• Fat people are people, too.

    **I’d make this a topic for the Seriously Shiny blog, but this time it’s too important. So bear with me. Note: This is the longest blog post in the world. But I think it’s worth it.**

    By most of society’s standards, I am fat. I am 5’7” tall, I weigh around 190 pounds (that would be the first time I’ve ever put THAT in print), and I wear a size 12-14. I don’t shop at “plus-sized stores,” I’m healthy, I eat reasonably well (as well as most skinny people I know), I exercise at least a few days per week (some weeks I’m better at this than others). I’m not in great cardiovascular shape, but I also wasn’t when I weighed less. I have arthritis in my hips and problems with my feet that make certain (more effective) ways to exercise a little more difficult for me.

    I’m not making excuses for my weight, by telling you these things. I’m telling you these things in the hopes that you might realize that I’m a human being and not just “fat” or a number.

    I have hopes and dreams. I have likes and dislikes. I have hobbies. I have friends. I have a boyfriend. I have parents and siblings. I have a job. I am passionate about a number of things, as I’m sure most of you know.

    Finally, at 30-years-old, I’m working on accepting my body. I’m also better at this some days and not so great at it others. I have good days and bad days. Most people who weigh less than me go through the same things. I think that I’m pretty. I like that I have curves. I don’t want to be skinny, but I wouldn’t mind being a little thinner. I worry sometimes that I will become obsessed by it, and develop an eating disorder that would be less healthy than a little extra weight. So far, I’ve managed to mostly escape that.

    I know that I do have some form of body dismorphic disorder. Strangely, in my head, I’m a much thinner looking person. In my head, I look a certain way, and when I see myself in mirrors or glass doors, I feel disappointed and a little disgusted. It’s like finding out I’m fat all over again.

    These things are all my own issues, though, and not the fault of skinny people in the world. Why am I telling you this?

    Because today, I read an article in Marie Claire’s online magazine. Maybe you did, too. Freelance writer Maura Kelly was (apparently) asked by her editor what she thought of an article published on CNN. I’m not sure I really understand why she was asked to write about it, other than to stir the pot. Her opinion has stimulated a huge response from women everywhere (and some men, but it’s primarily a women’s magazine). If you want to read it, and I hate to lend them any more traffic, click here.

    I can’t say that Ms. Kelly doesn’t have a right to have her own opinion. But I do think she has a responsibility not to publish such senseless hate (as does Marie Claire, and I think most of the blame for publishing this should lie with them, actually). This is further complicated by the fact that Ms. Kelly herself has struggled with anorexia and has her own body image issues. Why then, knowing how it feels to be ashamed of your body, would she feel justified in shaming others?

    Honestly, if she had written this article and said, “You know, watching fat people kiss on television isn’t really my thing,” I don’t think we’d be having this discussion. Sure, some people would have probably found that offensive, and maybe it is. But it’s her opinion. What that says about her as a person is something we’d all have to figure out for ourselves.

    The original CNN article, upon which she was asked her opinion, barely touches on the idea that people are uncomfortable watching overweight people being affectionate on television. I suspect because the CNN writer realized that it wasn’t really worth delving into, but I can’t say for certain. Ms. Kelly took it a step further.

    “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.”

    The emphasis there is mine.

    It would offend Ms. Kelly’s sensibilities to watch a very fat person walk across a room. Later in the article, she gives some well known (and incredibly patronizing in context) advice to these offensive fat people about their health. Eat less, move more. But, Ms. Kelly (and plenty of other people) are disgusted to see fat people even walk. How are they supposed to exercise? I guess they should do it at home, alone, preferably in the dark?

    Another favorite part, in justifying her stance:

    “And while I think our country’s obsession with physical perfection is unhealthy, I also think it’s at least equally crazy, albeit in the other direction, to be implicitly promoting obesity! Yes, anorexia is sick, but at least some slim models are simply naturally skinny.”

    First, I don’t think anyone or anything is implicitly promoting obesity. That’s like saying all the crime dramas are implicitly promoting heinous murder. People would laugh at you, if you said that, and I think we should laugh at Ms. Kelly for saying that simply having a show about people who are fat is encouraging people to get fat.

    It’s interesting that it’s commonplace to think that people can be naturally skinny. But no one can be naturally fat. Even though there are plenty of genetic disorders and just plain genetics that suggest it IS, in fact, possible to be naturally heavy.

