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Posted at 11:47 AM ET, 10/28/2010

Marie Claire's Maura Kelly: Should she be fired for "fatty" comments?

By Liz Kelly

A screengrab from Maura Kelly's now-defunct (but cached) Facebook fan page.

Should Maura Kelly, the Marie Claire blogger at the center of a [expletive]-storm over a blog post in which she expressed her distate at watching fat people get affectionate on TV, lose her job?

In case you missed the original story, Kelly drew fire earlier this week when she wrote on her Marie Claire blog that she would be, "grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other...I'd be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything." Kelly was making reference to the new CBS show "Mike & Molly," which features two plus-size leads who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.

But given the recent dismissal of Juan Williams from NPR for making derogatory comments about Muslims on the "Bill O'Reilly Show," should Kelly also get the boot for her rant about obesity? It should be noted that Marie Claire has not announced any plans to fire Kelly and in an official statement received via e-mail this morning, a spokesperson described her as a "provocative blogger" and pointed me to Kelly's own online apology (more on that below).

But, for what it's worth, here's why I think Maura Kelly should keep her job.

I've been a blogger for the past four-and-a-half years and know full well the dangers of largely working without a net. Witness my Kanye West movie recap earlier this week that accomplished one thing: ensuring Kanye West fans won't be reading this blog anymore. Sometimes we try to express ourselves clearly and we fail and, once you hit publish, there's no taking it back.

After thousands of readers complained, Kelly posted what has every indication of being a heartfelt apology and even admits to her own struggle with weight issues:

"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."

What Kelly was trying to say is that a show that normalizes what she terms "downright" obesity might be as dangerous to our culture as a show that celebrates women who appear to be anorexic or suffer from other eating disorders. Not the worst point in the world. The problem was in the delivery and in adding her own personal, visceral reactions. But, again, that's a danger of blogging where writers are often encouraged to be conversational in tone, provocative and, too often, snarky.

In the interest of full disclosure, it turns out that Kelly was an employee of washingtonpost.com in the late 1990s. She is not, however, related to either me or Post columnist John Kelly.

Here's an innocuous sample of Kelly's post.com handiwork, circa 1998.

By Liz Kelly  | October 28, 2010; 11:47 AM ET
Categories:  Comment Box, Hollyweird  
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Comments

Got free speech?

It's like any other form of art. If you don't like it, don't freakin' look/watch/listen. That doesn't mean it should be banned/not available/whatever.

I am *so* tired of the sense of entitlement some people have, that they think the world should arrange itself to their satisfaction and that, horror of horrors, nobody should say/do anything that offends their personal prejudices/biases/delicate sensibilities (heavy on the sarcasm there).

And on the other side of the coin, a lot of people need to grow up and get a thicker skin. The world isn't going to arrange itself to their satisfaction, either.

OK, off my soapbox and back to the regularly scheduled snark ...

Posted by: Californian11 | October 28, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, you completely missed the point. Having previously worked as a journalist at a large metropolitan newspaper, I new that I was responsible for every word I wrote. Bloggers are no different, but the fact that they can sometimes go back and delete what they said, or change it, does not make them any less responsible.

On the contrary, they should be so much more careful about what they post. I've learned this lesson the hard way, as I'm sure anyone who uses social media has. Words mean something. They have impact. Think about what you post before doing so. Really think about it and the implications of what you say.

Shame on you for arguing that people aren't accountable for their words. It makes me wonder about how you view the words you write. How easy is it for you to go back and change your entries so they appear more PC when someone disagrees? I hope the Washington Post doesn't allow it. It's too easy to pretend something said can be unsaid with the click of a button.

Posted by: michellewitte | October 28, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

So if someone said they were grossed out by gay people kissing each other, that would count as free speech too right? It's the underlying hate in Maura Kelly's diatribe that's shocking and entirely reflects on her.

Posted by: MDey | October 28, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

You missed my point. People are absolutely accountable for their words -- and their reactions and feelings to others' words. My point was that everybody really needs to take a breath. It's the old "sticks and stones" thing. My point was that people should stop being so offended all the time. That, too, is accountability.

Posted by: Californian11 | October 28, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I think that her delivery should have been refined. What she wrote made me cringe, but I agree with the larger issue. Would we make a funny show about a couple who met in an anorexia support group? It wouldn't be funny. Obesity shouldn't be funny either.

Posted by: MzFitz | October 28, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Californian11: Sorry, my comment wasn't directed to you but at the original post.

That said, freedom of speech isn't at issue here. Yes, she can say whatever she wants, but she also has to accept the backlash. Freedom of speech only guarantees (sp?) that the govt can't stop people from speaking. This is a privately owned magazine, and readers are well within their rights to express their *own* views, as well as to cancel their subscriptions. That's their right, as much as it is of the person originally speaking.

