Marie Claire piece questions whether “fatties” on TV are offensive

screen shot of article, with headline: Should

Yes, this was the actual headline, and this was an actual piece by a mainstream women’s magazine. Maura Kelley questions whether the show, Mike & Molly (which is about a couple who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous group) and others with overweight actors is too offensive for viewers:

My initial response was: Hmm, being overweight is one thing — those people are downright obese! And while I think our country’s obsession with physical perfection is unhealthy, I also think it’s at least equally crazy, albeit in the other direction, to be implicitly promoting obesity! Yes, anorexia is sick, but at least some slim models are simply naturally skinny. No one who is as fat as Mike and Molly can be healthy. And obesity is costing our country far more in terms of all the related health problems we are paying for, by way of our insurance, than any other health problem, even cancer.

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.

There are just no words.

Luckily, many commenters did have words, despite the author’s contention she’s not “some size-ist jerk.” (Really, dude?) In fact, Sadie at Jezebel pointed out one awesome comment in particular worth noting, here’s a snippet:

Dear Maura Kelly, I sincerely apologize for my disgusting body and all the various rolls of fat on my person. When I married my fat husband back in June I didn’t realize it would offend anyone when we got to that “you may kiss the bride” moment, or we would have skipped it. If I’d realized how unacceptable it is for me to have love or happiness, I would have called the wedding off entirely, of course. I have told my husband that there will be no more kissing or cuddling or FATTY SEX until we both lose some weight. I hope he understands… I really am so sorry for being so fat and happy all this time! In your very honest and sensitively written article “should fatties get a room?” you write that fat people should walk more, yet you also write that fat people walking across a room is something you find disgusting. I take long walks around my neighbourhood most days, is this too much? I want to find the correct balance between getting thin and not upsetting anyone with my jiggling body parts.

As you can see, the author wrote an update on the post apologizing, but to be perfectly honest, I think this calls for more than just an “update.” You know the drill, peeps; email their Editor-in-Chief and demand that Marie Claire write a separate piece on the magazine’s renewed commitment to fight fat-shaming (or make a more public apology).

UPDATE: Marie Claire’s Editor-in-Chief has defended Kelly and her piece, saying “Maura Kelly is a very provocative blogger,” adding, “She was an anorexic herself and this is a subject she feels very strongly about.” Kelly is also reportedly “excited and moved” by the 28,000 email responses they’ve received. Is this a joke?

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