    No, I’m not suggesting that people are born obese. I am suggesting that there aren’t many people (maybe none) who are as naturally skinny as the average model. But skinny is acceptable and fat is not.

    I’m particularly tired of hearing that fat people are a drain on our health care system. You know what’s a drain on our health care system? Being ALIVE. Health care costs too much because we’ve let giant corporations that don’t give one tiny damn about actual people be in control of it for far too long. And any time we try to change it? We have a civil war in The Congress (one that’s far from civil, thanks Republicans). Fat people are just a convenient scapegoat because we’ve all decided that they’re disgusting and not real people anyway. They’re just a faceless group that deserves our rage for being something we’ve all deemed distasteful.

    Wait a minute, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Kind of like racism or sexism or homophobia. How interesting.

    I argue that if, in this article, Ms. Kelly had replaced the word “fat” or “obese” with the word “black” or “Hispanic,” she would have been fired. Racism will not be tolerated, but it’s cool to be mean to the fat kids. They deserve it.

    Food addiction is just that…addiction. If a person is fat because he or she has a food addiction, that’s only different from an addiction with drugs in one very important way.

    That person can’t just quit eating. Everyday is a constant struggle with the one thing they’re trying to fight. A person addicted to heroin doesn’t have to keep doing heroin in moderate amounts everyday for the rest of his or her life in order to live. That person can fully quit and live independently of heroin. (Not, you’ll note, “heroine,” as Ms. Kelly wrote and her editors missed). No one can live without food.

    Think about that for a second. Think about being faced with the thing that hurts you the most, everyday. Three times a day. And then read an article like Ms. Kelly’s. Imagine how it must feel to be a fat person who already knows he or she isn’t good enough. Who already knows that he or she doesn’t measure up to society’s standards of beauty.

    Think about reading that someone who doesn’t even know you finds it disgusting that you might deign to walk across a room. And then that person cheerfully tells you that you should just eat better and get some exercise.

    Maybe you’re not fat. I bet you’re self-conscious about something, though. What if someone picked out the one thing that could hurt you most and then told you it was disgusting. How would you feel?

    And to all the people who commented on that article to agree with Ms. Kelly, I wish I could find the thing you’re insecure about and exploit it. I wish you could understand how it feels to be trapped in a body you feel you can’t control. I wish you could feel what it feels know that everyone in the country thinks you’re disgusting. Even if you did it to yourself, even if you’re not doing anything to change it, do you really deserve to feel those things just so someone else can feel better?

    One thing I absolutely can say: I can probably lose this weight. The ugliness that Ms. Kelly showed is probably there forever.

    One reader, writergirl826, commented:

    While I can understand that the brutality in your observations of overweight people caught other people who have commented off guard, I personally think you have a point. I am overweight (though not obese) and think it’s a real problem when so many obese people think that they’re normal. It’s a HUGE problem plaguing our country (diabetes, cancers, heart disease, high cholesterol) and tip-toeing around the issue in hopes of not offending the plus-sized isn’t helping. It’s America. Someone is always going to be offended by what you say. But bottom line is: people are too fat and while I think it’s important to encourage others to get to know a person before judging them, a certain amount of accountability needs to be placed on those with a propensity for overeating and lack of exercise. I encourage everyone to look at this article which really puts it into perspective. People need to understand that being obese is NOT the norm (and being overly-skinny isn’t either). It’s all about being healthy. I know that I have a lot of work to do in order to be healthier, but the key is to be aware and make steps towards bettering yourself. Making people think it’s okay to be morbidly obese just because you’re afraid of hurting their feelings isn’t doing anybody any good. http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/fitness/2010-09-09-fat-perception_N.htm

    Again, she has a right to her opinion, but what I want to know is how she can justify to herself that it’s okay to make anyone else feel like shit for their own health choices. They’re not leeching fat into the air. She’s not going to “catch” obesity. It doesn’t affect her at all, in fact. And there aren’t many people out there who are running out to try to be obese. I can’t say there are none, because the man who owns the Heart Attack Grill is still alive and encouraging people to be obese. But even if some people DO want to be obese? How is it anyone else’s problem? To say that fat people need to be held accountable for their choices is just ridiculous. What exactly does she think their weight is? It’s an everyday accountability check.

