If you haven’t seen it already, Marie Claire published this blog by Maura Kelly on Monday October 25, 2010: http://bit.ly/cWM88P
The ONLY reason I found this was because one of my favorite authors, Jen Lancaster, wrote about it on her twitter and then she posted this counterpoint on her blog on Wednesday: http://bit.ly/d2qdaz
Thursday, another author, Stacey Ballis, wrote her response on her blog: http://bit.ly/aBDeSv
(I HIGHLY suggest that you read all three of the links that I just posted in the order I posted them in)
So now that you have lots of information on the subject, let me tell you where I stand and why I am writing this. I will start from the beginning:
On Wednesday, I saw Jen Lancaster’s tweets about the Marie Claire article and I was intrigued. That night, I read the article and her blog and I was outraged but I was holding back my feelings because I felt like Jen Lancaster’s blog said everything that could be said and there was nothing that I could do. I tried to move on.
The next day (which was Thursday, in case you can’t tell time), I told my mom about the article and how upset I was by it. She encouraged me to write this blog. I didn’t really know what to say until I saw Stacey Ballis’ blog. Her words motivated me to share my feelings with the world.
So here I am, writing this blog with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.
I have been a sort of activist for plus sized girls since I was in high school. I started gaining a lot of weight when I hit puberty. I happened around the same time that my family moved from Ohio to Illinois. So there I was, the new girl in school in 7th grade and I was fat… I guess you could call that a triple threat (but definitely not in a good way.) I spent 2 years being awkward and picked on. When I went to high school, I decided to be over it. At first, I hid my body to the best of my ability. I still have boxes of oversized tee-shirts from high school because it was all I could do to cover up. I don’t remember how old I was when I decided that I wanted to accept my curvy body but I remember feeling like a weight was lifted (not literally).
Since then, I have been really upset with plus-sizes in the fashion world, especially since fashion is my life. I have always found it incredibly frustrating that the plus sized fashion world is so separated from the “regular” fashion world. When I was in High School, I didn’t want to shop in an old ladies plus-sized store. I wanted to shop where my friends shopped and that never seemed possible. There was a time where my entire wardrobe was from Old Navy because that was the only place I could find that went from a size 00-28+. Recently, TLC premiered a spin-off of “Say Yes to the Dress” called “Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss.” The show focuses on plus sized brides. WHY!? I appreciate the effort and I’m sure they thought that they were doing something good for us by giving us our own show but I have to say that I’m offended by it because I don’t understand why we have to be separated from the other brides. I think I would feel differently if the show took place in a store that focused strictly on plus sized wedding dresses but it is the same store (that I love) and the same People (that I love.) Does this mean that there will no longer be plus sized brides on the original “Say Yes to the Dress”? Is this another way for the beautiful people to avoid us Fat people?
(if you want to check out the show, check your local listings. You can check out a preview here: http://bit.ly/9rgZFf)
So now that I have given you my background on this subject, a response from two other authors, and a rant about “Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss,” I will finally tell you what I’m thinking about this article because I’m sure that you are all thinking “What is your point”
I am angry and I am hurt.
I am angry because… where can I even begin. Let’s start with the fact that there is a bully epidemic in this country and how dare this woman write an article that could cause more problems. Young impressionable girls everywhere are reading this magazine and its blogs. Who knows what they will take away from it. I am angry and offended that they would not only suggest an article with this subject but they would publish an article with the headline of “Should Fatties Get a Room (Even on TV)”
Let’s just take a minute to dissect that headline.
- The word “Fatties” is ridiculously offensive.
- The line “Even on TV” sounds to me like you feel that plus sized people should hide from the world and the title wasn’t the only place that showed the authors feelings about that.
(Yes, I’m going to dissect the article even though the other two blogs I shared with you already did that. I may repeat things but I don’t care)
Kelly starts the article by telling the reader why she decided to write it. Fine.
She then starts telling us her problems with the show and that is where the problems begin. She says that The Show “Mike and Molly” promotes obesity. I completely disagree with the statement. The characters on the show met at overeaters anonymous which means that they are trying to lose weight. If the show was promoting obesity, they would be lying around eating all day, not doing anything to help themselves and saying things like “la-dee-da! isnt it a great day to be fat!”
