Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Obesity and our culture

Have you seen this?  This poor excuse for an article was published on the Marie Claire website yesterday and an outraged person clued me in on it this morning via twitter.  And I am so.mad. SO.MAD. at this article.  I have a hard time believing that this discrimination can be published in good faith.

The "highlights", if you don't want to read the drivel directly:
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...
Now, don't go getting the wrong impression: I have a few friends who could be called plump. I'm not some size-ist jerk.
The author, one Maura Kelly, goes on to suggest how simple losing weight is and offers her own helpful tips to get there. (Eat Less!  Exercise! Count Calories!)  Gee thanks!  Honestly this sort of thing gives me so much rage it is hard to know where to begin with all that is horrible with her point of view here.

First, if you have to say that you have "plump" friends to prove that your comments aren't from a prejudice of your own then you are exactly the size-ish jerk you are trying to say that you aren't.  It is like saying that having gay friends means that saying homophobic things aren't really homophobic at all.

Do you shame your "plump" friends regularly too Maura?  Is that your way of helpful motivation?  Because most obese people that I know, myself included, realize that weight loss involves eating less, counting calories, and exercise.  And yet, I haven't figured it out how to do master the weight loss for myself.  I struggle with it, I have set-backs.  But like all fat people I know, I am working on it.

But I'll let you know something too.  I "make out" with my fat husband.  We have sex.  (I would hope so since we have a kid).  We love each other.  Does that disgust you Maura Kelly?  It shouldn't.  It is love between two people and I am worthy of love.  Obese people are worthy of love.  The fact that there is a TV show that shows two characters working on their weight and loving one another is not revolting.  It is a sign that media is beginning to recognize that the world is full of diverse people all worthy of love.

I am disgusted by Marie Claire's willingness to publish this article.  Sensationalism is one thing but this is downright shame and prejudice.  Hollywood and the fashion world has been shaming people into thinking they are fat and less acceptable for years and perhaps this is one more addition to the "fat is bad" refrain.  Worst of all Hollywood doesn't argue about obesity from a health standpoint; they do so from an asthetic one.  Their refrain is that there is no beauty or worth in being overweight.  I want to be thin to be healthy but it doesn't change my worth!

I am worthy of love.  And so are my other "fat" friends, and the "plump" ones, and the thin ones too. 

Even, you Maura Kelly, are worthy of love.  I'm just sorry that you feel it is because you are thin and not because you are simply you, prejudiced, fearful, God-created, you.

And Marie Claire, I guess you can plan on not having me as a reader.  But I imagine you don't mind.  I'm sure my obesity would offend you if I were seen reading your magazine too.  I wouldn't want to hurt your image.

21 comments:

Suzi said...

Well said! I HATED that article. What's interesting is the author has a well-documented history of anorexia/bulimia. Clearly this is pouring out into this piece but still. Nice of Marie Claire to let this be published-I won't EVER buy another issue of this magazine.

Kate said...

That was the most horribly prejudiced and self-righteous thing I have ever, ever read. I can't even believe that the Editors of that magazine somehow thought this was worthy of print, or that it wouldn't be offensive or undignified. Ooooh...... ::mad::

Elizabeth Harty said...

I cannot believe Marie Claire thought that post was worthy of being shared. I have read some of the comments on the article (it was about 290 comments last time I looked)and it crystal clear that women are tired of being told what size they should be to be loved or worthy. Nice job Liz!

The Marketing Mama said...

It's just awful. I linked to it from my blog just now before I saw your post.

I can't even comment on it directly because it's just that awful.

The Marketing Mama said...

p.s. The worst part? The skinny bitch will likely get a book deal out of it.

Jen said...

Yeesh. I did not read the article. And I really don't want to. Very nice response.

geekbabe said...

Mike and Molly shows us that yes, if we pursue the things we care about that there is somebody out there for each of us. Watching the two of em support,care for each other is heart warming.

The author of that piece? is clearly struggling with her own inner demons, problems that must run pretty deep for her to publish such a hurtful article.

RobynsOnlineWorld said...

Thank you for sharing your link on my post about this. I agree, I agree, I agree!

Becky B said...

Yes! I agree, Liz. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Kris said...

Could not have said it better myself. I read it trying to remind myself of what I learned Saturday, or was reminded rather, that what people often say is based on how they feel about themselves. I think she needs to get some serious therapy for her unresolved self hate and MC editors need to pull their heads out of their bum's!

MollyinMinn said...

Amazing post, Liz. Your honestly and integrity are outstanding. Thanks for speaking up.

Lara said...

Great post! The article just shocked me more than anything else. How anyone could have thought it was ok to print that in a magazine is beyond me. Great counter!
But at least now I know that if I eat less and exercise more I won't have to be fat any more *rolls eyes*

fritzfacts said...

Your honesty and passion once again floors me, and brings me to my feet in cheers at the same time.

So perfectly said. I can't blieve this magazine would even allow this to be published, that they would alienate so many people in so many different groups.

I will never buy this trash again.

tkharmonic (Terri) said...

Really goes to show that true ugliness and true beauty have nothing to do with appearance.

shadeflower said...

Wonderfully said, Liz. That article had me shaking I was so angry. What an ignorant, mean-spirited person that author is. I wish it were "that easy" to lose weight by eating unprocessed foods, reading labels, etc. I am about 40 to 50 pounds overweight. I am not proud of it, but I try as hard as I can manage to lose weight. I haven't had fast food in probably 10 years. I avoid processed foods, artificial sweeteners, etc. I read labels. I buy organic and all-natural. I prepare my own foods so I know what's going into them. And I ration-control. I can't exercise as much as I would like to, but I am active. Has this made any difference in my weight loss goals? None. Okay, maybe 3 or 4 pounds, which inevitably comes back. It's frustrating and discouraging. And I am so sick of feeling like I have to justify why I am heavy. And I'm sick of others' judgements and assumptions. We ARE worthy of love. We are worthy of acceptance.

Oh, and I have seen a couple episodes of Mike and Molly and it is a very cute show - though I feel sad that there is so much focus and jokes on their weight (self-deprecating, but still...).

Thank you for sharing your feelings .

Challenge:1yearnorestaurants said...

Well said!

andreaberg said...

Liz - increadibly well written - My jaw is still hung open from reading this article.

EDH said...

Great response, Liz. You should send it in! I have read MC from time to time - I'm really surprised they published that. The author clearly is not healed from her own body image issues, to say the least. I'm proud of you!

Marie said...

I am SO with you, Liz. I find the article disgusting, and you are right: We are all worthy of love, passion, and friendship. Way to say it!

Amy said...

I'm a Fat friend of yours and I can tell you that this article makes me sick.

I can't tell you the things I 'd like to say to that lady.

fuyume said...

although i don't agree with the marie claire article i do take offence to the commenter who referred to her as a 'skinny' bitch. if somebody was called a 'fat' bitch or a 'black' one people would be up in arms. somehow when skinny people are bashed its ok bt when its someone overweight its not.not everyone is skinny intentionally some of us have no choice i consume 3000 calories a day and still cant put on weight and get called anorexic. though i do agree with the sentiments of the post i was annoyed at the comment left