Too fat for love...according to Marie Claire Magazine
Maura Kelly, a dating blogger for Marie Claire, a women’s magazine, thinks I’m too fat to be loved.
As I often do, Kelly, a New York-based freelance writer, used another blog/story as a jumping off point to share her opinion on something she has given a lot of thought. How much fat people disgust her and how she doesn’t think we should be allowed in her field of vision, let alone on television shows like the new CBS sitcom, “Mike and Molly.”
The original blog, posted by CNN writer, Lisa Respers France, calmly debated whether or not larger-sized characters could get a storyline that wasn’t focused on their body size. It was a thoughtful post that showed the extreme prejudice still faced by fat actors who are often relegated to roles that only serve to poke fun of their heft while ignoring them as people. Kelly’s blog makes it clear how she feels about fat people. In her mind, we are not people at all.
Haters be hatin’
The title of her blog gives us instant insight into her thought process. It was titled: “Should ‘Fatties’ Get A Room (Even on TV)?” She wastes 633 words to first say how she thinks shows like “Mike and Molly” promote obesity and how horribly wrong that is. Then she admits the real truth why she dislikes a show she admits to never seeing:
“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.”
As you can imagine, her little blog has raised the ire of not only the so-called “Fatties” she is disgusted by the mere sight of, but also a lot of other sound-minded people who find such vitriol shocking and cruel. A day after the firestorm of controversy was ignited; she took to the Internet to post an apology. In it, she makes mention of her own battle with anorexia and points out that a friend told her how this might have colored her judgment towards plus-sized people. Hmmm…ya think?
Let she who is without fat cast the first donut
It would be very easy for me to sit in judgment of Maura Kelly the same way she sits in judgment of people like me. When I first heard of this story, my pulse raced as I felt my blood pressure rise in anger over this woman’s opinion. I’ve spent most of my life living in a larger-than-life frame. I have tried a variety of ways to change this. In spite of trying at least 100 different diets and having gastric bypass surgery (which ultimately failed due to terrible complications), I am still a mountain of a woman. Instead of hating myself over it, I’ve learned to love myself and embrace the trails of flesh I have, no matter how wide and imperfect. I wish Miss Kelly could learn to love her “molehill” of a body.
Too many fat people live miserable lives. I was one of them for a long time. Instead of living in the moment, I never let the moment come. I spent many years waiting for my “real life” to begin—once I dropped the pounds. I didn’t feel I deserved anything of value; my body was a war zone and my dreams were the casualty.
As one of the lucky few, I did marry. I married the wrong guy—it happens. We divorced. I left the marriage almost twice the size I was when I went into it. I spent a year hating my body, feeling bad about myself and convinced I’d never find a single man who would find me attractive. Turning on my television or reading the average woman’s magazine didn’t help. With few exceptions (Glamour Magazine, I applaud you for your constant diversity of beauty!), most of the images I’d see were of very thin women. It was as though fat women were invisible or didn’t exist at all.
Loneliness finally got the better of me. Seeing my soon-to-be-ex husband going out every weekend (with men—he was gay), I felt the need to be held again and kissed with passion. I signed up to a few dating websites. I was shocked at the number of men who found me not just attractive, but in their words, “Gorgeous.”
The greatest love of all
In the past seven years, I’ve slowly gotten comfortable with myself. I know I’m not for everybody, but then again, who is? In learning to love my whole self, I’ve learned to love others, too. It is rare I find anyone physically ugly; I joyfully embrace all of our imperfections and differences. I see the spark of the soul hiding behind the eyes of all people and I fall in love a hundred times a day with everyone I see. Beauty is everywhere if you open your heart to see it.
Maura Kelly, I’m sorry you’ve struggled with the pain of an eating disorder like anorexia. I’ve had a few friends who’ve fought similar struggles. It often starts with the hateful words of a parent or friend. The victim internalizes those words and lets fear consume them while they avoid consuming food. Obesity is anorexia’s twin. Instead of fearing food, we use it as a bunker in the war we have with our bodies to soften the blows from the outside world. We stuff ourselves in food until we are buried in it. Can’t you see that we’re two sides of the same coin, sister?
I still struggle with my body size. These days, it’s more about health than looks. I know how much easier my life would be physically (and fashionably) if I were smaller. If I lose weight, it will be for me. If I don’t, I won’t stop loving myself. At the end of the day, this body is all I’ve got. I hope that doesn’t make anyone sick. Then again, I really don’t care if it does.
VOTE FOR ME!!!
Good Mood Gig from SAM-e
And now a message we all need to hear: