“Can food and body-image issues ever truly be conquered or are we all just destined to be Stuffed?”
That’s the big question posed in the new stage Off Broadway play, Stuffed written and starring comedian Lisa Lampanelli. I saw the show over the weekend in preparation for our upcoming Diabetes Late Nite podcast focusing on ‘Body Image & Diabetes’ scheduled for Tuesday, October 11, 2016, 6-7 PM, EST.
Stuffed explores the complexity of women’s relationship to food and body image. “A bulimic, a compulsive eater, a confident overweight gal, and a chronically thin chick walk into a play and… what happens next could only be told by comic mastermind Lisa Lampanelli,” state production notes. The play features additional material by Ashley Austin Morris and direction by Jackson Gay (These Paper Bullets).
“I honestly feel like 99 percent of people have some kind of self-hate about their looks and if I can joke about mine, maybe they can feel better about theirs,” Lisa Lampanelli explained to Us Magazine.
Okay, I have to admit that I’m not a fan of Lisa Lampanelli’s brand of humor. She would not be my first choice to address this topic. I think she’s too crude and shamelessly will drop the f bomb to get a cheap laugh. Unfortunately Ms. Lampanelli uses four letter words throughout the play to reinforce her most provocative points about body image. It didn’t work for me. So this play had a strike against it right front the start.
The good new is that there’s very poignant scene when all four cast members are confronted with the number the see on the scale. The scene wonderfully captures the range of emotions most of us face from the anger, frustration, sadness, relief when stepping on to the scale.
Ms. Lampanelli also talks openly about her weight loss surgery and the struggles she’s had adjusting to her new lifestyle. She paints a pretty raw and painful picture about what it’s like to have gastric sleeve surgery. She lost 107 pounds but admits that no one gives her credit for her weight loss surgery.
“I’ve really been working on the emotional and internal issues that made me eat in the first place. It’s been a real journey,” she said on HuffPost Live.
The bad news; I didn’t appreciate her references to diabetes or the fact that she ignored that men have body issues too in Stuffed.
In one of Ms. Lampanelli’s monologues she reveals how she dated a 400 man, ‘Frank’, who was living with diabetes (we’re forced to assume he was living with type 2 diabetes since she never provides clarification). According to Lisa, ‘Frank’ didn’t take care of himself or listen to her concerns about his health. She kept trying to get him to change his diet without success. She was even willing to poach salmon which she tells us was way out of her culinary ‘comfort zone’. Consequently after suffering a toe amputation and continuing to ignore her concerns, Frank died. I think there’s a lot more to Frank’s story about living with diabetes than just being stubborned about his diet but this play doesn’t delve into deeper topics like depression or even mention his own body issues! I guess we can assume that Lisa Lampanelli doesn’t think men have body image issues!
Overall, I was glad I went to see the show. I appreciate that she was willing to tackle this issue. However, I think Lisa Lampanelli would have been far more effective as a playwright if she chose to write a play about herself as the central character and interject dialogue about her body image.
COMING SOON: October’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast inspired by Meghan Trainor scheduled for Tuesday, October 11, 2016 6-7 PM, EST. Guests include Doris Hobbs, Emmy Award winning Producer Linda Bracero Morel, Chef Robert Lewis, the Charlie’s Angels of Outreach, Mama Rose Marie and Poet Lorraine Brooks. Hosted by Mr. Divabetic. Throughout the podcast we will be playing selected cuts from Meghan Trainor’s ‘Thank You’ album courtesy of SONY Music.