Bitch magazine, which has been following the recent controversy surrounding a Marie Claire post by sex and relationship blogger Maura Kelly, linked to an article on Fashionista.com featuring a response from the magazine’s editor in chief, Joanna Coles.
A little background: Kelly wrote a post titled “Should ‘Fatties’ Get a Room? (Even on TV?)” about “Mike & Molly,” a new CBS sitcom revolving around an overweight couple. Kelly recounts how her editor asked her to weigh in [Ed. note: Do I even need to add that no pun is intended here?] on backlash to the show — apparently, people are having issues with watching an overweight couple be affectionate and intimate on their TV screens. Kelly put in her own two cents thusly:
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.
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.
The post inspired hundreds of comments, most of them not exactly agreeing with Kelly’s excuse that she isn’t fatphobic because she has “a few friends who could be called plump.” Coles was asked her thoughts on the issue at a fashion event, and she seemed supportive of Kelly’s decision to post such controversy-stirring thoughts: “Maura Kelly is a very provocative blogger, she said. “She was an anorexic herself and this is a subject she feels very strongly about.” Furthermore, added Coles, “I’m concerned about a show that makes fun of large people.”
Kelly, for her part, has since added an update to her article, posted after the jump.