With the Marie Claire web post “Should Fatties Get A Room” by Maura Kelly receiving an absolute inundation of press from the likes of blogs, mainstream media including NBC’s Today and The View and even late night talk like Chelsea Lately, the girl has obviously hit a nerve with her written take on the comedy Mike & Molly.
Even after apologizing and pointing to her own issues with anorexia as the possible source of her contention, I don’t think this writer or Marie Claire are going to be easily forgiven for the insensitive, mean girl, sorority hazing statements that will live on forever on the world wide web including:
I think Id be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other because Id be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything.”
Blogs have made unbiased journalism a thing of the past, but is it too open? How did this post get past an editorial team who also prints a series titled Big Girl in a Skinny World,” meant to empower plus-sized women?
Similarly, New York Times Critical Shopper writer Cintra Wilson came under direct commenter attack after she penned a piece in August of 2009 conveying her unadulterated disgust for the JC Penney’s plus-sized mannequins, writing:
“It has the most obese mannequins I have ever seen. They probably need special insulin-based epoxy injections just to make their limbs stay on. Its like a headless wax museum devoted entirely to the cast of Roseanne.
The deft-with-words Wilson later posted an apology on her personal blog which read, “I don’t have any negative feelings at all about extra weight I think fat is totally sexy and gorgeous… I’m an unregenerate chubby chaser.” It seemed like an insensitive attempt at apology in response to an insensitive article.
V Magazine did a questionable spread last winter called “One Size Fits All” in which Crystal Renn donned the same sample size as thinner model counterpart Jacquelyn Jablonski. What may have been meant as a statement on hotness equality came off just weird. The hardly plus-sized model who could be considered the poster girl for weight in the fashion industry was also the model in a recent French Vogue editorial which featured multiple images of her eating massive amounts of food. The photos were most likely meant as some sort of commentary on body image and food, but they came off promoting gluttony and belied the beauty and glamour of a girl who has walked the runways of Chanel. Both of these editorials were discussed in the media, but neither faced as much vitriol as the pieces penned by both Kelly and Wilson.
In other words, it seems the fashion industry is allowed biased commentary in imagery but when it comes to outright bigoted comments, there’s no room for leeway. It’s shocking to read what can easily be considered a hate article. If the same were said of any other group in terms of race, gender or religion, it probably would have faced even more backlash.
Are these writers just reinforcing the insensitivity overweight Americans face on a daily basis? Should free speech still extend to writers when it’s bigoted, cruel and in a word ignorant?