Marie Claire Article By Maura Kelly: Should 'Fatties' Get a Room?
The Magazine Marie Claire is Coming Under Fire For Publishing an Article By Freelance Writer Maura Kelly Called Should "Fatties" Get a Room? (Even on TV?)
The article was published on October 25 and has already received over 300 comments, mostly directed at Maura herself and the editors of Marie Claire who approved the publishing of this article.
It starts off with a reference to a CNN story about the sitcom Mike & Molly on CBS that states some viewers have expressed discomfort "watching intimacy between two plus-sized actors."
Ms. Kelly was asked to write a piece about that idea and it is her response to the issue that has caused so many to be upset. She writes:
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 does say she's not a 'size-ist jerk' as she has some friends who could be called 'plump', and then she goes on to talk about how she would be happy to give anyone some nutrition and fitness suggestions and types 'YOU CAN DO IT!'
She asks if people think she is being an insensitive jerk and people have not held back in making their opinion known.
One commentor writes:
seriously? you are toxic. and marie claire has just alienated a huge portion of their readership for allowing this insensitive and ridiculous drivel to be published. i hope you, and the editors who let this be published, are fired. you're not talking about health issues here - you're using them as an excuse to slam people you don't like. basically, for you, the bottom line seems to be that overweight people are unlovable and not entitled to be affectionate in public, lest they offend your oh-so-delicate sensibilities. no wonder you've never been in love. and, good luck with that NOW that you've opened your ignorant, shallow mouth.
Another person writes:
I couldn't even get past the first few paragraphs. I'm sorry you are disgusted by fat people. Sounds like you need to poke your eyes out. That way you won't have to be "forced" to see things that displease you. You also may need to look up vapid. It's a pretty accurate description for the little bit of your article I managed to stomach. It's really not something one should strive for.. How did this ever get past an editor?? I will never buy Marie Claire again. That's a promise.
There are some that express some understanding as to where Ms. Kelly is coming from, such as one person who writes:
I agree that some of the things she said come from fallacies that are fed by studies into the "obesity epidemic" and are vastly oversimplified. But her comment at 07:21:25 PM yesterday said the thing I really liked: "To UKJulia, JLFritschie and others who have mentioned that I've brought my own (body-related/beauty-related) issues to this post without realizing it: That's an interesting and accurate insight--I think you're right. Though I don't think of myself as anorexic any more, being freaked out by obesity to the insensitive, even cruel, point that I was is certainly a vestige of the anorexic mindset; maybe so was being righteous about how easy it is to lose weight. (Because once I lost an extreme amount of weight, of course--about half my body weight--etc.) A friend with whom I was emailing this morning made the same point about this post--that part of my extreme reaction might have to do with how much I've internalized cultural standards of beauty."
Ms. Kelly does admit that she wrote the post quickly and that she wishes she could take it down, but as Jezebel points out:
But beyond thinking this stuff which is, of course, between her and her conscience, how could she not know this would happen? How could she think this was acceptable? It's that, as much as anything else, that's worrisome: that at a mainstream magazine with a wide reach and an ostensibly progressive outlook could think, in 2010, this was okay to write and implicitly endorse. Marie Claire will probably think before running something like this again — but let's hope it's for the right reasons.
What did you think of the article? Did it go too far?