This week, the world of online women's forums and daytime television was rocked by a provocative article in Marie Claire titled Should 'Fatties' Get a Room? (Even on TV?). The article's author Maura Kelly isn't a big fan of watching fat people on TV—a subject brought to her attention by the CBS sitcom "Mike and Molly," which revolves around a heavy-set couple. See if you can see why people are upset with her column:
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... 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. (I'm happy to give you some nutrition and fitness suggestions if you need them...
Since the article hit the Web, over 1,700 commenters (mostly furious) have weighed in. On CBS's "The Talk" Sharon Osbourne said Maura Kelly "is a bitch and I want her arse here"—a unique booking technique. CNN aired a condemnatory segment on it featuring one of the network's plus-sized writers, and an incredulous Sadie Stein at Jezebel grimaced: "how could she not know this would happen? How could she think this was acceptable?"
Thus far, the most acerbic reaction to the controversy comes from the article's very own comments section. With a cunning flair for satire, reader Beth writes:
While Marie Claire's editor-in-chief seems to be shrugging off the controversy, the backlash provoked an earnest apology from the writer who asked for forgiveness for the "insensitive things I've said in this post." Getting personal, Kelly wrote:
A few commenters and one of my friends mentioned that my extreme reaction might have grown out of my own body issues, my history as an anorexic, and my life-long obsession with being thin. As I mentioned in the ongoing dialogue we’ve been carrying on in the comments section, I think that's an accurate insight.
Will Marie Claire subscribers care?
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