    Ms. Kelly did issue some kind of apology in the comments section, after this comment:

    Thank you, Writer Girl, for making my point with more sensitivity than I had. I wrote this post very quickly, after my editor asked me to read and respond to the CNN article. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings or make anyone feel ashamed–though obviously, judging from the comments, I did. And I really apologize for that. I know there are some people out there who really can’t overcome their weight problems–like Dispatcher. I do think it’s an addiction, which is why I mentioned it with problems like drinking and drug abuse–though again, I regret that I wasn’t more sensitive. But I’ve also seen many people at my gym, etc, and heard from plenty of people who thought they could never do it, till they tried; slowly but surely, they lost and lost. … Again, I am genuinely sorry if I upset anyone. I would prefer to just erase this post, but unfortunately, I can’t do that.

    PS: As for near-death, I think it’s fair to say I came fairly close to dying from my own eating disorder. (cf. here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/books/chapter-going-hungry.html) And while it took me a very LONG hard time to overcome what I had (anorexia that landed me, at 69 pounds, in the hospital for four months, and eventually turned into bulimia) I worked at overcoming it a long hard time. I think part of the reason I was so strident in my post is because I’ve had an eating problem with psychological and behavioral components that involved a lot of shame and body hatred (and a desire to de-sexualize myself). And–as someone who was a compulsive overeater for a time–I think there are a lot of similarities between overeaters and anorexics, which is perhaps why I was being (admittedly) rather self-righteous. I really do apologize, again, for my insensitivity.

    Personally, I can’t imagine anyone finding much comfort in this apology. Saying that she “wrote this post very quickly” just implies that she has little respect for her work, and certainly gives the impression that this is her unfiltered opinion. Mentioning that food can be an addiction is nice and all, but she fails to recognize the difference that I pointed out above. People with food addictions have to face their addiction multiple times a day, everyday. I’m not saying any addiction is easy, but this one is a little different. The fact that she suffered from an eating disorder herself, just speaks to how truly insensitive she was being, since she should know as well as anyone how it feels to read something like this.

    No one is saying that being obese is healthy. But having obese people on television is simply representative of the fact that there are obese people out there, living their lives, doing much the same things as skinny people. Because they are people, too. It’s reality, even if many people would like to deny it. My only problem with this show is that it seems to revolve completely around how much these people weigh. It’s pointing at them and saying, “See? They’re different. They’re fat. It’s cool to make fun of them, because they’ve been hearing this stuff their whole lives. They don’t have any feelings. They’re fat!”

    I would be shocked to later hear that there was a rise in obesity levels that could be tied back to showing obese people living on television.

    Hate is not the answer. It never is. It’s not going to get people to change or make better choices. Fat isn’t disgusting, senseless hate is. Fortunately, for the hateful, it doesn’t affect their physical appearance.

22 Comments


  1. lexa says:

    Imagine if she had told an anorexic to just eat some carbs?

    Or is you swapped in black or gay or disabled for fat?
    lexa´s last blog post ..Ive Learned

  2. TJ says:

    I couldn’t agree more, Shine. Excellent post. You always knock it out of the park though. Just awesome.

  3. AuntBT says:

    I had just read the article before reading your post. I am pissed off that this woman still has a job. I couldn’t agree more, if she had said “black” or “hispanic” she would have been called a racist and been fired. But not because she’s talking about fat kids? Yup, always blame the fat kid right? I’m not obese, but I know I could easily be and have been much heavier than I am today. It’s not fun being the fat kid in a skinny world, and you know what I do when I feel bad or stressed? I eat. It’s how some of us cope, and yes I judge (everyone does, if you say you don’t, you are lying). However, I remember everyone is person, no matter what, and all should be respected.

  4. I’m so, so angry that I swore of Facebook for the week, because I desperately want to share this with everyone I know.

    Well-said, Shine. I can’t say anything beyond that Well fucking said. <3
    Suburban Sweetheart´s last blog post ..Take Heed ‘Cause I’m a Lyrical Poet

  5. Jess says:

    To be honest, I haven’t been reading your blog as regularly as I used to (the whole vegan/no-poo thing put me off a little) but this post was excellent, well written, well thought out and very insightful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with all of us.

