Some chick named Maura Kelly who writes for Marie Claire had a truth serum moment and admitted what we all feel — fatties included — when we have to see fat people existing in our field of view.
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.
What person, besides a freak outlier fat fetishist, enjoys the sight of a fat load waddling down the street or face-smashed with another fatty in corpulent PDA? Two zeppelins careening into each other for an intimate embrace as their rolls undulate outward like a flesh tsunami is repulsive. Or something to laugh at to take our minds off our revulsion. The morbidly obese are the modern monster, a hideous deviation from the evolved human norm; they are loathsome creatures who inspire our hate and jeering. Fat people cause environmental degradation by despoiling pristine views of healthy, sexy people, and by eating more than they need to survive. Telling them to push away from the table is the green thing to do.
Naturally, the utterance of such an ugly truth caused a stampede by fatsos and fembots.
“Do you think all of the people who read your magazine are a size 6?” wrote one reader. [Ed: No but they should be.]
“People like you ‘contribute to the obesity problem’ with being so shallow,” fired another commenter. [Actually, I think the donuts do that.]
“I have an overweight little girl who does not sit in front of the TV for hours, or constantly eat. She is adorable, smart, funny and will be a wonderfully productive member of society,” added one angry mom on Shine. [And ignored by men.]
Another reader dripped with sarcasm: “Dear Maura Kelly, I sincerely apologize for my disgusting body and all the various rolls of fat on my person.” [Not good enough. Less talking, more exercising.]
James Zervios, director of communications for the Obesity Action Coalition, an advocacy group for obesity education, said, “You’d never see an article like that about a cancer patient. It saddens me that those who suffer from obesity aren’t treated with the same respect.” [One guess how cancer is different than obesity.]
Zervios worries Kelly’s message that over-weight people are “gross” sends a damaging message to the 93 million Americans affected by the epidemic, many of them children. [Because a mean word is much more damaging to one’s health than an extra 100 pounds.]
“It’s bad enough that magazines Photoshop people’s bodies to look more unattainable, now you have a writer at one of them saying they can’t stand to look at an obese person. A young over-weight girl should never have to read that kind of article.” [On the contrary, the best thing for her is a helpful reminder of her ugliness. Don’t want the chubby younguns growing up with unwarranted high self-esteem.]
But Zervios blames the media at large for the growing intolerance of the over-weight. “I think the word ‘fatty’ should be stricken from magazines and TV in general,” he says. “Anytime obesity is brought up in pop culture people think it’s okay to go for the jugular.” [It is a natural inclination to ostracize the weak and the monstrous.]
This “blame the media” refrain is the reflexive blurt of the human nature denialists. It comes in many flavors: blame society, blame cultural conditioning, blame stereotyping, blame heteronormativity, blame subtextual bias… anything to avoid confronting the reality of evolved immutable human preferences for some traits over others. People are intolerant of obesity because it innately disgusts them, not because “the media” tells them to be disgusted. Media propaganda can make it more or less acceptable to publicly express that disgust, but it can’t create the disgust out of thin air.
Unsurprisingly, the shrikes over at Jizzabomb were in high dudgeon.
How could [Maura Kelly] think this was acceptable? It’s that, as much as anything else, that’s worrisome: that at a mainstream magazine with a wide reach and an ostensibly progressive outlook could think, in 2010, this was okay to write and implicitly endorse.
American feminism — supporting the right to freely speak one’s mind since… well, never. Parrot zee PC party line or vee vill suffocate you mit our precision-engineered pendulous ta tas!
After 30,000 comments of roly-poly righteous indignation, Maura Kelly meekly capitulated on her blog and apologized. But she apologized in that peculiar female way which attempts to reframe the apology as a self-pity party to warm the crowd to her side.
To that point (and on a more personal level), 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.
Translated from womanese: “I’m hurting too! Redraw alliances.”
Sometimes I feel a bit lonely out here in this borderland outpost of the internet. My wrecking balls — enormous though they are — can only demolish so much shit in a lifetime. Luckily, I’m getting help from the far reaches of the world. In Brazil, college guys are jumping on fat chicks and riding them like rodeo bulls until they are bucked off. Points are scored for how long they can stay on. (Translation algorithm needs work.)
A group of students from Universidade Estadual Paulista, one of the most important of the country, organized a “competition”, called “Fat” of Rodeo, whose goal was to grab their colleagues, the obese, preferences and try to simulate a Rodeo–getting as long as possible on the prey.
Be careful. You do not want to get kicked in the nads by a diabetic cankle or glassed by a flying fupa.