Remember back when Glamour had the Girl on the Bottom of Page 194 Lizzie Miller? It seems that we take two steps forward and three steps back when it comes to the glossies. Witness this latest post on Marie Claire’s sex and love blog, straight (and apparently without being vetted by a sane editor) from the mouth of Maura Kelly, who objects to the new fat people tv shows like Mike and Molly and Huge:
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.
Oh, before you get upset about this, you should know that Kelly insists that she doesn’t hate fat people, and in fact, has some friends who are pudgy, so really, it’s because she cares so much about our health. Oh, ok then! She also offers the advice that if we exercised more and ate whole foods, we’d lose weight in a jiffy. Fat people never do any of those things! Maura Kelly saves the day! As usual, my hardcore crush Lesley nails it:
…you’re not required to find all fat people attractive, certainly, but Kelly’s comments above are dehumanizing and offensive and really have no place associated with a widely-read publication such as Marie Claire. This is not simply because their candor subverts the standard feel-good ladymag message of “Love yourself! (But not too much!)” but because sentiments like those expressed in Kelly’s post are bad for everyone: they make fat people feel terrible about themselves, and they make thin people terrified of becoming one of those disgusting fatties they so revile.
After reading Ms. Kelly’s blurb on her alumni website, I was most struck by this paragraph:
She struggled with anorexia growing up and credits the psychologists who worked with her for helping her to overcome the disorder. She was so thankful to her psychologists that she decided to major in psychology at Dartmouth so she could one day help others in the same way. Upon graduation, Kelly reread Catcher in the Rye and decided that being a psychologist no longer appealed to her and what she really wanted to do was write a book that would “make people feel less alone in the world.”
After reading the comments on the Marie Claire blog (seriously, go read them and cheer), I feel bad for Kelly. Her sizist screed against fat has obviously more to do with her own eating disorder (which she wrote about and examined in depth in this NYTimes article) and body dysmorphia than any actual concern for the health and welfare of her common man. Check out her anecdote where man told her that she looked “athletic” and she mentally twisted it into being called fat. Also, I’m absolutely betting that the next time she bumps into Marie Claire’s pet plus-sized columnist Ashley Falcon in the elevator, it’s going to be awwwwkward!
Good luck with that making “people feel less alone in the world” thing, Maura! You certainly have bonded the fatosphere in outrage and disbelief.
Posted by Weetabix