    • shine says:

      Ha! Jess…I promise not to give you the veganism. Also, I so ate meat all last week. I feel off the wagon and hit the ground hard. Ouch.

  6. lbluca77 says:

    Great post!

    I was shocked reading that article. Like you said hate is not the answer, but I really suspect the person this woman hates most is herself. You have to if you write something this horrible about people.

    I’m gonna be honest, I’ve never been overweight, even at the most I’ve ever weighed I was still in the healthy range for my height. So I won’t pretend I can relate to being over weight, but what bothered me about this article is what about all the women reading this that may not be over weight but now feel the added pressure to be thin? Because that is how I felt reading it. And maybe it is partly my own insecurities about myself but that was the cause it had on me.

    There could be some young, impressionable girl out there reading this article thinking if she gains any weight this is the horrible, hateful stuff someone might think about her and bam an eating disorder has begun.

  7. Marissa says:

    I completely 100% agree with you.

    Did you see the “apology” she updated the article with? It’s not so much an apology as justification.
    Marissa´s last blog post ..Bum bum BUMMM

  8. Alice says:

    i was HORRIFIED when i read that article. it’s one thing to hate fat people – it’s america. you’re allowed to hate whoever you want, even if it makes you a distasteful prick. but to come out and PUT IN WRITING – in a national WOMEN’S magazine! – that you’re disgusted to see 2 fat people kiss?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? what kind of fucking person thinks that’s an OK to thing to say out loud, to a national audience? i think it definitely says far more about her and HER body issues than anything else, but that’s now how impressionable girls are going to see it. oh my FUCKING GOD.
    Alice´s last blog post ..oh god i’m an infomercial. I APOLOGIZE.

  9. The Civilian says:

    This will be written quickly, not because I don’t respect you, but because I don’t have time to neatly tie together two or three diverse ideas.

    First off, on your Seriously Shiny, you talked about the “culture of rape” on college campuses. That was part of your distaste for the chanting college kids, that they were helping to create/sustain that culture. Here you say fat people aren’t hurting anyone else: “They’re not leeching fat into the air.” Individually I would say that’s true, but one could argue that as a whole, they are creating a culture of obesity. Smoking and drinking have direct taxes that get funneled back into the health care system that mostly cover the costs of the diseases associated with them. There is no real way to tax obesity to help pay for the diseases associated with it. Despite your disbelief, that is a large part of the healthcare issue right now.

    Ok, part two:

    There is a doctor(I couldn’t find him quickly) that is 5’8″ish and well over two hundred pounds. He’s also a runner and all his numbers (cholesterol, etc.) are perfectly healthy for a man his age. He’s working on proving through some trials that if you eat healthy and exercise, it’s doesn’t matter what your weight is. I agree with him in that it’s more important to be happy and healthy then to worry about carrying a few extra pounds. The problem is that most obese people aren’t happy and healthy. I understand the difficulty of the food addiction, and genetic components and all of that. While I was in the Marines I had to work twice as hard as others to stay in good shape, because if I don’t, I get fat. But then watching Marines that had been in for 20 years limp around because they had destroyed their bodies through excessive exercise caused me to reassess my priorities. Now I try to walk the line between being healthy and enjoying life.

    I also think people care too much what other people think. If someone isn’t being happy being fat, they aren’t going to suddenly get happy by losing weight. Like you said, most people have something they aren’t don’t like about themselves. There’s always going to be someone out there to make fun of it. The solution is to get thicker skin.

    • shine says:

      I have resigned myself to the fact that there is basically no subject on which we will agree.

      First of all, there are people trying to institute a “fat tax.” Second of all, fat people aren’t the only drain on health care. They’re just not. Period. They’re an easy target because they can’t hide their fat. Yes, being obese has been linked to certain diseases, but plenty of not obese people also get most of the same diseases. Moreover, if everyone in the country were skinny? Health care would probably still be in the crapper. It’s just not a valid reason to be hateful or shame people, and I’m sick of it being used to excuse us from being decent to our fellow humans.

      You wanna take up an issue? Take it up with the trash in the food industry. I’m not saying that people aren’t ultimately responsible for the things they choose to eat, but for a really long time, no one knew what all these chemicals and shit were doing. And the food industry doesn’t give a shit about anything but making money, just like the insurance companies and hospitals. Education is a better answer than shame and hate.

