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Marie Claire Blogger Doesn’t Want “Fatties” On TV

Marie Claire Blogger Doesn’t Want “Fatties” On TV

Feminist blogs have been abuzz for the past day or so over an appalling article by Maura Kelly, a writer for one of Marie Claire‘s blogs, who said that she wouldn’t want to watch the new TV show “Mike & Molly,” which is about a couple who meets at Overeaters Anonymous.  The reason?  Kelly wrote, “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.”

So yes, you see why there’s been serious outrage.  Kelly continued to spout unrepentently sizeist comments throughout her piece, writing,

“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…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.”

She ends by asking her readers, “Do you think I’m being an insensitive jerk?”  The answer, for the most part, has been yes, although the editorial staff at the magazine’s blog has been blamed as roundly as Kelly.  On Jezebel, Sadie Stein expressed her confusion not just over why Kelly wrote the piece, but why Kelly’s editors thought it was acceptable to post it:

“How could she think this was acceptable? It’s that, as much as anything else, that’s worrisome: that at a mainstream magazine with a wide reach and an ostensibly progressive outlook could think, in 2010, this was okay to write and implicitly endorse.”

There has actually been some sympathy for the blogger herself; Jessica Wakeman, writing for the Frisky, points out that Kelly has been open about her own struggles with anorexia.  Wakeman writes, “The things she wrote about fat people — her disgust, even hatred towards their bodies — are probably the same things she has turned inward towards herself.”  Like Stein, Wakeman blames Kelly’s editors more than Kelly herself, and I have to say, it takes some appallingly bad (or even just exploitative) editorial judgment to run a piece like this – the editors were either completely blind to how offensive it was, or decided to publish it because they knew it would rack up page hits.

At least the uproar had some effect; Kelly updated the original post with an apology, writing, “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.

The editor-in-chief of Marie Claire, Joanna Coles, also responded, although her reply was certainly less than satisfactory.  She told Fashionista, “Maura Kelly is a very provocative blogger. She was an anorexic herself and this is a subject she feels very strongly about.”  She added that the magazine has received over 28,000 emails about the article, and that Kelly was “excited and moved” by the responses.  This reaction seems misplaced.  Kelly wasn’t trying to start a meaningful dialogue about sizeism, she simply wrote a very bigoted piece that, for whatever reason, her editors thought it was acceptable to publish.  That’s not provocative – it’s just wrong.

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117 comments

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4:23PM PST on Feb 13, 2011

I'd be grossed out if I had to read some dump from a blog of Marie Claire's, but the author is still entitled to her phobic opinion. I'd also probably ralph if I had to watch HER (presumably) twig-ass make out with anybody. I just hope she hasn't procreated yet, because baby fat can stick around for quite a while...

11:17AM PST on Nov 12, 2010

Average women are NOT size zero. They are size 12, 14,and 16 if this is not to your liking DON"T LOOK. No one is forcing you to watch any specific program. Watch your anorexic friends on another channel.

1:58AM PDT on Nov 5, 2010

I feel sorry for the gal. She obviously has a twisted view of how she views human bodies. In the Victorian age, people my size were considered normal, and "voluptuous women" were considered the elite. A guy was lucky to have one.

Anyway, she obviously has issues with health and weight. And it's her fear about becoming fat herself that makes her lash out at fat people.

Human bodies are beautiful & extraordinary, just like sea life.

2:16PM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

"Wakeman writes, "The things she wrote about fat people — her disgust, even hatred towards their bodies — are probably the same things she has turned inward towards herself."

So that should make everything honky-dory? All her words would serve to do is train future anorexics and bulimics. She is a hypocrite and an insensitive jerk of a bigot.

2:14PM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

"Eat (no meat) healthy. Walk every day a lot. Better together with a dog because a dog is very healthy for you and be HAPPY!

And don't forget: everybody is beautiful."

Everybody is "beautiful" but, according to you, only if they're vegetarian or vegan. If you're going to be a bigot at least be straight forward about it.

Meat is healthy, as long as you eat it in the recommended portion sizes - which is about 3 to 6 oz. - and you don't eat it by itself.

Do a little research about nutrition before you start distorting facts. Quit trying to feed people the "one size fits all" BS.

1:13PM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

Also, to put things to perspective, she IS anorexic, which is illness and not her fault, and she was mature enough to say she didn´t want to be a bully.

12:23PM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

Well, I don´t want to see plastic, plainly dressed people in TV, because I prefer clothing before WWI and those of Romantic Gothic, but you can´t always get what you want? On the other hand, although she WAS jerk, there is much worse sizeist filth polluting net. And oh yea, that means their comments, too.

5:09AM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

They are selling magazines, stupid.

With that in mind, the article was outstandingly successful.

If you are taking up more than your share of the planet's biomass, get away from the computer and go ride a bicycle.

That said, "Mike and Molly" is for sure not the worst thing on TV, obsessed as it is with crime and violence, NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles, NCIS Omaha, NCIS Niagara Falls.

Get a life, go pet a dog.

2:06PM PDT on Nov 2, 2010

JUDGE NOT LEST YOU BE JUDGED !!!!! NOW IT'S YOUR TURN TO BE JUDGED AS A SELF PRETENTIOUS SNOB WHOSE CALLOUSNESS NEEDS A BIT OF KARMA TO SET HER STRAIGHT !!!!!

4:04AM PDT on Nov 2, 2010

maura kelly wrote" I also think it's at least equally crazy, albeit in the other direction, to be implicitly promoting obesity!" so she feels that the very fact of the actors being fat promotes obesity.

that's pretty funny. she's really got some body issues.and saying, in effect, hey, i'm not "size-ist" ( there's an awkward term) but... is the same bull** as saying " i'm not against ___ ppl, but .insert stereotype here...
listen, I'm obese,have been for about 9 years since i started a certain medication. it's a vicious cycle of gain weight,harder to move, eat more move less, gain weight. it sucks. . I'm not happy about it, and I've seen the look that extremely thin and fit strangers give me, as though the very proximity to fat will cause my weight to somehow migrate to them. that makes me a cautionary whale, i guess.
but the fact is, there are more women size 14 and over than under. many of us hide out in shame, which i guess makes Maura Kelly happy. i guess i belong to 2 of the last groups it's okay to bash. I'm a born again Christian and a fattie. whoa is me? well, tough.

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