a fat and large representation on screen and in the writers’ room. So when I stumbled across the new and original web series, Pretty for a big gurl, I screamed! If the big Hollywood studios don’t create the opportunities, we’ll create them for ourselves.
Pretty for a big gurl is a web series on YouTube created by and performed by Courtney Arlette. Picking up and pulling dynamics from some of our favorite fraternity shows like Girlfriends and First Wives Club, Pretty For A Big Gurl is a half-hour-long comedy-drama (drama mixed with comedy) that follows the life of Savannah Richardson, played by Courtney Arlette. The series, which premiered on July 18, follows Savannah as she navigates life, love and career as a plus size A black woman determined to prove that she can have it all. Sounds juicy and entertaining already, right? She faces the ups and downs of life, a demanding career and the stigmata of society with the help of her close girlfriends; a recipe for a brilliant and impactful series. The show is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and while we’ve seen shows that focused on black girls and brotherhood, Pretty For A Big Gurl sets the tone and changes the media as all of the tracks in the series are plus size Black woman. When we talk about innovating and doing something new, that’s what we mean.
Pretty for a big gurl is a show like many other shows. Savannah is building her career and entrepreneurial empire with all but little support from her boyfriend and she relies on her girlfriends to help him out. Now what girls can’t relate to that? Whether you are tall, short, disabled, short or tall; it’s such a simple yet so relatable story and I don’t know about you, but I’m just happy to see women who look like me on screen have the same issues too. The web series also stars tall influencers and actors Nzinga Imani, Kenni Powe, and Wondrea Gilmore. In Episode 3, the series explores themes of plus size and dating as one of the main characters, Kansas, for the first time engages in quick dating at the behest of his girlfriends. And although I’ve never speed dating, it was hilarious. Who hasn’t been approached with one of those cheesy “I love my BBW girls” or “I love my women with a little pillow for the pushin ‘lines?” * look around * I can feel you all cringe and nod in agreement right now. I rest my case.
There is literally no series with all the big size tracks I can even think of. There are so few times that tall black women have the opportunity to direct shows, movies, or just be the focal point in art fashions. A lot of times when I see a show after a show and a movie after a movie, especially the ones created by black creators for black people, and fat black women are not part of the stories, it can be really shocking. To me that means one thing; even in your fantasy world, even in the worlds you create, you would rather I didn’t exist. You do not see me. Sometimes you have to call one thing a thing and that thing is that creators don’t write worlds where the big guys are at the center, even black designers can’t find room for the big blacks. But Pretty for a Big Gurl does just that.
The characters Savannah, Mercy, Ace, and Kansas are the stars of their own world, leading their own stories and supporting each other through the pressures of life, the woes of society, and celebrating each other while they do. In Pretty for a Big Gurl, we’re not the big sidekick, we’re not the funny comedic friend and relief, we’re not unhappiness, I’m the self-deprecating stereotype; we are the stars. Things got bigger and we’re here for the ride.
Are you currently watching Pretty for a big gurl? Do you think this is a show that will interest you? Let us know!
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