Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Really classy, Marie Claire.

Marie Claire magazine has caused quite a bit of uproar today. Or more to the point one of their columnists, Maura Kelly, caused a bit of an uproar. Her article entitled "Should fatties get a room?" gave Ms. Kelly more attention than she probably ever thought she would get. The "fatties" in question of her blog are the stars of CBS's new comedy "Mike and Molly" about two overweight people that meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting and fall in love.

Ms. Kelly takes exception to the fact that two "fatties" have a show. Her thoughts on the subject? "So anyway, yes, I think I'd be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other ... because I'd be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I'd find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair."

She goes on to note that she is not a "size-ist" (what a clever play of racist, right? Yes, that was sarcasm) because she does have friends that could be considered plump. And Kelly is so concerned about the fatties of the country that she offers weight loss tips because, ya know, none of us have ever tried to lose weight. She notes, furthermore, that she has not even see the TV show because she finds most television to be "junk food". She concludes with "Am I being an insensitive jerk?"

Naturally, she got piled on by people outraged by her ignorant and yes, insensitive article. It prompted an apology from her, which she revealed that she has suffered from anorexia, and that she never meant to come off as rude or a bully. Of course, then she takes the time to then get in a few more digs about the overweight population.

When I first saw the hoopla start up over the Marie Claire post, I wasn't going to read it because I personally didn't care to see what I knew would be insulting words. But I gave in and read it. And the first thing I felt was instant shame. Oh my God, here is this woman saying how repulsed she would be to see an overweight person. Not only repulsed by it but she takes the time to compare fat people to alcoholics and drug addicts. Author Stacey Ballis blogged a fabulous response where she does mention the fact that overeating is an addiction, just like alcoholism, gambling, drug use, and any number of addictions out there. I felt ashamed that yes, I am a "fat girl" and that here was this woman, who does not know me, writing bullying words that made me cringe. Then I got angry at her. Who does Maura Kelly think she is? She, in fact, does not know me. She doesn't know the person that I am. I happen to like the person I am. Yes, I do need to lose weight. Yes it has been a constant battle that I have fought and have yet to conquer. But her little opinion is insulting. Of course, she is welcome to her opinion, just like I am welcome to my opinion. She is stating that just because I am overweight, I should be hidden away and ignored? That I have no rights to a life or love because I am not a size 6? To that I have to say the one that should feel ashamed is Maura Kelly for being so narrow minded. I hope in her little world, she finds happiness. In this great big world, she is going to be the one that has to stay hidden away in a bubble to avoid seeing all the things that turn her off.

For the record, I like Mike & Molly. I think the show is funny and I love the stars. Yes, they do go a bit overboard with the fat jokes, but they also are showing a bit of reality. There are people of all shapes and sizes in this world and they all deserve to have someone love them.

("Mike & Molly" producer Mark Roberts replied to the article here.)


Audra said...

Well written Michelle! I hadn't heard anything about this so I had to go and read her article for myself. Boy does she seem to live in her own little fantasy land doesn't she...

She claims not to be size-ist but it seems she should have said "Yes I have plump friends who could loose 5 lbs but hey if you are walking around with anything more than 10 extra you should hide yourself in a closet so the world can be a more pleasant place for self absorbed nut jobs like me!"

In thinking about it in some ways I actually feel sorry for her because if she is so grossed out by people who don't fit in her 'box' she is obviously not taking the time to get to know them and missing out on getting to know a lot of really awesome people!

Liz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

Audra, I do feel sorry for her as well. She has the right to her opinion, just as we all do. The one that I am more disappointed in is the editor that posed this question/column suggestion to her. This woman (Maura Kelly) is a struggling anorexic. WHAT made the editor think that she would be able to handle an objective view on a weight subject when she can't handle her own weight as it is? As an anorexic she views everything "fat" as insulting and vile.

Brown-eyed Girl said...

People fail to remember that words casn hurt more than fists do. If I had to chose, I'd rather get hit as a form of abuse rather than verbally and emotionally abused. However, I DO NOT condone ANY form of abuse....just saying how harsh and hurtful words can be.

Humans come in ALL different shapes and sizes and colors....we come from different areas of the world which with technology is getting smaller, and smaller. However we all come from ONE source which is the CREATOR. If we were not meant to look like the way each of us do, then the creator would not have made us that way.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to live in the United States of America are privilaged to have freedom of speech, and allowed to express our opinions. However Maura Kelly did not respect her privilage to say what was on her mind, she abused her right. She did not report objectivly...she lashed out at innocent people all over the world who are not 'pleasent to the eye.' Perhaps she has her own demons to fight...but what she did was indeed bully.

What of the young children, the young girls who read this magazine for fashion tips and fun? What did this article teach them? It taught them that it is not okay to be themselves, and that beauty does not come in all shapes and sizes and colors. Some people cannot help their weight problems...some can. I constantly fight the fluffiness which likes to settle in my tummy region.

Just remember that Marilyn Monroe was considered a bombshell, a knock out. Do you know she was a size 12? A size 12! And men drooled when they saw her. What would Maura Kelly think of that?

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