There's a storyline on Glee involving Puck, the hot, mohawk-sporting bad boy of the school, and Lauren Zises, a quippy smartmouth on the wrestling team who doesn't really hang with the popular kids. On the surface, the relationship doesn't sound "hilarious," "weird" or "uncomfortable," but that's how it's being described. Because Zises is played by Ashley Fink, a decidedly full-figured actress, or BBW, if you prefer. She's not the type typically cast on teen-oriented shows about high school; no one is over a size four on Gossip Girl, 90210 or even Skins. Yet she does have a body type you might actually see in an American high school.
In an interview conducted before the relationship got more serious, TV Squad said to Fink, "We hear that Puck might be more into Lauren than he thought he would be." The subtext of the question: How do you feel about the hot guy being a chubby chaser? Fink answered: "Well, Lauren is pretty irresistible… How could you resist Lauren?" And added: "I think there's a really hilarious chemistry between Puck and Lauren. I think he's a badass, she's a badass. I don't know, I think they're funny together. There's something about the two of them together that I like."
Since then, Puck has aggressively wooed Zises, causing a minor commotion among Glee enthusiasts — and fat people. Rosie O'Donnell said:
"It really, really strikes a chord with every overweight woman I know… Every woman I know who's heavy has strong feelings about that storyline. They're like, 'Can you believe that? I think that's horrible. That never happens in school… That character is so unlikable. Why didn't they get a pretty heavy girl? They should've gotten someone beautiful like Brooke Elliot.' I'm like, 'Every story deserves to be told. And the way that you're relating to it means that it's doing its job. It's evoking a lot of emotion inside of you.'"
Fink responded with a level head, saying: " I love Rosie and I respect her opinion, so all I can say is that some of her comments were strange to me. But she was supportive originally, and I think she's still supportive."
Click to viewThe two eventually made up via Twitter, and when Fink was on Extra with Mario Lopez on Wednesday, she told him that she and Rosie were planning on going to karaoke together. (Definitely click and watch the video — Ashley Fink is ridiculously charming.)
But the fact remains: Some people can't wrap their minds around the idea that a fat person can be sexy. On TV.com, regarding an episode in which Puck and Zises talk about making a sex tape, Seth Abramovitch writes, "There was something really gross about this plot to me… why does Puck and Lauren's relationship always make me want to hurl?"
And this issue isn't only Glee-related, of course. A recent blind item on Gawker read,