Marie Claire Magazine And The “Fatties”

“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. “

ID-100127626Where do you think that this came from? A forum for teens where the posting got out of hand? A backwater redneck blog with no sense of shame?

Nope. It was written by Maura Kelly on the popular Marie Claire magazine site. The writer was opining that she shouldn’t have to have the displeasure of watching overweight people show affection to each other on TV. Some of her commentary is so outrageous that I have to think that this is just a manufactured bit of drama designed to attract attention and links from throughout the blogosphere. Twitter is absolutely abuzz with Tweets ripping the editors at Marie Claire, a new one.

As someone who has witnessed the devastation of an eating disorder firsthand,  I am disgusted that Marie Claire would stoop so low as to perpetuate body shaming  for the sake of a spike in traffic.  Comparing a fat person with a drunk person stumbling around a bar?  Comparing them to a heroin addict?  Were the editors three sheets to the wind drunk when they posted this shit?

Let’s try this. Let’s replace any reference to fat people in the above paragraph with black and see how it reads shall we?

“So anyway, yes, I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two black people 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 any black 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. “

Listen up Maura. If you don’t like the sight of two fat people kissing other, change the fucking channel to Americas Next Top Model or Dancing With The Stars. While you roll around in that cesspool of popular culture you can be sure you will be spared the horror of  fat people gracing your screen.

Oh, and Maura? Kiss my fat ass.


Since the posting of this article the author of  Marie Claire’s post today, Maura Kelly, has responded to the outrage with a formal apology.

“I would really like to apologize for the insensitive things I’ve said in this post. 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. A lot of what I said was unnecessary; it wasn’t productive, either.

I know a lot of people truly struggle to lose weight— for medical and psychological reasons—and that many people have an incredibly difficult time getting to a healthy size. I feel for those people and I’m truly sorry I added to the unhappiness and pain they feel with my post.”

Fellow blogger Jamie Varon also posted a response to Marie Claire’s article.

The As You Are Campaign – Be Better.  Be The Change, Not The Problem!

Free Digital Photos.




  1. Emma

    I don’t Think that society is to blame for obesity at all. Indeviduals decide what they put in their bodies, not society. What is stopping the person who spends a pound on bag of chips to snack on from spending a third of that on an apple? This is a choice. I choose not to eat massive portions, and i choose to eat treats occasionally. My will power is appalling- if i have a box of cakes, or a packet of biscuits in the house i will eat them. ALL. So i CHOOSE not to buy a lot of these when i go food shopping. It is through my choices that i am not obese.

    I’m sorry that I misinterpreted your post- maybe I’m alone in this view on this site, which is a real shame. People come in all HEALTHY shapes and sizes from thin to curvy- there can be no one physical ideal, but an obese figure is not healthy, and I really do feel uncomfortable that this is a body shape that we should accept as normal.

    • What's stopping people from buying an apple instead of a bag of chips?

      Access to an apple instead of a bag of chips.

      There are not farmers markets on every corner in the entire world. Sometimes all that's within walking distance of people without access to reliable transportation is fast food or grocery stores that have small, expensive produce selection. I went out of town for a reunion and spent $15 on a head of lettuce, an onion and a few tomatoes when I had to stop off at a grocery store in a rural town. I could have purchased 5 large bags of Doritos for that amount of money.

      In the USA, the government heavily subsidizes corn, making it cheaper and more widely available. It gets put into junk foods, making junk foods cheaper and more widely available. When a family that isn't as privileged as you are is deciding how to spend the $100 they've got for groceries for two weeks, they have to make a choice between healthy and good enough to get by on. Good enough to get by on will buy them enough food to last two weeks and be easy to prepare when they come home from the 60-80 hours a week they're working to make ends meet. This is relevant because obesity and poverty are related.

      Why do you choose to continue to shame fat people for the choices they make? How many fat people have you successfully gotten to lead a healthier life style with that attitude? Losing weight is a lot harder than just choosing an apple over a twinkie or choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

      • agreed

        I totally agree with yout! Obesity is definately related to poverty! Even Whoopi Goldberg has said that on the view. She was talking about how poor people do not have access to fresh fruits/vegetables therefore the kids get fed junk food, which in turn leads to obesity. And I hate to tell all of you this, but, when people are obese from childhood, it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE for them to lose weight. They have already aquired health conditions such as insulin resistance, diabetes, and have poor metabolism. They can't just change what they eat, even if they do, it wouldn't matter, their body would still process it, and turn it into FAT. So we need to have education programs for parents and access for them to feed their children the right things so we can start them off healthy at birth. This generation is of which people give their kids only fast food (something quick and easy) and junk!!!

