Cathy: You’ll Fill Out After Childbirth!

For those of you who don’t read Cathy, her noticably fat in-laws have moved in (with no notice).  Cathy went to the mall to try swimsuits alone…and ran into her mother-in-law, who’s trying on a larger size of the same swimsuit.

MIL: You came shopping to escape me, but of course, you can’t do that! You ARE me!

Cathy: What??

MIL: Men are searching for “mom” when they choose their wives, and my son chose you…so you must be just like me!

Cathy: I am NOT you! You’re… You’re…

MIL: [glancing down at her large bust, belly and hips]  HOT!  I know!

Cathy: [hiding in the dressing room] AACK!!

MIL: Don’t worry. I was scrawny once, too! You’ll fill out after childbirth!

It’s obvious that Cathy is not happy at being compared to her mother-in-law.  It’s also obvious that MIL considers herself beautiful just the way she is.  As she declares Tuesday: “I’m conscious of my fabulous curves! Conscious of my incredible figure! CONSCIOUS of every inch of my glorious SELF!”

I wasn’t happy when MIL became more prominent in the strip after Cathy and Irving’s marriage, because of course the fat woman was consistently small-minded, overbearing and insensitive.   I’m not sure what I think about these strips.  You?






7 responses to “Cathy: You’ll Fill Out After Childbirth!”

  1. Patsy Nevins Avatar
    Patsy Nevins

    I haven’t read Cathy in years & no, I am not fond of the overbearing, interfering mother-in-law image (it is certainly not the kind of MIL I am) & of course the MIL is taking a lot on herself to assume that Cathy will ‘fill out’ after childbirth, etc. However, I do love the woman’s attitude about her own body & her ability to see & appreciate her own beauty. I expect that it is part of Cathy Guisewite’s process of working through her own body image issues. If the MIL can be a positive body image role model for Cathy & her readers, that would be a good thing.

  2. Trabb's Boy Avatar
    Trabb's Boy

    Cathy is far from a fat-positive strip. It sounds to me like the mother-in-law’s body positivity is itself being laughed at — look at the arrogant moron who thinks she looks good! I hope I’m wrong.

  3. spoonfork Avatar

    This is the first time I’ve read Cathy in a long time, but judging solely from these two strips, I appreciate the MIL’s sense of self—but I really don’t like her tendency to railroad someone who isn’t quite so accepting.

    I really hope that Guisewite isn’t making the assumption that the MIL is delusional as well as overbearing. And I hope that Cathy, who has been the body-hatred poster child from the get-go, will finally be able to accept herself. regardless of where the message comes from.

    Of course, that’s a lot to ask of four small panels.

    Maybe the MIL should just leave a copy of Lessons from the Fatosphere on Cathy’s coffee table when she leaves?

    1. living400lbs Avatar

      Yes. I note that both Cathy and the MIL have an image of the “correct” body type – they’re just different images.

  4. Piffle Avatar

    I think she’s playing into the tired old MIL stereotypes. I haven’t read Cathy in a long time because she just had this little loop of neuroses. It’s nice to see some fat positivity in a comic strip, particularly one as pointed towards women as Cathy.

    1. living400lbs Avatar

      Cathy Guisewite has stated that she organizes the strip around “the four basic guilt groups” – love, food, work, and mom.

  5. Clover Avatar

    I am waiting to see where this one goes. If it just squashes the MIL because she’s FAT, duh, I will be disappointed! It’s kind of a shame that the person who is accepting of their body is a really unlikable character in every other sense.

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