A few days before Maura Kelly, a blogger for Marie Claire, published a piece called "Should Fatties Get A Room?" we received an email asking why this site "glorifies" obesity.
The email read:
What is the Jezebel obsession with glorifying obesity? Why is being obese the only exception to body snarking? It is beyond absurd and makes no sense.
You know what? Maura and that reader are bigots. BIGOTS.
big•ot (noun): A person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
If you think that watching a fat person walk across the room is "gross," and if you think not allowing readers to comment on a woman's weight is "glorifying" obesity, you are a bigot. You are treating a group — people who weigh more than "normal" (whatever that is) — with hatred and intolerance.
We live in a society that constantly sends messages to women, telling them they are not good enough the way they are. Advertising campaigns, women's magazines and other types of media try to cajole us into wanting to be sexier, shinier and yes, thinner. But — and this is important — THIN and HEALTHY are not the same thing. And: FAT and UNHEALTHY are also not the same thing.
Some skinny people smoke, do drugs and eat fatty foods.
Some fat people exercise regularly and eat healthy foods.
As we've mentioned before, Steven N. Blair, one of the nation's leading experts on the health benefits of exercise, is short and fat. He runs every day.
Are there are fat people who are lazy overeaters? Yes. And there are thin folks who are lazy overeaters.
To discuss a fat person as a human who deserves respect does not "glorfty" obesity. Misogynistic speech is rampant on the web; anonymous commenters delight in critiquing, nit-picking, and mocking the appearance of women. Often a woman's appearance is beyond her control. There are many reasons a person's body looks the way it does, genetics being first and foremost.
Some people gain weight because they overeat.
Some people gain weight because they don't exercise.
Some people gain weight due to depression.
Some people gain weight because of medication.
Some people gain weight because of polycystic ovary syndrome.
We could go on. Point being, you cannot LOOK at someone and make a judgment about his or her health. So you shouldn't. And really: Even if you do know why someone is thin or fat, what business is it of yours? None. If a fat person disgusts you, if you're afraid of black people, if you're grossed out by gays kissing, know this: Your intolerance says way more about you than about those who repel you. When you're judging someone by weight and not moral compass, intelligence, empathy, creativity, talent or sense of humor, what kind of person are you? If you see two people — one fat and one thin — and say that the fat one disgusts you, what happens if you find out that the fat one is a loving mother and vet and the thin one is a serial killer?
Again: You cannot judge someone based on appearance. That said, you can read someone's words and tell if they are ignorant, biased, sizeist and hateful. And Maura Kelly, the reader who sent the email, and ALL of the fatphobic fat-shamers out there are crude, insensitive, and prejudiced. Back in the day, people used to say that black people were intellectually inferior, that homosexuals were promiscuous. Today we consider this type of intolerant thought disgusting, abhorrent and politically incorrect. Someday we'll realize how bigoted and offensive we were about "fatties." Hopefully very, very soon.
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Watch the TV Clip of Two People Kissing That Has Marie Claire So Grossed Out
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