Mocking Chaz Bono's Weight on 'DWTS' Is Hypocritical

"It was like watching a cute little penguin trying to be a big menacing bird of prey." This is how Dancing With the Stars judge Bruno Tonioli referred to Chaz Bono on Monday night, as Bono danced a tango to Phantom of the Opera.

Some might say it was high time that Bono finally got booted from the dancing competition, considering his less-than-stellar skills, but it sure doesn't seem like he deserved to ruthlessly be made fun of on national television.

Especially when you consider that he was primarily mocked for his weight. Can you think of a single overweight female dancer on DWTS who has been called out by the judges for being fat? So why is it okay to make jokes about Chaz Bono?

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In fact, overweight female contestants are typically praised for the inevitable weight loss that accompanies their stringent training efforts. Ricki Lake has been gushed over this season for losing 20 pounds in the first six weeks of competition, Kelly Osbourne and Marie Osmond earned a lot of attention for slimming down during their shows, and Kirstie Alley has been on the covers of magazines ever since she danced off her extra pounds.

Meanwhile, Chaz reportedly had lost 12 pounds by the end of September, but he's continued to earn savage remarks about his body. This hypocrisy certainly hasn't gone unnoticed by Bono, who said to the DWTS cameras,

Bruno makes comments about me (...) like I'm some fat troll dancing with this beautiful woman every week and I'm sick of it.  If you're an overweight woman in this competition, losing weight, they love you. If you're an overweight guy trying to do this competition, getting in shape, they penalize you for it, call you a penguin.

Bono went on to do an interview with Good Morning America on Wednesday morning after his elimination, and he had no problems speaking his mind about how the dance competition and its judges (Bruno Tonioli in particular) picked on him for being overweight:

I was called a basketball, a penguin, an Ewok, and I just didn't appreciate it. If you want to critique my dancing and give me some constructive advice so I can try to improve the next time that I'm there, that would be great. But I don't really know how to be less penguish, and so I kind of took offense to that.

Yeah, I've got to agree with him on that. Clearly the show doesn't have a problem with showcasing diverse body types, so the judges should be paying attention to the dancing, not whether or not someone's physique isn't appealing to them. Referring to Bono as a penguin or a basketball doesn't offer anything useful about his performance, it's merely a childish way of saying he's fat.

The ironic thing is that it took a lot of courage for Bono to agree to the show, knowing that he'd earn controversy for being transgendered—and it seemed like DWTS was sending a positive message by supporting him. So I guess the ultimate message from the show is that it's okay to be different ... as long as you're not an overweight man?


What do you think about the comments Bono earned while he was on the show? Do you think making fun of his weight was fair game?



Image via ABC

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