Listen: If you aren’t watching My Mad Fat Diary right now I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. You need to seriously reevaluate your choices in television shows, because if you haven’t seen this you need to put it at the top of your binge watch list, now.
Set in 1996, My Mad Fat Diary is about an overweight teenage girl named Rae who was recently released from a mental hospital after a four month stay. She spends the rest of her summer holidays rekindling her friendships and thirsting after boys, all while keeping her mental health status a secret.
I’m not even exaggerating when I say that this is one of the most important TV shows in the history of young adults TV shows. It explores sexuality, body image and mental illness in a way that’s both dark and funny and all together incredibly realistic. It should be mandatory viewing for anyone and everyone, especially teen girls and young women.
The new season just started, so what are you waiting for? Seriously, if you’re not in the UK and can’t watch it live, find some way to do it. You’re smart, right? Still not convinced? Here are 10 reasons why you need to watch My Mad Fat Diary right now.
It's An Honest Depiction Of Overweight Girls And WomenAfter watching My Mad Fat Diary you'll start to think about the utter lack of other TV shows and movies that depict overweight women as actual people with ups and downs. They're usually always the butt of some joke or turned into a tragic figure, but Rae is neither of these things. She's just a normal 16-year-old straight girl who loves music, wants to have sex with boys and has some personal problems. It's so important that this show explores this entire spectrum. Source: My Mad Fat Diary/E4/Grande_Caps.net
It's Funny And FrankRae is hilarious, and her unspoken thoughts are even more hilarious. This definitely helps give us some much needed comic relief between seriously dark moments. Source: My Mad Fat Diary/E4/Grande_Caps.net
Approaches Mental Health In A Real WayRae's struggles with anxiety and depression aren't glamorized. Her tears aren't beautiful, neither are her self-inflicted cuts or debilitating self-hate. Sometimes she's ecstatic and loves life and sometimes she wishes she was dead. Mental health isn't depicted on My Mad Fat Diary isn't depicted in the static, unrealistic way that so many TV shows tend to do. Source: My Mad Fat Diary/E4/Grande_Caps.net
Shows Us That We're Not AloneOne of the most powerful scenes of the first season showed Rae's fantasy of being able to literally unzip the fat off of her, as if she lives in a fat suit. Whether you're overweight or not, you will be able to appreciate the fact that this show really drives home how toxic our preoccupation with looking "perfect" can be. But more importantly it shows us that we're not alone in having these little fantasies. Source: My Mad Fat Diary/E4/Grande_Caps.net
It's So Open About SexualityOkay, this is a big one: This show is has the most frank and honest discussions and depictions of teen sexuality that I've ever seen. Sure, other shows have obviously shown overstimulated teens going at it, but what about depicting a little thing called female masturbation? Yeah, not so much. My Mad Fat Diary does, however. And it's as funny and relatable as it sounds. Yeah, I'm pretty sure we can all relate to the awkwardness of discovering masturbation a lot more than making porn star level love in some glamorous bedroom like on Gossip Girl or something. Source: My Mad Fat Diary/E4/Grande_Caps.net
Shows That Attraction Isn't Just About LooksI don't want to give too much away but I will say this: A huge theme of this show is understanding that beauty isn't skin deep. The quicker we learn that the better we'll be able to accept ourselves. Source: My Mad Fat Diary/E4/Grande_Caps.net
Family Dysfunction You Can Relate ToRae and her mom have a pretty tense relationship. And it's really easy for TV shows to get over the top with its depiction of family drama. But My Mad Fat Diary manages to find the perfect balance between depicting the zaniness of an offbeat home and showing moments between her and her mom that feel like they could have come straight from our own lives. Who hasn't felt immense rage from their mom one minute only to know that she's the one you want to be consoled by most the next? Source: My Mad Fat Diary/E4/Grande_Caps.net
The Realistic Depictions Of The Ups And Downs Of FriendshipRae's relationship with her best friend Chloe is so tense, but they really do love each other nevertheless. So many of us can relate to having that one friend who knows us better than anyone else, who we would do anything for...and who drives us up the damn wall and can be the worst. It's not a perpetual frenemy battlefield. It's just...complicated, like a lot of friendships. Source: My Mad Fat Diary/E4/Grande_Caps.net
The '90s References Are KillerOasis versus Blur. CD players. No internet...that on top of the flannel and crop tops make this show feel like we've really gone back in time. Source: My Mad Fat Diary/E4/Grande_Caps.net
The Show Doesn't Center Around How Her Weight Will Ruin Her LIfeSo many TV shows and movies about or depicting an overweight person puts so much emphasis on that character losing weight. Yeah, My Mad Fat Diary doesn't focus on that and we should all breathe a sigh of relief. Sure, being "fat" contributes to a lot of Rae's insecurities and poor self image. But it's clear that losing weight wouldn't make all of that go away. Loving yourself is about more than loving your body. Source: My Mad Fat Diary/E4/Grande_Caps.net