The other day, my editor asked me, "Think people feel uncomfortable when they see overweight people making out on television?"First of all, notice how the author keeps talking about "them?" She obviously has no clue what it's like to struggle with weight problems (at least in this way) and I have a bit of a hard time having a thin person tell me how I should feel about my body. It's kind of like when straight people think they know more about being gay than gay people do or when white people try to tell black people how they should feel about being black. Here's a tip - if you haven't had to live through it then you should probably stfu. Of course this doesn't mean you're not allowed to have any thoughts on anything you haven't experienced first hand, but you probably shouldn't be writing articles for Marie Claire. Just saying.
Because I can be kind of clueless — I'm not much of a TV person — I had no idea what she was talking about, so she steered me to this CNN article, about the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly. As CNN explains, "the show centers around a couple who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous group [and] has drawn complaints for its abundance of fat jokes [as well as] cries from some viewers who aren't comfortable watching intimacy between two plus-sized actors."
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.
Now, don't go getting the wrong impression: I have a few friends who could be called plump. I'm not some size-ist jerk. And I also know how tough it can be for truly heavy people to psych themselves up for the long process of slimming down. (For instance, the overweight maintenance guy at my gym has talked to me a little bit about how it seems worthless for him to even try working out, because he's been heavy for as long as he can remember.)
But ... I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over. It's something they can change, if only they put their minds to it.
Also, I loooove how Kelly (I hate that we have the same last name) equates a fat person walking across the room with drunks and heroin addicts. Cause they're like exactly the same! (And of course this is saying nothing of the idea that people with drug problems aren't worthy of any sympathy.) Didn't you know that being fat is just like making a spectacle of yourself? That's right. Just existing is disgusting. But don't worry you poor disgusting fatties, Kelly knows exactly how hard it can be to psych yourself up for the long process of slimming down. Cause she's got like at least pudgy friend! But she's only a little pudgy. More like pleasantly plumped. Not like those disgusting obese fatties on this television show. Cause that would just be totally gross you know?
And if you have no clue on how to be less disgusting, rest assured that Kelly here has got your back. She's got tons of tips to help you. Yeah, she hasn't had to actually go through the long and often pointless process of actually losing weight, but she's read at least a dozen magazine article about it. Plus she's thin! And thin people always know best.
And as if Kelly's glaring insensitivity and overall asshole-ish ways weren't enough, the fact she thinks airing a show where fat characters actually exist and fall in love is "implicitly promoting obesity" is just the cherry on this shit pie. Guess what, having fat characters that are more than just punch lines or disgusting losers is not promoting obesity. Anyone who thinks the media actually promotes obesity when they talk about the giant horde of fat people that is ruining our country is obviously an idiot. And not fat. I can tell you that for damn sure. This show is not going to make people run out and stuff their faces with Twinkies (or whatever it is thin people think us fatties do).
What a fucking joke.