While I did enjoy it, there’s still quite a lot to critique about the newest entry in the Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. From Queenie’s casually nonconsensual Legilimency to the general lack of people of color, at least I know that I won’t lack for post topics for a while.
One of the more egregious issues in the original series was J.K. Rowling’s ongoing conflation of fatness with badness. While Fantastic Beasts takes a small step in the right direction by making its fat character a good guy, his portrayal is still far less than ideal. Spoilers for the movie after the jump.
Rereading Harry Potter as an adult certainly changes my perspective on many different scenes and characters. Like most people, I hated Petunia and Vernon Dursley—the two of them are horrible, abusive bigots who deserve all the derision fans levy at them—and I still hate them to this day. And, like most people, I also used to hate Dudley just as much. As an adult, though, my hate for him has turned into pity. When we are first introduced to Dudley, he’s an awful bully of a character. Dudley is a spoiled little brat with a huge sense of entitlement, and the way he treats Harry is awful. However, like Cinderella’s stepsisters, he is an abuse victim and his treatment at the hands of others, both his parents and wizarding kind, should also be condemned.