Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mixed Messages: Why Jerry Lawler Shouldn't Be Calling out the Bella Twins

The wrong messenger
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So yeah, the Bella Twins came out and interrupted Kharma's heartfelt speech about her pregnancy on RAW, throwing insults at her like she was fat and disgusting and all that jazz. While this might have thrown me for a loop a couple of years ago, now, it doesn't bother me as much, given that the Bellas are faces, and Kharma will become a sympathetic babyface out of this... well, as sympathetic a babyface as a destructive monster-type wrestler can be. Obviously, someone in the announce booth had to step up for decency and common sense, right? They did. It was Jerry Lawler.

I have a HUGE problem with that.

You see, it's not because someone came to Kharma's verbal aid. Honestly, the babyface narrative SHOULD be that this kind of bullying is wrong and shouldn't be tolerated. However, Lawler is about as far down the list of guys delivering that message as you can get in WWE, next to John Cena and about every other heel in the company. Why? Just earlier in the broadcast, Lawler was making mean-spirited comments about Vickie Guerrero's weight. Yeah, they were tame compared to what he was saying about six months ago, but yeah, those comments alone would have made Lawler not the guy to deliver the message.

There's such a thing as moral authority. Lawler doesn't have it. You can't say that fat-shaming is wrong in one case, but it's alright in another. It's not a case of joking around either. Lawler and Cena spent a whole segment making fat jokes at Vickie because, in their minds, she wasn't a good person. She did abuse power, but at the same time, she obviously wasn't fat, and on Monday, it appeared as if she'd lost even MORE weight from November. But Lawler still made cracks.

In this culture of unrealistic portrayals of what bodies should look like, being called fat when you have the body type Vickie Guerrero has can those who may not be the most stable-minded into a destructive spiral towards anorexia. Granted, the people targeted do bear some responsibility to know what body types are healthy and not to let what other people think about them bother them, but at the same time, WWE is promoting this anti-bullying campaign (which laughably, the Bellas are spokespeople for) where they're trying not to get people to act that way. They're talking out of both sides of their mouth. It's stupid, and they should definitely be called out for it.

There are definitely different ways that Lawler could get heat on Vickie than fat-shaming her. If he were more noble in that endeavor, then yeah, maybe he could have spoken up, but he wasn't. The fact is, he was the last person who should have been taking the Bellas to task over their bullying rhetoric.

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