Let’s Talk About… (#1) – ‘My Mad Fat Diary’ – TV

In a world obsessed with body image and pop culture, it can be hard to be confident within yourself when you do not look like a Topshop mannequin. In addition to this, society’s pressures upon teenagers including drugs, sex and growing up to fast, can be enough to drive a person insane! Enter, ‘My Mad Fat Diary’.

E4 drama series, My Mad Fat Diary, stars Sharon Rooney as Rachel ‘Rae’ Earl, a smart, funny and strong-willed teen from Stamford, or ‘Stan Ford’ (hahaha inside joke for the fans). She has it all; the enviable boyfriend, the gang of misfits, and a job at her favourite record store. However, two things; she’s overweight, and she is going through treatment with her therapist Kester (played by Ian Hart) because she is suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (due to her weight), and she has had some scares in the shape of self-harm. Let’s just say she’s been to some dark places, and, set in the 90s, the series begins with her returning to her life after a three month stint in a rehabilitation center.

Rae wears her heart on her sleeve, and acts impulsively as a result of being led by it, rather than her head. She often speaks faster than she thinks which gets her into a lot of trouble, namely with her mother, her school and her friends. She also struggles with expressing her true feelings at times which can affect her relationships and push people away who she really cares about, for example, her best friend Chloe (played by Jodie Comer), her gay friend, Archie (played by Dan Cohen), her boyfriend, Finn (played by Nico Mirallegro), and her mother, played by Linda Rushbrook.

One thing I like about the series, is that is portrays mental illness in a believable way, I haven’t seen another show which addresses it from the angles that My Mad Fat Diary does, and as a result it is very insightful and engaging. It allows you to enter the mind of a girl who wants to get better, but is taunted by what others may think of her. Kester often tells Rae that she needs to ‘love herself first’ in order for other people to love her, however, rightfully and understandably so, Rae asks ‘How?’. It’s easy to tell someone to love themselves, but it is not easy to when they haven’t got the slightest incline how to do so.

Today, the final ever episode of the series will air on E4. Right now in the series, Rae and her friends are recovering from a car crash, whilst in the midst of taking their exams. Chloe’s dreams of entering the world of business have been challenged after being significantly injured from the accident and this is having its toll on Rae, who believes the incident was her fault. This, among other factors, is causing Rae to question whether or not she even wants to go to uni after all. It will all come to a conclusion tonight, at 10pm on E4.

If you’re a fan of the show, why not leave a comment below telling me what your favourite moments from the show are!

Image credits: E4 and Tumblr.

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