On air: Should obese people be criticised for their own good?
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.
This is what Maura Kelly a writer for the US edition of the fashion magazine Marie Claire said talking about an American TV comedy programme called Mike and Molly, the show centres around a couple who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous group . Since she said this she has apologized.
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.
People all over the world are talking about her blog:
Enough is enough posts on the Sydney Morning Herald:
I'm confused - on one hand we have countless governmental/health agencies telling us about expanding waistlines, obesity epidemics, fattest nations in the world etc etc, while on the other hand we have countless groups telling us it's ok to be overweight and if you want that 3rd piece of chocolate cake then you damn well eat it!!!
The sooner obese people are made to feel uncomfortable about their size the better it is for them. You've got to be cruel to be kind. Look at how smokers are made to feel like lepers these days.
AndrewS also in the Sydney Morning Herald says:
I agree, we need to stop normalizing obesity and sending that message that it's okay to be unhealthy or even, proud of it (especially to the young ones). That's why it's kinda not cool with these two people on this show. But for others who have medical problems etc - they deserve our genuine sensitivity.
There are more than 1600 comments on the Marie Clarie magazine site including this one from justforthis2
Don't try to act like you (or anyone else) doesn't want to see "fatties" on TV because you're concerned about their health or some other nonsense. The reason you don't want to see them is the same reason your magazine isn't going to hire a model with a harelip: nobody actually wants to be confronted with reality and with the possibility that people aren't perfect. TV and magazines are forms of escapism, so you pick the most beautiful people to be featured in those formats and then photoshop them, etc. so that they're even more "ideal" than they were before.
So is it about beauty or is it about pointing out how bad for your health being overweight is? like Ked on fashionista blog points out:
Maura has a valid point. She made it very clear in her post that she is only talking about the morbidly obese, even people with weight disorders don't get to the morbidly obese range of fat percentage. I think it's irresponsible of you to defend a disorder just as dangerous as anorexia, bulimia, or alcoholism. Obesity causes millions of deaths every year, people who would've otherwise been perfectly healthy. And don't try to say it's natural, America was not 34% obese 30 years ago, the foods we eat now and the sedentary lifestyle we lead contributes to this DISEASE.
So is it valid to criticise obese people if it's for health reasons?