Are fat women still funny?

Not according to Fox News, which argues that these days, women must "combine funny bones with banging bodies" in order to score laughs

Melissa McCarthy
(Image credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

"For women, frump isn't funny any longer," says "entertainment expert" Patrick Wanis, as quoted in a controversial essay on Fox News' website titled "New Crop of Comediennes Combine Funny Bones with Banging Bodies." The article, written by Hollie McKay, refers to Mila Kunis, Anna Faris, and Olivia Munn as proof that successful comediennes must now be "both hilarious and hot." The trend has been building for some time, the article asserts, noting Jennifer Aniston's and Jane Krakowski's transformations over the years from "awkward to stylish." (Was Aniston ever awkward?) Furthermore, "women who aren't all that sexy," like Rosie O'Donnell, will start having trouble finding work. Are plus-size women suddenly unamusing?

Of course not. Look no further than Melissa McCarthy: The success of McCarthy is apparently an anomaly, says Sean O'Neal at The A.V. Club. The Bridesmaids and Mike & Molly star did, after all, recently win an Emmy "for being funny, despite the fact that her dress size clearly says she is not" — at least by this article's definition. If we're to believe that only thin women make people laugh these days, presumably McCarthy's award will be redistributed "to a woman most men would enjoy picturing naked."

"'All these hot, sexy women sure are funny,' says Fox News"

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Plus, the article has no grasp of history: To think that the success of women who are attractive and funny is a recent trend is laughable, says Tyler Coates at Black Book. Is the article referring to the "decades of so many unsexy, gross comic actresses like Mary Tyler Moore, Loni Anderson, Shelley Long, Cybill Shepherd, Marilu Henner, Christina Applegate, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler?" Please. Beautiful women have been making people laugh for years. Please note that this article's clueless author believes, unfathomably, that Jennifer Aniston in her Friends years exemplifies the fat and ugly.

"Fox News suddenly full of comedy and hot chicks experts"

Actually, pretty women face discrimination, too: It's worth mentioning, says The Huffington Post, that attractive women have sometimes had to work harder to prove their comedic chops. "Being 'too pretty' has been a liability." For example, Olivia Munn, whom the article cites as part of the breakthrough hot-and-funny movement, faced a harsh backlash after being hired as a correspondent on The Daily Show, with fans arguing that she'd been hired solely for her looks. But Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead's defense of Munn — and by extension McCarthy and every other talented comedienne insulted by this article — sums it up perfectly: "Being attractive has nothing to do with whether or not a person is funny."

"Fox News to female comedians: Be sexy"

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