She also says “Yes, anorexia is sick, but at least some slim models are simply naturally skinny. No one who is as fat as Mike and Molly can be healthy. And obesity is costing our country far more in terms of all the related health problems we are paying for, by way of our insurance, than any other health problem, even cancer.”
Ok, guess what happens when you assume! You don’t know these characters personally so how can you decide that they are unhealthy. I am plus sized and I recently had a physical. I have a note from my doctor saying that I am VERY healthy.
And now the line that you have seen pasted into each of the blogs I told you to read:
“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.”
Did she really just compare overweight people to drunks and heroine addicts? ARE YOU SERIOUS?! I honestly don’t know what to say to that because I am just so shocked that anyone would say that.
“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.”
“Oh! You have plus sized friends? Well, I guess that makes it all ok!”
False, that’s not ok! Honestly, if she were my friend, I wouldn’t talk to her after this article because so far, all I am hearing is Sizeism. I also feel like she has plus sized friends because she either keeps them around to help her feel better about herself or because she was friends with them before they gained the weight.
“And I also know how tough it can be for truly heavy people to psych themselves up for the long process of slimming down. (For instance, the overweight maintenance guy at my gym has talked to me a little bit about how it seems worthless for him to even try working out, because he’s been heavy for as long as he can remember.)”
And I bet you think he talked to you because you are so damn hot.
She then continued on to say that obesity is something that can be controlled and then she took it upon herself to give us fat people some diet and exercise tips. I wont copy them here. I have to say that once again, she doesn’t know the people she is writing about. Maybe someone has a disease that makes them gain weight. Maybe they cant control it.
Don’t assume that all overweight people are overweight because they are lazy.
She then said that she doesn’t watch much TV which I guess doesn’t change much but it makes me wonder if she even watched the show that she started writing the article about.
She later posted an update apologizing for being so harsh and telling the world about her struggle with eating disorders. I wanted to feel bad for her but I couldn’t. By that point, I was so offended that I couldn’t let it go and she couldn’t take it back. It’s obvious that her true feelings were out there. The damage was done.
This article hurt me as a plus sized woman.
It made me feel small and insignificant like my voice didn’t matter. A fashion magazine had decided that plus sized people shouldn’t be seen and that was it. It hurt me that someone had decided that they were disgusted to see plus sized people kissing and being intimate.
I was hurt because after years of being bullied, I finally thought that I was past it. I was a grown up and I wasn’t going to be affected by it. When I read articles like this one, I see that I will never escape the ignorance in this world and the hate in people’s hearts.
The fact is that God made everyone and we are supposed to love each other no matter what but a lot of people don’t get that.
I want to repeat what Stacey Ballis said in her blog because it really inspired me to write what I was feeling (it also made me cry):
You are beautiful. You are deserving of love. You are deserving of respect. No one can take away your intelligence, your kindness, your generosity of spirit. The person you are has nothing to do with the number on the scale or the tag on your clothes. You are sexy. You are powerful. And there is nothing you cannot do. If you decide to get smaller, for your health, or because you simply want to be smaller, I am on your side and pulling for you. And if you decide that you like yourself just the way you are and have no desire to change, I am on your side and pulling for you. You deserve to see women like yourself represented in the magazines you read, the television you watch, the movies you see. Not made the butt of the joke, or as the sidekick, but front and center in the spotlight. Do not ever be ashamed of how much air you displace in this world. You are not minimal. You are a celebration. Revel in yourself, and love yourself. And know that you are not ever alone.
Thank you Stacey!
I am also going to leave you with this video because I am a big gleek. If you haven’t seen the “Home” episode of Glee, you should find it and watch it. To this day, it is still my favorite episode because I felt that it was very moving.
Here’s some background on this video and why its relevant:
Merecedes, played by Amber Riley, joined the Cheerios (the cheerleaders) the week before and in this episode, she was told that she needed to lose weight quickly. She ends up going on some crazy diet and getting really sick. She is feeling down on herself but then Quinn, Played by Dianna Agron, tells her how wonderful she is. The Cheerios then scrap their routine and perform this instead.
(ignore the commercial at the Beginning)
Here’s another thing:
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~Eleanor Roosevelt
I already gave you the links to where I got all of my information. the rest is my opinion.
I did however find this link that I think you will all find very interesting:
Thanks for listening to my ranting. I feel a little better.