Maura Kelly, a sex and relationship blogger for Marie Claire, is finding herself in a whole lot of hot water today. She wrote a post for the mag's site titled "Should "Fatties" Get a Room? (Even on TV?)" which was ostensibly about the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly, a show about a couple who meet in an Overeaters Anonymous group, but was really just a fat-ist screed coming from someone who has struggled with eating issues herself.
Marie Claire has upped their fashion coverage recently with hires like Nina Garcia and Taylor Tomasi Hill. And considering the fashion industry's recent efforts to diversify the body shapes on the runways (like Beth Ditto at Gaultier), on the pages of editorials and ad campaigns (Crystal Renn for Chanel and Gaultier), and this season's embrace of curves (Louis Vuitton Fall 2010), this post from Kelly flies in the face of all of that. Moreover, it's just an unabashedly mean spirited piece and we're kind of shocked that it's attached to such a reputable ladymag, one, no less, with a feature series called "Big Girl in a Skinny World" by 5'2" 220 pound stylist Ashley Falcon.
Here's the thing: Kelly has struggled with anorexia. She's written about it. So it seems wildly insensitive that someone who has struggled with eating issues would lash out at others struggling, too. Since the post went live, Jezebel has noted that she's addressed her anorexia in the comments: "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.)."
But does that make it OK?
Judge for yourself. Here are some highlights:
"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."
But don't worry guys, she's got nothing against fat people! See:
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. And I also know how tough it can be for truly heavy people to psych themselves up for the long process of slimming down. (For instance, the overweight maintenance guy at my gym has talked to me a little bit about how it seems worthless for him to even try working out, because he's been heavy for as long as he can remember.)
Because really, if you're overweight, it's clearly your fault:
But ... I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over. It's something they can change, if only they put their minds to it.