      Moreover, I will never be convinced that it’s any of anyone else’s business what people choose to do with their own health. You will never convince me that it’s acceptable to be hateful to fat people, simply because you disapprove of their choices. There are far worse things to be than fat.

      Sure, I suppose you could say that these offensive fat people are creating a “culture of obesity,” but there are plenty of not fat people running around. Most of the people on TV and in movies are skinny. There’s more pressure than ever to be thin.

      Creating a culture of hate is just as, if not WAY more, dangerous, in my opinion. Giving people carte blanche to say, “I don’t like you because you’re not like me and therefore it’s acceptable for me to be as horrible to you as I want” isn’t going to help or change anything (just ask black people or gay people how it’s inspired them to change who they are…oh wait, it hasn’t). Making people feel disgusting and ashamed isn’t the answer.

      Certainly, there will always be people to make fun of things, but that doesn’t make it good or right.

      • Sara says:

        I am so BEYOND tired of the health care on obese people argument.

        How about texting and driving? Or not buckling up? Can we tax these people in some other way also?

        How about idiots? Can we charge Maura Kelly for being anorexic? How about we start taxing the razor blades that suicidal people are buying?

        Give me a break.

      • The Civilian says:

        Damn it, I keep accidentally closing my browser after I write something.

        Ok, here we go again. It’s not that we disagree on the problem, it’s that we disagree on the solution. The problem is that society views fat people as disgusting. Your solution is to change society. My solution is for individuals to toughen up and stop caring how society sees them.

        The “culture of hate” has always existed. The internet has simply facilitated it’s growth through increased anonymity. It’s easier to be an asshole when no one knows who you are. But more and more I see the frustration with assholeish behavior from the “internet tough guys.”

        As far as the healthcare thing goes, it’s a viable concern. No one is saying that’s the ONLY problem, but it is a problem. Especially with a socialized system when the cost is more or less equally spread out amongst everyone. Unhealthy, overweight people cost more to treat then healthy people. They also have more health problems then a normal healthy problem. Visceral fat wreaks all kinds of havoc on the internal organs. I don’t generally care what people do, but when it starts to affect my wallet, then I care.

        • shine says:

          I don’t think my solution is any more about “changing society” than yours is. Suggesting that individuals could stand to be kinder isn’t any further out of the realm of possibility than suggesting that individuals are going to suddenly develop a thicker skin.

          I agree that in some way, on some level, a “culture of hate” has always existed. But I think that it has changed over the years. I’m not suggesting we’ve eradicated racism, but certainly it’s no longer acceptable to publicly condemn someone for the color of his or her skin. I’m suggesting that we need to get there with women, fat people, gay people, and all the other faceless groups we love to pick on.

          Also, I’m more that a little disturbed that you basically equated a “culture of rape” to a “culture of obesity.” I don’t agree that fat people are really doing such a thing, but even if they are, I don’t find that nearly as dangerous as fostering the idea that women are there for the man’s taking.

          I think it’s okay to suggest that we all look into ourselves a little and start to see people for people. That we’re all just people.

          I think this was a case of a woman who has a serious issue with herself, taking it out on others, a bully. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to use the forum that I have to call her out on it. Do I think that we’re all going to be holding hands singing a round of Jesus Loves the Little Children soon? No. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong or bad with suggesting that we all be a little kinder to each other.

          I’m not a particularly thin-skinned person. This article didn’t get to me, personally. But there are lots of women (and probably men) out there, who have heard nothing but how disgusting they are for the majority of their lives. It’s unnecessarily cruel and no one else’s business. Just like who Tiger Woods put his dick in is no one’s business but his wife’s. We’re the ones who have made it okay, and I’m just suggesting that it’s not.

          As far as this “socialized system” for health care goes? What you said is bullshit. It’s bullshit for this reason: There are actually plenty of pretty healthy fat people out there. There are also plenty of really sick skinny people out there. I don’t want to have children, but I’d have to pay for the people who choose to have eight of them (that’s eight more people to insure). I don’t smoke, but I still have to pay for the people who choose to do that and get lung cancer or throat cancer. I don’t drink in excess, but I still have to pay for the people who do that and get liver disease or crash their cars into other cars. I don’t do drugs, but I have to pay for the people who do that and destroy their bodies. It’s fucking life. I don’t get to make everyone else’s choices and neither do you. Right now? I pay for my own health care costs, which are through the roof not because people are fat but because we’ve let corporations take over the entire system and we’ve left them pretty much unchecked. Now, we have a disaster. Let’s blame the fat people. It’s a viable concern only if all these other things are viable concerns. It’s never going to be perfect and it’s always going to cost more THAN you want it to. We all get to make our own choices and if everyone can continue to choose to have umpteen children without even considering the consequences, THEN fat people can continue to be fat.

