Writer Says Sorry for Column Deriding "Fatties"
Maura Kelly, a writer for popular women's glossy Marie Claire, has attracted a still-raging firestorm of criticism for an online column about TV show "Mike and Molly" titled "Should Fatties Get a Room?" in which she aired her own squeamishness about being in the presence of the overweight. The most offending paragraph:
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.After a number of critics -- including readers in an over 1600 comment-long thread -- jumped on Kelly for sounding like a bully and infecting others with her own diseased-seeming mindset, she apologized yesterday, explaining that she was an eating disorder survivor and blaming her "anorexic mindset" for the "extreme reaction" visible in the column. In a disclaimer now running at the bottom of the column, she writes, " A lot of what I said was unnecessary. It wasn't productive, either." Particularly irritating to bloggers is the apparent hypocrisy from Marie Claire higher-ups, who have endeavored to posit their magazine as a more open-minded, less patriarchy-kowtowing alternative to rival glossies. In her own column at The Frisky, Jessica Wakeman blames Marie Claire's editors for exploiting Kelly's very personal body-image hang-ups in the name of "provocation." Irin Carmon at Jezebel writes that "What separates Kelly's "extreme reaction" from say, a fat-hating Internet commenter is the platform she was given in a major national magazine's web site." Read more at Jezebeland The Frisky.