Two fat people sharing a moment together. How DARE they! And right in front of us, too!
Holy fatphobia, Bitch readers! Marie Claire blogger Maura Kelly had some very uncool and uninformed things to say about fat folks yesterday, starting with her belief that they should not be shown kissing on television. (Y'know, because eeewww!) Since we try to combat this type of size-based vitriol around here, I thought we might as well take a look at her "arguments" against ever seeing fat people do anything ever.
Kelly was responding to this CNN article that points out that fat characters on television rarely get any storylines that aren't about being fat. We knew that already, but still, it's nice that CNN is covering it and shedding light on this issue for those outside of the feminist/fat acceptance communities. You know who disagrees? That's right, Maura Kelly and Marie Claire! Says Kelly:
The other day, my editor asked me, "Do you really think people feel uncomfortable when they see overweight people making out on television?" ... 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 [sic] addict slumping in a chair.
Well shield your eyes, Kelly, because fat people are making out all over the place! They're also going to work, raising families, exercising, watching TV, going out to dinner, reading, and doing EVERYTHING ELSE THAT HUMANS DO. BECAUSE THEY ARE HUMANS. JUST LIKE YOU ARE.
I know that someone having an "eww gross" response to fat people "doing anything" is not new. I am, however, majorly disappointed to see this coming from a women's magazine—haven't we moved past the whole "fat people need to get their shit together and/or get out of my face" attitude? (No, we haven't.)
Kelly's article is not only full of nastiness, it's also full of fallacies (you know, like fat people need to lose weight because they are clearly unhealthy and unhappy no matter who they are or what their histories are, and that being fat is equivalent to being hooked on heroin). AND, she even deigns to give nutrition and health advice to obese people:
I'm happy to give you some nutrition and fitness suggestions if you need them — but long story short, eat more fresh and unprocessed foods, read labels and avoid foods with any kind of processed sweetener in them whether it's cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, increase the amount of fiber you're getting, get some kind of exercise for 30 minutes at least five times a week, and do everything you can to stand up more — even while using your computer — and walk more.
Well THANKS Kelly! Fat people are unable to access this kind of information EVERYWHERE THEY GO, so it's nice that you're putting it out there!
I guess I shouldn't be surprised by this, but I'd honestly expect this response to be from somewhere like AskMen.com, not Marie Claire. It's immature, misinformed, offensive, and downright disappointing. If you don't want to see fat people on TV because your delicate thin-privileged eyes can't handle it, Maura Kelly, then change the channel. But cut the fat-shaming crap because we don't need any more of it, especially not from you and Marie Claire.