          • Sara says:

            I cannot tell you how excited I was reading that last paragraph about the health care complaint.

            BRAVO!!!

          • The Civilian says:

            Shine,

            I think we just come from different worlds. Even though we (sometimes) don’t agree(even on if we ever agree or not!) I’m glad we can have an intelligent, civil discourse. I think it’s conversations like ours that have to take place around the nation.

            When I read your response initially, I was getting all kinds of things prepared about obesity and how it’s a relatively new development in human history, etc. But then I changed my mind. Nothing I have said or will say will have any effect on you, because for all you know I could be the writer of the article that inspired this post.

            At the tender age of 22 I joined the United States Marine Corps. I served about 5 years, roughly 2 of which were in Iraq. Then I went to Afghanistan as a civilian contractor and spent roughly 2 years there. During those 4 years in the middle east I’ve seen some truly horrible stuff.

            Have you ever seen the aftermath of an 11-year-old strapping bombs to himself and detonating them in a crowded market? I have. Have you ever seen a woman beat almost to death because she couldn’t have children? I have. The real kicker is that the only thing her husband knew about sex is what he learned when his dad & friends were raping him while he was a child. Have you ever had to shake hands and make nice with a foreign military commander knowing full well that he’s raping his youngest soldiers? I have. I could go on.

            I’m not saying that if you haven’t seen these things then you couldn’t understand. I’m just trying to contextualize my comments to you. It’s hard for me to come home from an environment of near constant rape/murder/violence, and hear people complaining about someone expressing their opinion of fat people, and be expected to empathize. Or being called a Ni****, even though they use that word daily, etc. There’s alot bigger and worse things going on it the world, and I’ve seen most of them.

            That doesn’t mean that I don’t think that people should be nicer to others. I think the world would be a great place if everyone simply did their best to take care of one another. I also believe that the world is a hateful evil place, and that we should prepare our children for that as well.

            My nephew had a problem with a bully recently. My brother told him to go to the teacher, and if that didn’t work, go to the principal. Neither of them did anything, and the bully kept pushing him around. Eventually my nephew hit the bully, and the bully left him alone. The principal and teacher were both angry at my nephew, despite the fact that he had tried to bring it to their attention and they had done nothing. Of course my brother raised hell over that. The point is that people need to take responsibility for themselves and stop expecting everyone else to fix things for them.

            If you don’t understand me, that’s fine. I’ll stop reading and commenting on your blog. No skin off my nose. I would like to say, however, that it’s nice to see strong, independent women like you. They’re surprisingly hard to find. If only you didn’t live in Texas :)

          • shine says:

            The Civilian,

            Maybe when we agree, you’re less likely to comment? I’m not sure. It doesn’t really matter to me if we agree or not. I’ve come by my opinions the honest way, and I’m sure you have, too. And for the record, I haven’t asked you to stop reading or commenting on my blog. I have no problem having an intelligent, civil discourse. I don’t think that I was rude, either. I still think that some of the things you said are bullshit, and it should be okay for me to say that, if it’s okay for you to speak your mind.

            I never tried to say that there weren’t worse things going on in the world. I’m sure that what you’ve seen has affected you greatly. I’m not making any qualms about the idea that we, in the United States, live a pretty cushy life. Trust me, I know. But just because someone else has it worse, does that really mean that I shouldn’t speak my mind and express my opinion on my blog when I see something that bothers me?

            Yes, people are getting raped and murdered and blown to bits in places that aren’t here. In my opinion, all of that starts because of attitudes about people. People hate. People disrespect. That woman who was beaten nearly to death because she couldn’t bear any children is living in a country where women aren’t respected or treated as equal citizens. And I guess I feel like if I just sit back and say nothing when I feel that people are being disrespected and not treated as people, we might end up in that place, too. Though probably never that extreme.

