Designing Women

Season 4 Episode 11

They Shoot Fat Women, Don't They?

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Aired Monday 9:30 PM Dec 11, 1989 on CBS
9.5
out of 10
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28 votes
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Episode Summary

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They Shoot Fat Women, Don't They?
AIRED:
Fat as a feminist issue surfaces when Suzanne endures cruel jokes about her weight at her high-school reunion; Anthony enlists Julia and Mary Jo to join him in a two-day fast to focus attention on world hunger.

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  • Delta faces her critics.

    9.5
    For some time before this episode aired, Delta Burke had been publicly ridiculed about her weight gain. The barbs were also directed toward her ability to continue to play Suzanne Sugarbaker, the beauty queen on the hit series. As the story opens, Anthony is telling Julia about his Hunger Awareness pin. He soon recruits both Julia and Mary Beth to join the fight and go on a 48 hour food fast after which they would donate the money they would have spent on food to Operation World Hunger. Meanwhile, Suzanne goes to the first night of her high school reunion and is stunned to find out that all anyone can talk about is her weight gain. She debates about going the second night, and finally does so. Before she leaves, though, Anthony drops by with the Atlanta Director for Operation World Hunger and a young boy from Ethiopia who lost his entire family to starvation. This makes a lasting impression on Suzanne who realizes she had spent the entire day worrying about the fact that she has too much to eat. That night at the reunion, Suzanne is given an award for the "Person Most Changed". Suzanne accepts the award with full acknowledgement that it was given because of her drastic change in appearance. However, she tells the crowd that she'd rather talk about the size of her heart, because it was a little bigger than it used to be. In a loving speech, she tells her classmates that when she sees them, she doesn't see receding hairlines and the beginnings of pot bellies and crows feet, but the beautiful faces of old friends and sweet young boys who used to try to kiss her goodnight. This was an excellent episode that not only allowed Suzanne (and Delta) to acknowledge her weight gain, but to speak out on more important matters like prejudice against overweight women. It also highlighted the important cause of World Hunger, even offering up some incredible facts such as more people die each day from starvation as were killed by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Artfully written, well-acted, and tastefully done, this is an episode not to be missed.moreless
Meshach Taylor

Meshach Taylor

Anthony Bouvier

Annie Potts

Annie Potts

Mary Jo Shively

Delta Burke

Delta Burke

Suzanne Sugarbaker (Seasons 1-5)

Dixie Carter

Dixie Carter

Julia Sugarbaker

Jean Smart

Jean Smart

Charlene Frazier Stillfield (Seasons 4-5)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (A shocked Suzanne gets up at her high school reunion to accept the award ')
      Suzanne: Well, this is quite a surprise. I guess maybe I deserve this award for the Person-Most-Changed, but (pause) not for the reason you think. Last night I got my feelings hurt because I came to this reunion thinking I was beautiful and what I find out was that I'm fat (pause) at least you think I am. But that isn't the biggest change in me. The biggest change is that the old Suzanne wouldn't have shown up here tonight. She would've just gotten thin before the next reunion and then she would have gotten even. But I'm a little older and I hope a little wiser than that person used to be.

      A lot of things have happened to me. A lot of things have happened to all of us. Sandy Smothers was killed the night before we graduated. Diane Mitchell's got two sets of twins and Gayland Chadwick's working in the White House. We had a lot of dreams together and there's no point in pretending some of mine came true and some didn't.

      I met a little boy from Africa tonight whose family died of starvation and I realized that I spent the whole day at home worrying about the fact that I had too much to eat. I'm not sure the old Suzanne would have appreciated the absurdity of that but this one does.

      Some of you men wanted to know about my bra size, but I'd rather talk about my heart because (pause) it's a little bigger than it used to be. The old Suzanne wouldn't have forgiven you for the things that you said, but this one will. Because when I look around this room tonight, I don't see receding hairlines and the beginnings of pot-bellies and crow's feet. I just see all the beautiful faces of old girlfriends and sweet young boys who used to stand on my front porch and try to kiss me goodnight. And you can remember me any way you'd like, but that's how I'll always remember you.

      And so I thank you for giving me this award for the Person-Most-Changed, however you intended it. I'm gonna treasure it because #1. I love trophies and #2. I earned it. Thank you.

    • Julia: In the end it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about you. You have to be exactly who and what you want to be. Most everyone is floating along on phony public relations. People who say being beautiful or rich or thin makes them happy. People who are trying to make their marriages and their children seem better than they actually are. And for what?! Appearances. Appearances don't count for diddly! In the end, all the really matter is what was true and truly felt and how we treated one another.

    • Suzanne:I know I've put on a little weight here and there, but you all act like I should be buying fabric over at Georgia Tent and Awning!

  • NOTES (3)

    • Harry Thomason was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for this episode. The Emmy went to Michael Dinner for his work on The Wonder Years for the episode "Goodbye".

    • Jean Smart does not appear in this episode.

    • Since Delta Burke was the focus of media scrutiny due to her own weight problem, it is believed that she was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for this episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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