    • Toy With Me

      Emma – I will have to agree to disagree when it comes to obesity. Some people smoke, others drink in excess and then there are those that eat unhealthy portions or foods. Those that do this, for whatever reason, seem to lack the ability to change their habits or control their will power. Perhaps until someone has experienced a similar problem they will never understand the difficulties surrounding it.

    • Reply to Emma

      Emma, you are an idiot!!! It is your choice to not be obese?? You are not obese because your body works normally. Do you think anyone choses to be obese? Why would they? You think they think it is FUN maybe? NOT!!!
      People are Obese because they have problems with the way their body functions. Or they are fed the wrong things as a child and they develop health problems which overloads their bodies and makes it not function properly (therefore they gain more and more weight). Talk to an endocrinologist!!! Until then, keep your trap shut! SHOVE AN APPLE IN IT!
      There are lots of "obese" people that are perfectly healthy as well. Just because you say they aren't doesn't mean a damn thing! Just like their are skinny people that drop dead of heart attacks every day!

      • Canadian Caffeinator

        "Shove an Apple in it!" I second that emotion. If it were just a problem of "don't eat chips and McDonalds crap" then there would be less of those skinny people who only eat junk food constantly. You know who I mean. They would all be fat too. If portion control played as big a part in it as Emma the righteous thinks, then we all would be happy and cheery and appropriate, in her eyes, I'm sure. I encourage everyone to consider watching Jamie Oliver's Eat to Save Your Life. For those who don't know, He's a rather famous chef in the UK. And he's amazing. In addition to his healthy meals at school cafeterias, he put on this special one time show with everyday thin and not thin and in the middle UK people. Yes, one guy eats enough salt to kill a rhino, fine, but after Jamie suggests some of course healthy food alternatives and simple recipes (because apparently many people are losing the knowledge and confidence in cooking in major cities these days) he shows and explains some test results. The obese mature man was the mose heart-healthy of the men. He could take more, his heartrate was stronger, and he had less percentage of body fat than the skinny little girlie in her 20's. The percentage of fat in the blood was highest in the pale lean telemarketing college 25 hr old man than everyone else in the lineup, including the morbidly obese individuals. What does that say about us? Just because someone looks big, has rolls, or huffs up the stairs, that doesn't mean you're healthier than they are, EMMA. And they say that muscle burns more energy than fat, don't they…. Isn't that food for thought.
        I'm burning more than you Emma. And I'm bigger. Big enough to shove that apple in your mouth for you if you're not up to the job.
        Also a shoutout to the slender girls with less chest and hips. I feel you too. It sucks for me to hear if you whine about it, but I'm sure it bites to hear me complaining about my 36H lead weights. And I know it hurts you just as much when people yell at you to eat something, just like when they tell me not to. Take heart in the fact that we're all women, and beautiful outside as we are inside. (which means Maura's in some trouble, as her insides are looking pretty tarry)

  2. Emma

    I agree with you Anna- I think society has gone to far in accepting obesity as normal. Obesity is not normal, it ruins and shortens lives. Our bodies were not built to cope with the amount of crap that is put into them. I am not overweight- I have a BMI of 22. I do not starve myself, exercise compulsively or avoid junk food. I do have an underactive thyroid which can cause people to gain weight, but proper management of this by my doctor means it isn’t a factor. I truly do not understand how a person can allow themselves to become, or stay obese. My heart breaks for the children who are being brought up obese and overfed because it is unnessicary, and they are the ones who will have to deal with it when they are older. I have two children who again, miss out on nothing as far as food goes, yet are active and slim. Portion control.

    I am afraid I also agree somewhat with the Marie Claire writer. I have no opinion on fat people kissing, but I admit I do feel repulsed when I see a morbidly obese person walk across a room, or worse eating a large portion of junk food. The biggest thought to cross my mind is “how could you do this to yourself ?” or “why would you continue putting that into your body?” I am afraid that my opinion will be unpopular, but I really do think that “fat acceptance” has gone too far. I was shocked to see in this article the word fat being replaced with black. There is nothing wrong with being black, it is a skin colour, it is not caused by unhealthy living, it is not a choice, it has no effect on a persons health. It just is… The same as being White or Asian. It is not a health issue, you can’t compaire the two.

    • Anna

      I'm sorry, Emma, but I did not meant that "society has gone to far in accepting obesity as normal". What I meant was that society is structured in a way that it promotes obesity because we are always in a hurry, we have no time to have fun, seeing our friends (and having friends) is harder, and food is available at low costs all the time to supply this need for love, affection and happiness. I think it it a general problem, and I don't think anybody "allow themselves to become, or stay obese", I think they have issues that need to be addressed, with help and consideration.