            I can’t really do a whole lot to help that woman, except make sure that I’m speaking up for women. And I am. In this case, I was speaking up for fat people. On my blog, mind you, not the news. If we can’t learn to treat each other equally (as equally as is possible) and with respect here, in the “land of the free,” what leg to we have to stand on when we tell other people in other countries that they should be doing it?

            Yes, fists work. Guns work. Bombs work. Unfortunately, I’m not really allowed to shoot or bomb everyone who does things I don’t agree with. I only have words. You may think that my opinions are silly. You may think that there are bigger things to worry about. You’re probably right. But big things? Start with small things. And I can say something about the small things. Hell, I can say something about the big things. Some people will agree with me, some people won’t. And that’s okay. But I’m still going to speak up. I think it’s important.

            I could sit at home and cry everyday for the men, women, and children who have it harder than me. Instead, I choose to get up, go to work, do my job, live my life, have fun when I can, and speak up about things I feel are important. I’m not asking you to do the same. This is how I choose to live and this is what I choose to do so that I can sleep at night and feel like I’m not just letting life pass me by.

            The woman who wrote the Marie Claire article had every right to voice her opinion. I’m not suggesting she be censored or arrested. But she has to take responsibility for her actions and words, just like the rest of us. And she offended a lot of people with her words. Maybe you think every fat person in the land is just lazy and worthless, but I know that’s not true. I know that it’s a struggle everyday. Just because they don’t have to worry about getting blown up, doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to deal with their own issues on their own terms, without having to deal with being told that they’re disgusting by some woman who doesn’t even know them.

            And yes, obesity is a relatively new thing. Yes, I do believe that, for the most part, an obese person probably could have prevented his or her obesity. But so what? The person who knowingly chooses to jump off a roof and paralyzes himself still gets insurance coverage. I don’t really think that obesity is the next epidemic. I think now that we are realizing more and more what it means for our bodies, people are more and more making better choices about food and exercise. There was a long time, however, when the information wasn’t there. Habits were formed and they can be hard to break. I believe that this will sort itself out. That doesn’t mean it will go away entirely. I don’t think there will ever be a day when every person in the United States is living at an optimal weight. But that’s okay.

            I weigh too much. I care about things. They may seem silly to you, but they’re not silly to me. You can read and comment all you like. I’m happy to agree to disagree about any number of things. Just as long as you’re not choosing to be antagonistic just to be antagonistic. And really, even if you are? No skin off my nose. This is my blog and I’ll write what I choose. I always appreciate a different perspective, but I’ll write what I choose.

  10. Vivian says:

    Shine, I’d like to believe she’d be fired if the article aimed hate towards Hispanics, but I live in Arizona so I’ve temporarily lost my faith when it comes to racism. This is a case of bullying. The comment telling people to “get a thicker skin” is ridiculous. Maura Kelly is a bully trying, hopefully unsuccessful, to lead the masses against the fat people of the world. Fortunately most of us have grown since high school and can call Kelly out on her ugly behavior. Thanks for writing about it and showing there are still strong, sane women out there speaking out on the things that matter.

  11. michelle says:

    i wish i could construct a full coherent thought in response to this. all i can say is thank you. we’re all different, and that’s supposed to be what makes us great
    michelle´s last blog post ..i… might

  12. Michelle says:

    I personally really like her line about a “‘heroine’ addict slumping in a chair.” Glad to know that I’m probably going to get turned down from about 15 billion jobs in publishing as I near graduation, but people can write sloppy, poorly edited articles that they ADMIT they just threw together–not to mention the fact that they’re also wildly offensive to some people–and keep their jobs. What she wrote was horrible, but I’m also just concerned that Marie Clare and Maura Kelly herself don’t seem to take pride in their content.
    Michelle´s last blog post ..Dancing the Night Away

  13. Marie says:

    What bothers me the most about all this is that Marie Claire and this “writer” (I put it in quotes because I don’t consider her to be an actual writer, just a sloppy angry and hateful human being) are getting so much publicity out of it. I’m wondering if that was their initial intention.

    If in fact it does bother her THAT damn much, then she should go live under a rock and stay there, refraining from writing all together.
    Marie´s last blog post ..Instrumental

  14. Lisa says:

    I just blogged about this article, too. I was just so sad that this kind of hate was published. :(

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