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More than a week ago, Marie Claire’s blogger Maura Kelly wrote a blog in response to her editor’s question, "Do you really think people feel uncomfortable when they see overweight people making out on television?"
Kelly’s Marie Claire blog says, ʺI think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other…ʺ Kelly goes on to say, ʺbecause I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them do anything. I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over.ʺ Kelly accuses the CBS television show ʺMike & Mollyʺ of promoting obesity.
Kelly, a recovering anorexic, seemed to be saying big is not beautiful.
According to recent news reports, Kelly’s insensitive remarks sparked an online outrage. The blog has received over 3200 comments and Marie Claire has received over 28,000 emails. Also, Twitter is flooded with calls for a boycott of Marie Claire.
Kelly has since apologized for her remarks. Kelly wrote, ʺI would really like to apologize for the insensitive things I've said in this post. Believe it or not, I never wanted anyone to feel bullied or ashamed after reading this, and I sorely regret that it upset people so much. A lot of what I said was unnecessary. It wasn't productive, either. I know a lot of people truly struggle to lose weight — for medical and psychological reasons — and that many people have an incredibly difficult time getting to a healthy size. I feel for those people and I'm truly sorry I added to the unhappiness and pain they feel with my post.ʺ
However, many feel Kelly’s apology was too little too late and insincere. “You didn’t realize your words were hurtful and this article could be seen as bullying when you wrote it? Do you really lack any sort of common sense?” writes one commenter.
Marie Claire’s posted anti-obesity article has sparked a fat-phobia debate. Has fat bashing gone too far?
According to Rachel Sklar, editor-at-large at Mediaite.com, as writers-as journalists, we should be engaging in difficult conversations. However, do so responsibly, knowledgably and based on facts.
Yes, obesity is an issue.