If there is an upside to the "provocative" "opinion piece" that was Maura Kelly's exercise in fat-shame, it's the amazing writing it's generated. Here, just a few of the awesome responses.
People have made the valid argument that to describe any of these as "counterpoints" is to suggest that Kelly had a "point" in the first place beyond "fat people gross me out and their having sex lives makes me uncomfortable (because I'm really worried about their health." It's not so much the haterade that needs addressing, as the fact that it's so entrenched that it could be published, by multiple people, in a national magazine. Should this farcical "conversation" need to exist? Of course not. Does it? To our collective shame, yes. Although this is not a conversation as much as a schooling. We can't even keep up with all the blogs and articles explaining — brilliantly, hilariously, cuttingly, truthfully, proactively — what should never need explaining. Just a couple:
File this one under "If you think these things, you are an asshole, and if you publish them on the internet and in a major magazine you are really the worst human being"
Ruthie O, Sadie Magazine:
Romantic love has always been policed. Class has been the traditional barrier between lovers. Race, too. Today we can see with the debate over Don't Ask Don't Tell and same-sex marriage that people want to prevent same sex love. In fact, I've heard homophobic men say that two dudes kissing grosses them out, just in the same way two "fatties" kissing makes you gag. Congratulations, Maura Kelly, you find yourself in a long line of jackasses who try to police and normalize the human experience of love and intimacy.
Josh Shahryar, Huffington Post:
Editors are supposed to not just click spell-check on MS Word. They're supposed to read things and judge them by their content as well. If something is insensitive, hateful and generally unproductive, editors are supposed to not publish it. Ms. Coles is just as responsible for this post as Ms. Kelly is. What should've happened was for the post to be replaced with a sincere apology and for Ms. Coles to come forward and issue her own sincere apology for letting this shameful attack on people's image get published. Obviously, when they failed at their second attempt at quelling this, they tried it a third time by attempting to turn this into a debate by hastily arranging for some of their plus-sized bloggers to try and kill the fire. There's an old saying in Persian, "The more you stir fresh feces, the more it will smell."
Jen Lancaster, Jennsylvania:
Marie Claire – you knowingly paid a former anorexic to write a snarky article about fat people?
I mean, one of your editors not only suggested this topic but then read over the finished copy and thought, "Yes, this will do nicely," by allowing it to be posted under your masthead with the title Should Fatties Get a Room?
And now you're surprised that people didn't like it?
Are you fucking kidding me?
I'm not buying it, Marie Claire.
And I'm not buying your magazine, either.
Stacey Ballis, The Polymath Chronicles
As an educator who spent over 15 years working with teenagers, I know how damaging the sort of attitude that Kelly espouses can be. Marie Claire is a magazine targeted at young women in their most impressionable and vulnerable years. They might think that cheeky little pieces like Maura Kelly's are sassily provocative, but what they are is the propaganda of hate. Its okay to revile overweight people, because of course, it is just an issue of having some self control! That they don't seem to care that it gives permission for others to embrace that very intolerance, can feed into the culture of bullying that is so prevalent today amongst young people is irresponsible and extremely disappointing.
Kelsey Wallace, Bitch.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised by this, but I'd honestly expect this response to be from somewhere like AskMen.com, not Marie Claire. It's immature, misinformed, offensive, and downright disappointing. If you don't want to see fat people on TV because your delicate thin-privileged eyes can't handle it, Maura Kelly, then change the channel. But cut the fat-shaming crap because we don't need any more of it, especially not from you and Marie Claire.
atchka, Fierce Fatties
Now, for some armchair activism.
We need you to contact Dove and tell them what you think of their new campaign. Tell them we are boycotting Marie Claire and any advertisers who continue to support them until Joanna Coles issues a formal apology and commits to promoting positive body images REGARDLESS of weight.
Contact them through their website AND flood their Facebook page with your concerns.
There will be plenty of advertisers to turn to after Dove, but for now, let us focus on the one corporation whose marketing campaign claims to be body positive.
Marie Claire is playing the waiting game to see if this will blow over.
We must put pressure on their advertisers until we see results.
Fuck You, Maura Kelly & Fat Shamers Around the World [Sadie]
Dear Marie Claire and Media: Fat People Are People, Too [Huffington Post]
I've Got Your Counterpoint Right Here, Marie Claire [Jennsylvania]
Marie Claire, You Are Dead To Me. [The Polymath Chronicles]
Economic Sanctions - [Fierce Fatties]
If Maura Kelly Doesn't Like Seeing Fat People, Perhaps She Should Get A Room And Not Leave It [Feministe]
Fatphobia Alert: Fatties Should Not Be Allowed To Kiss, Apparently! [Bitch]
If You're Fat-Phobic, You're Also An Ignorant, Bigoted Idiot
What Was Marie Claire Thinking With This "Fatties" Piece?
Marie Claire Responds To "Fatties" Controversy
Marie Claire's Controversy Counterpoint
Watch the TV Clip of Two People Kissing That Has Marie Claire So Grossed Out