Earlier this afternoon, something disturbing was brought to my attention that I feel very strongly about and I wanted to share it with you. There’s currently an article (if you want to call it that) on MarieClaire.com titled Should “Fatties” Get a Room? (Even on TV?) I’m all about free speech—but in this day and age I’ve come to expect more from a major women’s magazine that I subscribe to. What their resident blogger published was completely insensitive and tasteless. If Maura Kelly published this piece to create controversy—clearly she’s going to accomplish that. But in doing so, she’s made herself look like an idiot. Thanks for taking me back to 1991 Maura, to the land of Mean Girls in high school that make themselves feel better at the expense of other people. This is something I’ve come to expect when reading an 8th grader’s Myspace blog, not Marie Claire:
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.
As a blogger in an industry that is literally obsessed with beauty (Umm hi, my name is Amber and I’m a beauty junkie), I would never in my wildest dreams set out to make anyone feel badly. And if I ever do that, kindly let me know because it’s not my intention and if I’m doing it—I’m clearly failing at my goal of sharing how fun (or not fun) these products can be. But this is just blatant irresponsibility on Marie Claire’s behalf, who approved that? I could go on and on here because believe me, I’M FURIOUS about this and my blood is boiling. But I think we need to expect more from publications and let them know that this isn’t what we’re paying to read. Granted, you don’t pay to read marieclaire.com, but I refuse to throw my money at someone who thinks this kind of garbage is okay. I cancelled my subscription and I’ll be receiving a refund for my remaining issues. If you choose to do the same, you can log on to marieclaire.com and cancel your subscription via their customer service link at the top of the page. I don’t care if you’re a size 0 or a 20, if you’re offended and refuse to support this kind of journalism I ask that you let them know how unacceptable this is. Just say no to this kind of ignorance.
Edited to add (10/29): After having several days to process this information, I really need to point out that it’s not even the fact that Maura is choosing obesity itself as her bone to pick that angers me so much. (But I still find it completely tasteless and unacceptable.) It’s the fact that in this day and age—she would choose to broadcast a hateful, bigoted message about ANY group of people at all. If you strip away the whole “fat people disgust me and I can’t even look at them” overtone, there is still a message of hate and intolerance. Replace “fatties” with “people with horns growing out of their heads” and I still find it just as ridiculous. I cannot comprehend why anyone would choose to transmit such repulsive commentary—and even more so, close it with “Do you think I’m being an insensitive jerk?” That alone shows me that she knew this was an sensitive issue to begin with and that it was going to spark ire, and that perhaps she was misinformed. She’s not coming from a place of concern, she’s not a medical professional or weight loss expert. She’s just someone given a voice by the Hearst Corporation spewing an acrimonious opinion. News anchors, politicians, and school teachers have been fired and practically burned at the stake for less. Everyone is most certainly entitled to have an opinion, but I still feel that Maura’s piece was malicious, absurd, and pointless. Marie Claire’s Editor-in-Chief, Joanna Coles has since responded to this controversy and states:
Maura Kelly is a very provocative blogger, she was an anorexic herself and this is a subject she feels very strongly about.
It’s insulting to me that her editors feel that since she’s a former anorexic that she has the authority to offer condescending weight loss advice to a significant portion of their readership. But in all honesty, what I find the most offensive is that she infers a group of people unlike herself are basically bottom dwellers because she finds them difficult to look at. This suggests a theory that someone is not to be considered “normal” since they don’t fit her ideal proportions. That’s what really troubles me. And even more bothersome is that a major media corporation with an incredible audience reach allows this kind of message to be broadcast and then act so cavalier when their readers confront them. And that’s where I stand. I also want to share two pieces I’ve read this week from other bloggers: Dear Maura Kelly: I Love Myself Even If You Don’t (Style It), and Dear Maura Kelly and Marie Claire (Manolo For The Big Girl).