Marie Claire Stands Behind Blogger “Grossed Out” By Fat People

Yesterday several blogs released a collective fury at a blog post on Marie Claire‘s website by Maura Kelly in which the author outlines her disgust for fat people through a thin review of the show Mike & Molly, which portrays an overweight couple. The writer compared the site of a fat person to the sight of a stumbling drunk or drug addict.

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.

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. {Marie Claire}

We know which blogger won't be tuning in for the next episode of Mike & Molly

Well! Thanks for clearing that up. Apparently people with fat friends can’t be jerks in the same way that people with black friends can’t be racist. As far as the health concerns go, let’s stop beating that dead horse. Poor health can show up in people of every size, not just those at either end of the size spectrum. You know what else shows up in people of every size? Low self-confidence thanks in part to people like Kelly who encourage people to feel  “gross,” disgusting and ashamed of their bodies for whatever reason. Women who are naturally skinny shouldn’t be made to feel any less “real” because they’re thin, fat women shouldn’t feel they’re “gross” and unworthy of affection because they’re overweight and women in between shouldn’t feel like some anomaly that doesn’t fit.

Kelly apparently realized this after more than 1000 scathing comments and updated the post with an apology.

I would really like to apologize for the insensitive things I’ve said in this post. Believe it or not, I never wanted anyone to feel bullied or ashamed after reading this, and I sorely regret that it upset people so much. A lot of what I said was unnecessary. It wasn’t productive, either. Read the rest at Marie Claire.

Marie Claire editor-in-chief Joanna Coles defends Kelly in a response to Fashionista saying that “Maura Kelly is a very provocative blogger. She was an anorexic herself and this is a subject she feels very strongly about.”

Many are rightfully wondering why there wasn’t a bit of editorial oversight to prevent Kelly’s strong feelings from coming off so insensitively. Her comments could easily be seen in mostly anonymous ramblings all over the internet, but to get the backing of a major publication seemingly validates them.

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