    • Anna

      I also disagree that "(being black) it is not a choice" but being fat is. Again, nobody chooses to be obese or anorexic, because it's a hard life. There are other, not so simple factors, in place here. Some, a very small portion, have serious health problems that makes them gain weight. Other have psychological disorders (compulsiveness, for e.g.), that makes it really hard to stop. Others use food as a (bad) compensation for depression. To judge all obese as just someone that does not have the will to stop eating is the same as saying everyone with a fever should just stop being so hot.

    • Toy With Me

      Emma – Being "repulsed" by someone because they are obese truly saddens me. What our society needs more of is acceptance. Acceptance, understanding and compassion.

      I don't believe being obese is a choice. There are underlying factors that contribute to putting one's self at risk of major health issues.

      As for substituting "obese" for "being black", this was to prove that insulting anyone based solely upon appearances is inconsiderate at best.

  3. Anna

    I would like to add two sides to the story, both mine.
    After I had my daughter, I gained a lot of weight (16kg, approx 35 pounds), and stayed like that for two years. I used to defend that I should NOT look like models (and I still think I shouldn't), and, for this reason, I should weight as much as I liked (now I think differently).
    When my body mass index reached obese (see, I decided I was putting my life in risk, and went to weight watchers. After 6 months, I lost that weight, and I have been keeping this weight for 2 years now.
    What I learned with the process is that I gained and lost the weight because of two things:
    1) I use food as comfort AND
    2) I have a compulsive personality.
    Combine the 1 and 2 and you have weight gain. Combine Weight Watchers with 2, and you have weight loss. I do know I have a compulsion problem, and I have to check myself all the time or I will eat compulsively or diet compulsively.
    So, back to the article, is it gross to see obese people? I don't think about the obesity, but I think about the issues behind it. Nobody chooses to be obese or anorexic, because it's a hard life. You have to adapt yourself in every single aspect of your life: clothes and seats to start, society frowning on you, friends teasing you, difficulties in finding a partner, and others. You HAVE to have other reason to eat a lot, and a good one. In my case I think I needed happiness and love, and food represented it. For a lot of people that is the case, and we live in a world where these are hard to find items. Food is there, is cheap, is fast.
    So, when she says that it reminds her of a drunk person or a heroin addict I believe it is possible to see someone that has a compulsive personality. And it is sad, not disgusting (all of them, obese, drunk, addicts, gamblers). They need help, like the one at Weight Watchers, but it may not be enough. When one person is obese, this person may have a problem. When a nation is obese, and the world is going on the same direction, there's something wrong with the way society is structured. Best to all.

    • Toy With Me

      True, the national obesity rate is on the rise. Unfortunately articles such as Maura Kelly's are anything but helpful. Thanks for sharing your story Anna.

  4. Amanda

    I read that whole article and could not believe it was even published. It's so hurtful! Her apology is crap. She said what she wanted to say and that is all, she's not sorry. How could she think this wouldn't offend people? It's superficial garbage!

    And replacing 'fat' with 'black' was friggin genius!

  5. Mel

    Wow. What a sticky situation they have (manufactured or) found themselves in.

    It is sad that people can’t look past appearances and judge character instead. People are more than a waist size, hair color, or designer label!

    Thank you for bringing this situation to light!

    Ps. Have you seen Drop Dead Diva? I think that should be the fate for all people like Maura, who live in a superior bubble judging people on superficial things.

  6. Janet

    That was amazingly stated. I think it's weird that she didn't realize that what she said was hurtful until other people read it. You would think that the title alone might have been a clue that she was being hateful. But the quote, the quote that has been used in every blog entry I've seen on the story, should have been a big screaming sign to the editors that this is someone who obviously needs to be reigned in a little bit.

    • Toy With Me

      Cracking jokes about someone's appearance, race, physical disability or sexual preference is ignorant and intolerable. It infuriates me.

      Thanks for sharing Soccermom, I appreciate it.

  7. Juli

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention, because I had not heard about it…just wow. I had to read her whole article, and she did apologize in an update, but the fact that she thought it was initially fit to post in the first places is crazy to me.What really bothers me is the fact that there have been overweight male leads on TV shows for years-King of Queens, anyone?? It only seems to become a problem when the woman is overweight. And I especially appreciate her nutrition and exercise suggestions…*gag*

    • Toy With Me

      Yes, she did apologize which would have been difficult. Just pointing that out, not saying it fixes everything.

      Let us not forget though Roseanne was a very popular show with both a 'female' and male lead who were over weight. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Juli 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *