Beauty and the Beiste

I really enjoy Glee, but sometimes I feel it misses its mark; intentionally or no.  If you are a Gleek and you haven’t watched this week’s episode, I’d hold off reading this.

A sub-plot of the latest episode surrounded Coach Beiste, played by Dot Jones.  Finn, Sam, and in a weird, but fairly played way, Tina begin to visualize the Coach wearing tutu’s or lingerie (or anything a fat girl looks “gross” in) in an attempt to cool themselves down during make-out sessions.  Actually, I don’t think Finn ever did – he has his own de-sexualization tool, but he encouraged Sam to use Coach Beiste.  This leads to all sorts of bruhaha and Mr. Schue finds out about it, and of course, inevitably, so does The Coach.  She is understandably upset and is going to quit so Will tries to convince her to stay.  She explains she’s 40 and has never been kissed and she is sure that is holding her back.  If she is kissed, it’ll give her the hope she needs or the proof she is lovable.  So here comes Schue to the rescue and he gives her her very first kiss.

Aww, right?

NO!

She wasn’t asking for a pity kiss.  And she didn’t just want the kiss; she wanted what everyone else wants.  Someone to find her attractive – to be able to be herself – in whatever form that is.  Will kissing her proves nothing, except he’s a “decent guy”.

As someone who feels very frequently no man could ever find her attractive, I found that kiss offensive. And ridiculous.  And patronizing.  Schue isn’t in love with Coach Beiste, (and she’s not in love with him), and  he wants to go no further in their relationship than friendship.  Not that I’m saying there’s something wrong with that.  I am friends with men who I think are too attractive to be friends with someone like me.  But they are, and as skewed as this may sound, I think it says something about their character.  She, and I, and everyone else who feels the same aren’t looking for the pity kiss, or pseudo-relationship.  We’re looking for the real thing.  And as much as Glee tries to hi-light the freaks and weirdos, the ones in relationships are the pretty and thin ones.

So you’re almost there, Glee, but you haven’t completely figured it out.  I thank you for your idealism though, because without ideals, things can’t change.

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4 Comments

  1. I totally agree, Kim. I appreciated the kindness represented in that scene…but it missed the mark. I feel like Coach Bieste often…and I also find it patronizing but well intentioned. I wouldn’t want my first kiss to be a pity kiss. I appreciate that Glee is trying…they are going where other shows are not…but this was not quite right. The people who found this sweet, perhaps are not the ones who feel ugly and unloveable.

  2. I literally finished watching that episode 20mins ago.

    I feel like you both missed the point!

    Schue didn’t kiss her for her first kiss, he did it to show her that if she doesn’t find herself worthy of being loved how will anyone else!
    This episode I felt was as much about Beiste as it was about Kurt having his first kiss. Chris Colfer’s brilliant portrayal of a young man who is being physically assaulted for his sexuality then kissed (an equal assault) because of it is what makes this show amazing.

    The message was the same here. Have courage to be who you are and be proud of it. Feel worthy of being loved.

  3. I agree with you about Kurt’s plot line – it was very powerful, but, it is hard to feel worthy of being loved when you aren’t shown it.

    Saying that, there are times when I 100% agree with you, but right now, it’s not happening, and this part of my reality needs to be told.

  4. I am sorry that you are feeling that way but I think there are a lot of people in your life who show you love.
    I want to be clear I am not trying to trivialize your experiences. As someone considered herself an extreme outsider, I know that for you this is a very strong issue.

    You have expressed:

    ***She wasn’t asking for a pity kiss. And she didn’t just want the kiss; she wanted what everyone else wants. Someone to find her attractive – to be able to be herself – in whatever form that is.***

    The question I ask is…Was Beiste not being herself when Will kissed her? Will expressed he found Beiste attractive. Does every kiss have to lead to romance? love? sex?

    **** “As someone who feels very frequently no man could ever find her attractive, I found that kiss offensive. And ridiculous. And patronizing.”****

    I respect your opinion and experience but why did you find it offensive, ridiculous and patronizing? I think the point of the episode was to state a message about/to Kurt and Beiste stopping to feel that no man would ever find them attractive, because that just isn’t the truth. I like to think the same truth applies to you and all women or men.

    You also expressed: “I am friends with men who I think are too attractive to be friends with someone like me. But they are, and as skewed as this may sound, I think it says something about their character.”

    There is my point right in your statement. You think that it is weird that someone as attractive as your friends, are friends with you because you don’t feel that you are attractive? Do I understand that right?

    If so, I disagree wholeheartedly. First, you are beautiful Kim. You need to feel that and embody it.
    Second, If we all went around the world judging friends based on their looks we would have a world of only Angelina Jolie’s and Brad Pitts… oh wait… BEAUTY IS SUBJECTIVE!!!! So is attractiveness… what I find attractive you may not. I know you know this. But your statement implies you find your yourself unworthy based on your looks and your friend unworthy of being your friend for not seeing how unworthy you feel and ultimately not being friends with you based on your feeling unworthy. It’s absolute silliness.

    Back to my original thoughts…

    “She, and I, and everyone else who feels the same aren’t looking for the pity kiss, or pseudo-relationship. We’re looking for the real thing. And as much as Glee tries to hi-light the freaks and weirdos, the ones in relationships are the pretty and thin ones.”

    Lea Michele is not thin. She is of average weight.
    Again, I feel your statement above missed the point of what the Glee writers were trying to showcase…
    1. That Yes, High School can suck for those who are different
    2. That just because someone is different doesn’t make them unlovable
    3. Those who are different or deem themselves different should love themselves as much as they want to be loved
    4. Pretty is in the eye of the beholder

    I know this hit a chord with you. I know that you have had struggles in this area. I am not here to argue that I am right and you are wrong…but I don’t think there is a right or wrong. I just felt like you attacked the shows message unfairly. Mostly due to your experiences (which are neither right or wrong they just are) Which again is your right (to express yourself)and I am glad you did but I think the writers were trying to make people who feel like you infused with hope not angry.

    They weren’t trying to tell someone like you (Kim) that you deserve a pity kiss but that there is hope for everyone to find that love they are looking for but it starts within.

    Kim you are a beautiful person inside and out who deserves better than to feel that she is unattractive.


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