Slate horrified by CPAP mask

Slate, 20 Million Americans Don’t Need Your Shame

On Sunday, ABC premiered a trailer for its Roseanne reboot during The Oscars. The trailer also aired online, which is where this 90s kid saw it.

America fell in love with The Connors for so many reasons in the last millenium. At a time when two underemployed 20-somethings in New York could magically afford a Central Park-adjacent apartment, Roseanne put working-class, mid-west life–and all its discontents–on TV for us to see. The show had LGBTQ characters before it was the norm. It didn’t shy away from topics like birth control, one-night stands, and single-motherhood.

Cast of Roseanne, 2018

Photo: ABC

And I would argue that another reason America fell in love was because Roseanne starred two fat actors with amazing comedic chemistry.

I couldn’t be more glad that Roseanne is part of the What-Was-Old-Is-New-Again trend in network TV. And that’s why I’ve been following the show on Facebook for months.

When I saw the trailer, I couldn’t believe it when I saw Dan (still played by John Goodman) wearing a sleep apnea mask.

And no, Slate, my disbelief wasn’t from horror.

I couldn’t believe it because despite the prevalence of sleep apnea in our country (more than 22 million Americans have it), the disease is almost entirely absent from pop culture. (Unsurprisingly, a woman of color led the charge on this one. Mindy Kaling donned a sleep apnea mask more than once on The Mindy Project.)

Many people experience shame when they’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, despite how common it is. I did. But I hope seeing our favorite actors using sleep machines will help my fellow CPAP and BIPAP users say goodbye to this shame. Using these machines are good for our health and there’s absolutely nothing horrifying about that.

Rebecca is the Co-Founder and CEO of AllGo, a new company dedicated to expanding the world for fat people. AllGo is building a review site where fat people can rate the comfort and accessibility of places so others can know what it’s like before going out. The platform will collect data about seating, aisle width, and other design elements of restaurants, theaters, waiting rooms, and more. For more information or to join the beta, visit Rebecca is on Twitter at @portlandrebecca.

(Before you at me, Roseanne definitely had its flaws, including token roles for people of color and self-deprecating fat jokes. But for a 90s sitcom it was better than most. And I hold out hope that the new Roseanne doesn’t make the same mistakes.)

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