Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig opens in a crowded restaurant during lunch hour with Tom searching for an available table when he strikes up a conversation with Helen. She is obese and quite flirtatious with a wonderful sense of humor. Tom is immediately drawn to her confidence and candor and is sexually attracted to her. After they date and start developing a relationship, Tom recognizes Helen’s beauty; however, fear of his social circle’s shortsightedness and how they might perceive her weight is an obstacle for Tom as he tries to avoid introducing her to them.
Fat Pig is a critique of our sense of self-image and the superficiality of the weight-conscious obsession within our culture. LaBute exposes the weakness of allowing our social circle to influence our judgment when finding our soul-mate. Like many of LaBute’s works, Fat Pig cleverly portrays the flaws in human behavior, although the ending does not have any of the surprises and is less decisive than his other plays.