My Mad Perfect Diary

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I feel like My Mad Fat Diary explores a previously-untapped point of view. All told through the female protagonist’s diary entries, it explores deeply personal – sometimes taboo – issues. These are quite often things that I have never before seen approached on TV. But I’m glad it’s happening now. Last night’s episode took this to new heights, dizzying heights, look-at-the-beautiful-scenery-up-here heights. It was PERFECT. Here’s why:

Sex was a hot topic in the season premiere. But unlike most (read: all) times that I’ve seen sex referenced on TV, MMFD focused on female pleasure. Women liking sex? Who’d have thunk it?! How many times have you read headlines like, “How to Keep Your Man Happy in the Bedroom” on the covers of women’s mags? Too many, anyhow. Note that vice versa doesn’t pepper the covers of men’s magazines. Evan Rachel Wood was recently even talking about her frustrations with the way the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) censor female sexuality, commenting that “The scene [in her movie] where the two main characters make “love” was altered because someone felt that seeing a man give a woman oral sex made people “uncomfortable”, but the scenes in which people are being murdered by having their heads blown off remained intact and unaltered.” She further suggested that this was symptomatic of a society that punishes women for enjoying sex. While MMFD didn’t go as far as to show male-to-female oral sex, it was certainly addressed as Rae expressed her desire for Finn to “go down on me for so long that he has to evolve gills.” It was both hilarious and a delightfully positive acknowledgement of female sexuality, as was Rae’s later comment that she “was so turned on, we were gonna need a canoe and life jackets.”

Another wonderful moment in the episode was the acknowledge that pubic hair exists. These might seem like easy bonus points but seriously, it might be the first time I’ve ever seen pubic hair mentioned on TV. After her visit to the beauticians, Rae eloquently states: “My lady clam no longer looks like a barber’s bin.”  I believe the world would be a better place, an easier place for teenage girls at least, if we stopped pretending girls aren’t naturally hairless.

And yes, BRAS SUCK. And My Mad Fat Diary proved that rather brilliantly last night as Rae, who has given up comfort in favour of more aesthetically pleasing lingerie, is given some boob support from “stereotype gay best friend” Archie. Too often femininity comes at the cost of comfort.

Hello, Finn’s butt. Daaayummmm boy.

Then there’s Rae’s heartbreakingly relatable insecurity. The show, at its best, superbly taps into a near-universal human neuroses that manifests in all of us differently. Personally, I’ve found a worrying amount of solace in Rae Earl quotes from the show: “It’s easier to like yourself when someone else likes you”, “The worst thing was that a lot of the stuff was so nice … It just wasn’t made for someone whose body wasn’t pretty, wasn’t delicate”. I feel like Rae is representative of a personality that we don’t see on TV enough, at least not depicted in such a positive and enlightened way. Mental illness is a sensitive issue to explore and MMFD does it beautifully, clearly informed by the autobiographical source material.

Finally, the episode beautifully addressed the mindfuck chaos that comes from the pressure to lose your virginity in your teens. Please can we stop hurling the word “virgin” around? Girl will get the D when she so wishes.

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3 Comments

  1. Hi Jessica, this is a great article. I’m a massive fan of this series 🙂

    Reply
  2. I’ve only just started watching this, don’t think I’ve loved a TV character as much as I have done Rae. She’s awesome, with such a dry sense of humour. I think me and her would get on pretty well!

    Reply
  3. I was writing up my own post about the show last night, and stumbled upon yours. I really love the show, and also enjoyed your take on it. You are spot on for noting the show’s brilliance in acknowledge female sexuality, which is so refreshing, compared to many others who go out of the way to punish it for simply existing. I can only begin to imagine how difficult it would have been to openly speak about the many other issues “My Mad Fat Diary” tackles, it’s good to know that despite having a long way to go, we’re in a slightly better place.

    Reply

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