Me after 1 child, pregnant with second, but before MS (and people told me I was fat)

I am so disgusted by a recent post on the Marie Claire website. Written by Maura Kelly, it is entitled, “Should “Fatties” Get a Room? (Even on TV?)“.  The piece is her take on the apparent controversy surrounding the show “Mike and Molly an overweight couple who met at Overeaters Anonymous.

Now I’ve never watched the show because I can tell from the commercials that it would make me angry.  Too many fat jokes – not my idea of comedy. But Ms. Kelly evidently has, because she’s made some conclusions that I’m guessing only the actor’s doctors can…

My initial response was: Hmm, being overweight is one thing — those people are downright obese! And while I think our country’s obsession with physical perfection is unhealthy, I also think it’s at least equally crazy, albeit in the other direction, to be implicitly promoting obesity! Yes, anorexia is sick, but at least some slim models are simply naturally skinny. No one who is as fat as Mike and Molly can be healthy. And obesity is costing our country far more in terms of all the related health problems we are paying for, by way of our insurance, than any other health problem, even cancer.

Ok, first.  Yes, people can be fat and healthy. Heart disease is hereditary in many families and thin people can have heart disease and high cholesterol.  My very thin and active husband has high blood pressure, a bad back, and even worse knees.  I’m obese, and I don’t have any of those problems.  He has high cholesterol, I don’t.  You cannot tell without medical tests how healthy someone is.  Secondly, can you prove obesity is costing our country more?  Is it obesity or bad diets? Where are the links to studies proving this?

She goes on to write…

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.

My extremely active husband

My extremely active & thin husband - Aug 2010

Again, I’m shocked. So in Ms. Kelly’s world, being overweight is akin to being strung out on drugs?  Watching me walk across the room is aesthetically displeasing?  Well, I find bad hair extensions and fake boobs aesthetically displeasing, but I’d NEVER have the nerve to tell someone she can’t do what she pleases with her body.

There’s so much more that she’s written that I disagree with, and yes after the post was made public two days ago and people started taking her to task she “apologized”. An apology that sounds very much like she did it because mom made her do it, not because she’s changed her mindset one bit. But the management of Marie Claire has not only not apologized, they’ve defended the piece.  That’s shameful.  Because of this, the once heavy Sharon Osborn has called for a boycott of Marie Clair magazine and it’s because of Mrs. Osborn’s Twitter tweets that I even became aware of it and I thank her for it.

I’m so tired of defending the fact that I’m alive, and I feel sorry for those who are not strong enough to brush it off. What Ms. Kelly did is beyond repulsive, it’s damaging.  I base my judgment on Ms. Kelly not on what she looks like, but what she shares with the universe.  I hope she never has the misfortune of getting an ailment or physical malady that makes her hate herself as much as she hates me.

Here’s the comment I posted on the Marie Claire website.

Me after MS

Me now, double chin and all - smiling? Yes, because although I'm no better than a heroine addict in Ms. Kelly's eyes, I felt well enough that day to go to my mom's and sew quilts for kids with cancer.

Seriously? I fight fat bias every day of my life. No, strike that, just the last 10 years since I got Multiple Sclerosis with Chronic Fatigue.  Yes, I’m fat because I’m sick.  I’m an organic vegetarian, I couldn’t eat any cleaner.

Exercise 30 minutes a day? I’d love to, but I’d be in bed for 2 days after recovering.  I’m lucky to be out of bed 5-6 hours a day.  And yet, when you see me the few times I’m well enough to travel or even go to the grocery store, all you see is some fat lazy woman you can’t stand to watch walk across the floor.

And by the way, I am happy with myself. I don’t have to be a certain size to enjoy life, my children, my husband, and the health I do have.  Perhaps its because I have a chronic and debilitating disease that I can see past the superficial and have realized that a life worth living is a good life and the container you live it in isn’t important.

Signed,

This fat girl who refuses to let you try to make me feel bad about myself