Sarah Morgan

Healthcare Geek.
Professional Communicator.

Should “Insensitive Jerks” Get a Blog? (Even on MarieClaire.com?)

You may have seen the kerfuffle about the Marie Claire blog post about the CBS sitcom “Mike & Molly”. Unfortunately – because I hate giving it more readers – I feel obliged to offer a link to the post.

Delightfully titled “Should “Fatties” Get a Room? (Even on TV?)”, the author argues that the show is “implicitly promoting obesity” because its leads are fat. But not only is it irresponsible, she goes on, it’s also nauseating. “I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other,” she says, “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.”

“Obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over,” she declaims, wrapping up with a few peppy health suggestions and the question, “What do you guys think? Fat people making out on TV — are you cool with it? Do you think I’m being an insensitive jerk?”

Two thousand vitriolic comments later, it’s pretty clear that the answers are “yes” and “yes”.

The fabulous Maria pointed the post out to me, and we’ve been talking about it since. I can’t do better than to quote her on it.

How horrible that she first felt the need to write this, but worse, then tried to backtrack with a completely insincere apology. If she’s had weight issues, how could she think it would be easy for overweight people to control theirs? I doubt people wake up one morning and think, “I’m going to be fat. That’ll make life so much easier.”

But what makes me so angry that the article had no point. What was she trying to accomplish? If she wanted to alienate people, I think she succeeded. And in losing subscribers – unless she thinks all the people that read Marie Claire are a size 6 and as ignorant as she is.

Telling people who are overweight to “just eat better” is like telling a person who is anorexic to eat more. And I suspect that, being an anorexic, she probably doesn’t like to hear that.

For a magazine that claims to promote a healthy self-image for women to allow this to be posted is appalling.

I couldn’t agree more. If I subscribed to Marie Claire, I’d cancel my subscription immediately and give their employment of this girl as my reason why. I’ll simply offer the heartfelt suggestion that subscribers do the same.

I get that she was probably told to be edgy and controversial. In that case, though, have the balls to stick to your guns. (That was a mixed metaphor, but you understand.) Either you’re a button-pushing shock blogger, or you’re just thoughtless and messed up. Neither is great, but if she was going for the former, she failed.

The mere idea of fat people kissing revolting her suggests that she might not be doing so well in her eating-disorder recovery. Worse, her trite “read labels! stand up more!” advice ignores the emotional battle that is 99% of weight issues – which you’d hope she’d be painfully aware of.

It’s inexcusable. It disgusts her when someone walks across the room? Well, it disgusts me to hear spoiled brats talk, but this chick has a job, reality TV is everywhere, and sitcoms are flourishing. It seems we can’t all get what we want.

Final thoughts from Maria: Oddly, today the author posted about her battle with anorexia. Looking for sympathy much?

Final thought from Sarah: This is just a grown-up Mean Girl who was shocked to discover that most of the world actually thinks it’s not okay to be a bitch. It’s sad that she didn’t learn that a long time ago.

Now, then, you want to read a brilliant post about getting healthy? Check out Ellie’s recent post at One Crafty Mother, “The First Different Choice”. It’s the best piece of writing on weight loss I’ve ever read.

Comments

Annie D

Great post, Sarah. I love the word kerfuffle. Mean girls should put their foots in their mouths more often.

Jose Bay

The more I see skinny people in real life & in the popular media, the more I’m objecting to it. It’s a cliché, but they looked malnutritioned & are try-hards. Maybe less known is, it’s all a recent societal trend – & not really suited to human evolution. I mean how can an anorexic survive in the cold of UK/EU. Slowly the tide will turn on this issue, but popular misconceptions abound (like 60 Minute sob stories about attention seeking & selfish illogical anorexics).

I do know I know it should be made offensive & unsocial to say to someone ‘you should lose weight’. If sumo wrestlers survive aplenty in years longevity – others can with more weight. I’m not advocating don’t exercise, or get to that state – but genes are first & foremost: a predecessor to environment, an overriding component for who we are. If you have fat genes, stuff trying to fight your biological programming.

Now solidify your fight against the media’s health paranoia on diet issues (an industry no doubt) & disarming of the fat aesthetic. & so that’s how it goes, never the first – we’re always the last to know aren’t we. PS. I find I can exercise better & with more satisfaction/happy endorphins by doing it once a week & eating a lot before the session. If I do it more than that, I get sore & sleep more. Nuff said!

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