Wednesday, October 27, 2010

'Fatties' & Marie Claire

Have an opinion about the recent Marie Claire blog post about "fatties"? You're not alone.

Quick recap: Marie Claire blogger Maura Kelly wrote a post about how it isn't pleasant to watch the obese lead characters makeout on the CBS sitcom "Mike & Molly."

Kelly didn't approach the subject gently. An excerpt:

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.

Controversial? Yeah.

The blog post has attracted a deluge of online comments and after its publication, Kelly wrote an update apologizing for its insensitivity and revealing her history as an anorexic.

In response, Marie Claire's editor in chief called Kelly a "very provocative blogger" but didn't apologize for her post.

Kelly's tone was too harsh -- she admitted that in her update to the post. Terms like "grossed out" put her thoughts on a juvenile level when really, she's usually a pretty engaging writer.

The recent rise of a "fat acceptance" movement makes it difficult for writers to point out the apparent health consequences of obesity without being labeled a bully.

Still, science offers varying opinions on the role that genetics play in obesity, and not all experts buy into Kelly's assertion that "obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over." (Especially when you consider a possible correlation between obesity and low-income populations.)

Bottom line: Kelly is an opinion blogger. And opinions aren't always popular.