WTF, Marie Claire? Stop Size-ism in the Media!

Posted on November 2, 2010


The internet is buzzing about Maura Kelly’s recent blog entry for Marie Claire entitled, “Should ‘Fatties’ Get a Room? (Even on TV?).” There is an uproar on Twitter (#unfollowmarieclaire) and Facebook, and the magazine has received approximately 28,000 email responses to the post. Kelly is “excited and moved by their responses,” which means she really doesn’t get the point, because the pubic is not crying out in approval of her blog post, it is crying out in outrage about her fat-hating bigotry.

I first read about this post a few days ago, and I decided not to post about it, because I didn’t want to spread the negativity by drawing attention to it. That was before I read about Marie Claire’s response to the outcry. Instead of apologizing for the hate-filled article and removing it from their website, they seem to be taking an “any publicity is good publicity” stance and basking in the negative attention. Enough is enough. It’s time to do something about this!

The article is so hate filled and awful that I don’t even want to copy and paste quotes here. Instead, I am pasting a call to action from a very well-written response to the Huffington Post article, “Dear Marie Claire and Media: Fat People Are People, Too” by Josh Shahryar, Journalist and Human Rights Activist:

Overweight people have become marginalized by the media simply because they’re overweight. Just like African Americans were marginalized because they were black and more recently, gay people because they’re gay. I understand fully that unlike the color of someone’s skin or someone’s sexual orientation obesity is a medical condition and a problem, but obese people aren’t. That is the issue. That is the problem. That is what both overweight, “normal” weight and underweight people need to come together and fight against…

I urge everyone who finds size-ism in the media as a menace to view this as a watershed moment. It’s time to come together and fight this bigotry to the bitter end. Change does not come without someone pushing for it. If we want this to change, if we want for us, overweight or not, to not be judged by our BMI, we need to not let this fire die down.

We need to stand up and demand change. Even if it means we need to force the issue daily on social networking sites. Even if it means we have to boycott media that continue to practice this bigotry. Even if it means we have to hold peaceful demonstrations for the end of this practice. If media does not change, we cannot change this culture that seems to have been forever marginalizing overweight people.

It’s not just people judging you on the street. It’s about losing job opportunities. It is about equal treatment in the health care system. It is about being able to breathe, knowing everything’s gonna be alright.

So, what actions can we take to demand an end to size-ism in the media? First of all, boycott Marie Claire! That seems pretty obvious. But what other ideas can you think of to 1) create change in the media’s attitude about weight and 2) minimize the negatives affects the media’s presentation of “ideal” body types has on our lives and the lives of our children? Please post your ideas!