Anorak News | Marie Claire Let Maura Kelly Abuse Fat People For Fame And Web Traffic

Marie Claire Let Maura Kelly Abuse Fat People For Fame And Web Traffic

by | 27th, October 2010

ROLL over Jan Moir – Maura Kelly is making her bid to become the world’s most odious, pisspoor columnist in her attack on fat people for Marie Claire.

We’ll deliver the best bits of an article that Kelly’s editor allowed to be published.

But before that a few words about Dear Maura Kelly, who realises that so long as you create a name for yourself, your publication will employ you:

Although she’s in her thirties, she’s never been in love before — and has started to wonder if she ever will be. She’s decided to start making dating her job if it’s ever going to happen. Hence, this blog.

Her lack of love is now her livelihood. What else do we know about Dear Maura Kelly?

She rides her vintage Raleigh as often as possible – usually wearing heels, and always wearing her helmet. (She will not be a fashion victim!) Some of the things she loves: indie rock, peanut butter, Fellini films, the Brooklyn Bridge, running (slowly) in Prospect Park (always wearing New Balance sneakers) and The Brothers Karamazov. And definitely her friends, too; her tight circle includes a fashion designer, a hard news journalist, a couple magazine editors, a bike messenger-turned-lawyer, a professor of philosophy and an aspiring screenwriter.

Because Maura Kelly has no-one special to share her life with, she will share it with you, her imaginary friends. (If you want to be real friend and make the list you need a job Maura thinks will reflect well on her, like a vivisectionist or a jihadi who retained as an architect.)

Dear Maura Kelly has been invited to write on a sitcom called Mike & Molly. It’s about two lovers who meet at Overeaters Anonymous. Dear Maura hasn’t seen the show but is still able to review it. It’s called “Should Fatties Get a Room?”

The other day, my editor asked me, “Do you really think people feel uncomfortable when they see overweight people making out on television?” Because I can be kind of clueless — I’m not much of a TV person — I had no idea what she was talking about…

Kelly read about the show. Because Kelly is a proper journalist who does her research.

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.

Dear Maura Kelly is on a roll, so to speak:

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.

The war on the fat is a big deal in the UK, too. In the country that bangs on about equal opportunities, the fat are still fair game for abuse.

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.

No. This is not a parody. Marie Claire is not that intentionally funny. It is beauty and fashion mag that has:

Introduced a “fat burning lip balm


And:CAN THINKING TOO MUCH MAKE YOU FAT?” (Maura Kelly is thin)

Invited you to “freeze your fat away

And promised that you can burn fat if you BREATHE THROUGH YOUR NOSE”.

    Mindful of the organ’s assault on fat it is unlikely the magazine’s editor Joanna Coles is too worried by Maura Kelly. Look out for Kelly getting lots more work on the back of this:

    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.

    You are, Maura. You are. But some of your friends are plump…

    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.)

    And enjoys eating? Has he found love? Are you flirting with him, Maura? Is one fatty in a shag ok? Does the fatty make you look better?

    But … I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over.

    Boom! Boom!

    It’s something they can change, if only they put their minds to it.

    Although thinking can make you fat (see Marie Claire passim).

    …I admit that there’s plenty that makes slimming down tough, but YOU CAN DO IT! Trust me. It will take some time, but you’ll also feel so good, physically and emotionally. A nutritionist or personal trainer will help — and if you can’t afford one, visit your local YMCA for some advice.)

    Now Maura gets to that thinking, possibly as she jobs on the spot:

    Then again, I guess these characters are in Overeaters Anonymous. So … points for trying?

    Then again, I tend to think most television shows are a kind of junk food for the mind and body. The boob tube gives us an excuse to turn off both our brains and our bodies and probably does a helluva lot to contribute to the obesity problem, over all. So … I don’t know.

    Keep up with that research, Maura. Then again..:

    What do you guys think? Fat people making out on TV — are you cool with it? Do you think I’m being an insensitive jerk?

    Cue a media shitstorm. And Maura Kelly then does the one thing that will most damage her: she starts to defend her half-cocked, ill thought out pap with an attempt at reason.

    I would like to reiterate that I think it’s great to have people of all shapes and healthy sizes represented in magazines (as, it bears mentioning here, they are in Marie Claire) and on TV shows–and that in my post, I was talking about a TV show that features people who are not simply a little overweight, but appear to be morbidly obese. (Morbid obesity is defined as 100% more than their ideal weight.) And for whatever it’s worth, I feel just as uncomfortable when I see an anorexic person as I do when I see someone who is morbidly obese, because I assume people suffering from eating disorders on either end of the spectrum are doing damage to their bodies, and that they are unhappy. But perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to judge based on superficial observations.

    Stop, Maura. You need to stop. Put something in your hands to make typing impossible. Try a cake. A bun. An axe:

    To that point (and on a more personal level), a few commenters and one of my friends mentioned that my extreme reaction might have grown out of my own body issues, my history as an anorexic, and my life-long obsession with being thin. As I mentioned in the ongoing dialogue we’ve been carrying on in the comments section, I think that’s an accurate insight.

    Oh no! Maura is now the victim of her own prejudice. She is lost. Her authority is shot down. Anorexia drove her to it? Anorexia turned you into a bigoted, hateful troll of a hack who is now internationally famous and, as we way, guaranteed lots of work…

    Should Fatties Get a Room? (Even on TV?) [Marie Claire]

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    Posted: 27th, October 2010 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comments (3) | TrackBack | Permalink