South Park jumps at the chance to address the topics du jour with its famously crude humor. This week, creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker turned their attention toward body shaming in the age of social media. They didn’t partake in the trolling — well, not exactly — but instead suggested that over-sharing online and only expecting positivity in return is naive and unrealistic. They made their point in typical satirical fashion.
On the show, Butters is asked to filter negative comments for Eric Cartman, who we see shaking violently from the trauma of reading body shaming comments. Butters’ response? “Eric should get off of social media” and “maybe you shouldn’t have put your body” online. Butters eventually agrees to filter through Eric’s comments, and his client list grows to include plus-size models and the cartoon version of Demi Lovato, among others.
All the victims of body shaming are portrayed as self-absorbed, needy and fragile, including Lena Dunham who gets name-checked when Butters says “Lena Dunham put a picture of her a**hole on Twitter and only wants the positive comments.” The show drives the criticism home with a song called “Safe Space” with lyrics like “Everyone likes me and thinks I’m great in my safe space / People don’t judge me and haters don’t hate in my safe space.” By the time Gigi Hadid appears in a see-through dress and skimpy lingerie at the “Body Shaming Charity Gala,” a villain named “Reality” is crashing their safe space with this damning message: “The world isn’t one big liberal arts college.”
Gigi, for one, didn’t take it personally, posting on Twitter: “I’ve been informed that I was on South Park this week for approx 5 seconds…soo [sic] that’s officially the most iconic 5 seconds of my existence,” adding, “A wise man once said, ‘f em if they can’t take a joke.”
I’ve been informed that I was on South Park this week for aprox 5 seconds.. soo that’s officially the most iconic 5 seconds of my existence.
— Gigi Hadid (@GiGiHadid) October 23, 2015