October 26th, 2010
04:13 PM ET
Before you even ask, yes I am plus-sized.
That’s germane because I am anticipating the comments given the massive discussion an article I wrote has generated.
It all started so innocently with me and some colleagues discussing the new show “Mike & Molly” which stars a pair of overweight actors and why when characters are big it’s such a huge deal.
So I did some reporting and wrote a piece titled “Weight is a big deal for TV, movie characters.” I steeled myself for the comments. It wasn’t the first time that I had weighed in on an issue dealing with overweight people and I knew that readers could be brutal.
And some of them were. “I will not watch a show with FAT people,” wrote a commenter named Mountbyte. “Flipping through the channel I stumbled across "Biggest Loser". It truly disgusted me. These shows are gross.”
But that was just the beginning.
Marie Claire.com writer Maura Kelly picked up on the story and penned a piece titled “Should "Fatties" Get a Room? (Even on TV?)” In it, Kelly references the original article which touched on some viewer’s lack of comfort at witnessing intimacy between a super-sized couple and shares her thoughts of the larger segment of society.
“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,” Kelly writes. “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.”
To say Marie Claire readers were upset would be an understatement.
“This is disgusting,” wrote one reader using the name “Greeba.” Not fat people. But your attitude toward them. Do you think all of the people who read your magazine are a size 6?”
Then Jezebel got into the discussion by writing “What Was Marie Claire Thinking With This “Fatties” Piece?” by Sadie Stein about the article and the fallout.
“Now, I must admit that as a blogger, you can't help but cringe for someone at the bottom of a pile-on — especially since, inevitably, a percentage of the commenters take the low road and get personal,” Stein writes. “But beyond thinking this stuff which is, of course, between her and her conscience, how could she not know this would happen? How could she think this was acceptable?”
What do you think? Are people being too hard on the Marie Claire writer?
We here at CNN.com had no idea that a little article about a big issue would spur so much conversation and debate. But we love that folks are discussing topics like body image, self esteem and perception.
As a matter of fact, we love it like a fat kid loves cake.
UPDATE: 10/27 1:23 p.m.
Marie Claire blogger Maura Kelly has updated her post to apologize and the magazine's editor-in-chief, Joanna Coles, has also spoken out on the controversy.
"I would really like to apologize for the insensitive things I've said in this post," Kelly wrote. "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."
Coles told Fashionista that the magazine has received more than 28,000 e-mail responses to the piece.
“Maura Kelly is a very provocative blogger,” Coles said. “She was an anorexic herself and this is a subject she feels very strongly about.”
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