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Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this show celebrates plus-sized women, giving them a chance to shine and strut their stuff. It's nice to see a change from the typical "thin is in" mindset. Quite a few tears are shed by contestants as they re-live painful memories of being made fun of or being held back by their size. Some of their stories might upset sensitive kids.
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What's the story?
In Oxygen's beauty pageant MO'NIQUE'S FAT CHANCE, plus-size women compete for the chance to be named Miss Fabulous and Thick, proudly strutting their stuff in an arena that usually ignores women like them. Mo'Nique hosts the pageant, which includes evening gown, jeans, and lingerie competitions. Contestants stay in swanky digs for the week leading up to the main event and are given spa treatments, makeovers, and runway walking tips. What's more, they're able to enjoy themselves and bond over shared experiences related to being big in a small world. Finalists are chosen from auditions; once the pageant begins, the group is pared down to five semi-finalists, then two finalists. The winner -- who gets $50,000 and a one-year modeling contract -- is chosen by a group of judges that includes magazine editors and entertainment industry notables.
Is it any good?
Pageant addicts will gravitate toward this show, but even those who've had their fill of Miss America-like contests will find much to like here. The show's messages about body image are refreshing, and the finalists have hearts of gold -- they're so open about the daily prejudices they face that it's nothing short of illuminating. It's also very inspiring to see their confidence soar on stage.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about size discrimination. Why is it important not to judge someone because of what they look like? What kind of challenges do overweight people face?
Why is society so conditioned to equate slenderness with attractiveness? How do TV and other media contribute to that view?