I Want to See a Fat Carrie
Friday the 13th during prom season is the perfect day to acknowledge the blood-spattered prom queen was plus-sized on the page.
Carrie White was fat. Surprised? I know, right, because a chunky girl is not what springs to mind in conjunction with prom’s most infamous moment: A waifish Carrie stands on stage in a pink slip, glittering tiara atop her long locks as she marvels at being crowned prom queen, only to be doused by a bucket of pig’s blood. This iconic image originates from Brian De Palma’s 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel.
In the film, Sissy Spacek — electric-blue eyes crackling with outrage as a wave of destruction swells beneath her blood-soaked skin — sets the bar high for the actresses who slid into Carrie’s strappy prom dress in the 2002 and 2013 remakes. Spacek’s willowy figure also lowered the telekinetic teenager’s BMI, considering Carrie is described in the novel as a “frog among swans. She was a chunky girl with pimples on her neck and back and buttocks, her wet hair completely without color.” Three movies and there’s never been a chunky, chubby, or a Carrie with even a hint of a jiggle on screen, which isn’t surprising because, in our society, fat women are either not seen or are seen only as fat.
When we first meet her in the novel, Carrie is showering in the girls’ locker room. Head bowed down, she stands lost in thought as the water runs over her stocky limbs. The defeated stance of a girl who prefers living in her head is a far cry from the sensualized shower scene in Brian De Palma’s film. There, Spacek’s youthful face, unblemished save for a spattering of freckles, tips skyward as water streams down the creamy slope of her neck. Her wet, soapy hands run across a taut stomach before caressing her upper thighs. Flash forward 26 years and one day after De Palma’s classic film hit theaters, and the television remake of Carrie sticks with the same sexy shower scene. At least by the time another Carrie remake was released in 2013 … Nope, wait, looks like we’re still going with the sensual washing of a flat tummy.
The consistent choice by filmmakers to slim Carrie down when pulling her off the page is underscored by the image of Carrie’s milky white skin marred with violent crimson streaks when…