Thursday August 23, 2012

Chubby Chaser is a thought-provoking documentary film that explores female beauty. It looks at larger women in society who celebrate their size - and the men who desire them.

The impetus for Chubby Chaser came when Ontario filmmaker Jeff Sterne saw a Facebook post from his 13-year-old niece: “I’m fat and ugly,” she wrote. This was not only a sad indictment of the pressure society puts on young people to be thin but, for Jeff, it was a glaring contradiction. He’d always seen fat on a woman as beautiful. So the idea to explore society’s view on big women was born.

“I made the film, ultimately, for my niece,” says Sterne. “I wanted to open up a dialogue between her and her friends around the subject of body image.”

In high school, Sterne himself didn’t really date. “I guess maybe because the girls I was attracted to were not the kinds of girls that people dated. It wasn’t ‘normal’”, he says. “So I just focussed on other things until I got more confidence in myself and started dating the types of women I was attracted to in university.”

In the film, Sterne explains that today’s most desirable female body shape is very different from what it was as recently as the mid-20th century. He looks at the advertising industry’s role in the creation of the “thin ideal” as well as the recent proliferation of websites dedicated to people who are larger than average, and those who admire them.

Chubby Chaser is a film that questions our very definition of beauty and exposes those in our society who swim against the stream to assert their belief that big is beautiful.

Chubby Chaser has its world broadcast premiere on TVO at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, September 26th. Watch the preview here.