Thursday, October 28, 2010

Maura Kelly Blog Post.

To know what I'm about to speak of, read this first:

As a formerly plus size girl myself (before losing 50 lbs this year), I'm sensitive about weight related digs. We live in a culture that puts entirely too much emphasis on size, weight, and looks in general. Above that, not everyones fat by 'choice' or even by their own doing. Many things factor into weight and health. Now to have a magazine blast overweight people, as this paragraph in particular does:

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.

is really shocking to me! As a former Marie Claire subscriber myself I've been shocked to see them stand behind what Maura wrote. My thoughts? She was unfair, out of line, and down right insensitive. Even when she added a somewhat half-hearted justification after the backlash from the original post, I'm not convinced she didn't mean it just the way it came out.

With eating disorders running rampant in young women today, I'm applaud to say the least by Marie Claire's post. What are we teaching women? When you have a platform such as a magazine, it's important that you are wise with your words - you are influencing a great number of people. With great power comes great responsibility, does it not?

I may no longer shop in the plus size section and to be honest I've never felt better about my body and my weight than I do now, after 6 months of hard work to get to where I am. That being said, I believe that I was no less worthy to be seen kissing a boy I love in public when I was 50 pounds heavier than I am now. And I would argue that if Maura Kelly is that easily disgusted perhaps the problems lies within her own attitudes towards people and body image, not in the people she views as inferior.

I hope that there will be consequences for Maura's blog post, as I'm sure the ramifications for those insecure women who read that article will be far-reaching and long-lasting.

A great reminder that our tongues are powerful tools of destruction when we allow them to be. The bible calls the tongue a restless evil, full of poison.

My thoughts from where I stand now are these...take care of your body, it's the only one you get. Work and fight for the body that you want, and love the way you look. People can be beautiful at any size and any shape. Never be ashamed of how you look. Don't be discouraged by narrow minded people. Try not to allow yourself to believe that you are the only one who believes you can get to where you want to's more than likely not true.

I've been watching this season of the biggest loser for the first time and I'm so inspired by these people who are going after what they want. Getting in shape and fighting obesity isn't an easy journey but it's also not an impossible one. There is always hope.



Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I agree with you or Maura. While I'm all about promoting and seeing different body types . . . it would be nice if we didn't promote unhealthy lifestyles -- whether that be airbrushed legs and abs coupled with anorexia or the morbidly obese. I hate that society has become okay with the weight issues that currently plague the U.S. and little is being done on any front (especially personal ones) to change them!

Helen said...

I agree with you and with her. On the one hand I think that everyone should be allowed to be happy and value themselves regardless of what they look like.

At the same time I feel that looking after yourself is a very important component of self-respect. I am not a naturally skinny person, I am actually one with a scarily slow metabolism, who has one heck of a sweet-tooth.

But I also know that that is how I was made and so I will run 4 times a week and do weights a couple of times and skip desserts and that sort of thing.

My mother (who gave me her metabolism) is currently quite overweight, and suffering all kinds of health problems as a result. She's had to have two surgeries in the last year, and I think that she's given up on herself. she's depressed, she doesn't like herself much, she moodswings like a maniac. Being heavily overweight is not just a case of other people staring at you, or struggling to find clothes that fit. It's a very serious health hazard.

I feel that if media promotes that kind of lifestyle, we're making it ok for people to disrespect themselves and let things get that bad.

I'm not saying we should all go for super-skinny, but we should promote being healthy, eating fruit and vegetables, exercising regularly and looking after ourselves. For some us us it is harder - there are always those people who seem to magically stay the same size even when they eat mountains of junk food. It's not fair, but it's what happens.

Although I must say, being grossed out by a fat couple on TV just makes me think that the marie-claire author is either insecure, or she's been starving herself for the last 10 years and wants to brag. The 'I know chubby people too' comment made me want to smack her.

I hope I don't offend anyone with this comment, but I think there are definite merits to both viewpoints, and it's not a fun issue ever. And before we start going on about the relationships between people around us, we should work on our relationships with ourselves.

and you are right, there is always hope!