Posted by: michellewitte | October 28, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

From that blog: "I also think it's at least equally crazy, albeit in the other direction, to be implicitly promoting obesity!" So lemme get this straight. A TV show showing two large people is "promoting obesity"? Is she for real?

And this! "I also know how tough it can be for truly heavy people to psych themselves up for the long process of slimming down." No, no you don't, girlie. You don't know squat. Who are you to speak for large people?

It's a sad world when making fun of fat people is accepted and defended. If she had said, "I think I'd be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with dark skin or disabilities kissing each other" she's be out on the street begging for a job.

Maura Kelly's post was deliberately cruel, and her so-called apology insincere and clueless. She should be fired and replaced.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | October 28, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not Maura Kelly should be fired is not a free speech issue. Maura Kelly was representing Marie Claire. Does the harm that she's doing to the brand outweigh the good that she brings? I think that it does. Authors should always be mindful of their audience and whom they represent. Maura Kelly was not paying attention. Her true feelings (which truly reflect poorly on her, by the way) splash back onto Marie Claire. Yes, she should be fired.

Posted by: slek | October 28, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

At this point, I'm not sure that it matters. Marie Claire's implicit endorsement of the piece and the editor's subsequent comments excusing the post as just provocative (not inappropriate or offensive) have damaged the magazine and Ms. Kelly's reputation. Rightfully so. If this was purely an attempt to create controversy, what a misguided and short-sighted plan.

http://www.vehrcommunications.com/dear-marie-claire-all-press-is-not-good-press/

Posted by: katiewashpost | October 28, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

First, I don't think she should be held to the Juan Williams standard. Williams was fired from a news organization for not upholding that outfit's standards. Marie Claire is not the same sort of journalistic endeavor. (However, I do not agree with NPR's firing of Williams).

Second, as what's-his-name over at CNN said, she was "inartful" in how she posted something on her blog. I agree with Californian11, art and artists should be allowed the freedom to express things that make people uncomfortable. This is something that should not only be codified as a right in our highest law, but there must be institutions and organizations outside of government with the courage and will to stand by their artists even when their artists offend. Otherwise it will have a chilling effect on the art that is produced and you wind up with art that is so sanitized and so palatable to everyone that it has no impact whatsoever. It would probably be very difficult to have a broadcast television network to have the courage to air something as provocative as All in the Family in today's PC environment; but that is the kind of art that shone a spotlight on our nation's difficulty with race. Does Mike and Molly similarly challenge the nation to come to grips with body image? I doubt it. Does the Marie Claire blog encourage dialogue about what is acceptable when it comes to fat acceptance versus encouraging individuals to make better lifestyle choices? Maybe.

Posted by: MyPostEgo | October 28, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Being obessed with the superficial is nothing new. But what if Americans were able to plainly see other "aesthetically displeasing" covert diseases: The diseased, blackened lungs of a smoker... or the atherosclerotic plaque inside one's arteries...or scarred cirrhotic livers of alcoholics? Would it be inappropriate to say that these sights are unpleasant? Unfortunately obesity is out in the open for judgement. Is it our fault that humans are programmed to be attracted to "health"? Are we doing society a favor by making obesity socially acceptable?

Posted by: ChristaWVU | October 28, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

td: Generally agree. However, perhaps "Marie Claire" worries that if they sack the blogger right away, they could wind up on the receiving end of a wrongful-dismissal lawsuit (even if it were just a nuisance case, they still wouldn't want it, if only to avoid the negative publicity on a news story they doubtless wish would Just. Go. Away).

It seems common for employees who are an embarrasment to their employers to leave a few months later without fanfare, and this is what I predict will occur in the instant case.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | October 28, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we have free speech, but this isn't a free speech issue in the least. She's not free to use the magazine to post mean-spirited statements that will cause them to lose money, without repercussion and perhaps job loss.

This is really just a job performance issue. And I do think her statements go against the recent trend (by Glamour, etc.) to tell women to stop beating themselves up on weight issues.

Posted by: sarahabc | October 28, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that, as long as a group has been deemed a "protected class", or if they are a group that we are simply afraid to confront, due to the violent reactions and attacks that these groups levy whenever "offended", everyone demands that the perpetrator of the insensitive or discriminatory speech be fired. It is even more interesting that if the group or person being attacked is not a part of those that are protected, are told to "get over it", or to "not be so sensitive". While, it is true that we are in a society that has been PC'd to death, we also now have a society that hates anything or anyone that does not conform to a standard of beauty, that for most of us is unnatainable. Add to this that we are barraged with images of beautiful people who are airbrushed to perfection and who are all painfully thin...and you create a climate for hatred toward everyone of the rest of us. Some of us struggle with weight, and have our whole lives. There are alot of us out there..and mostly, we do not exist in a world where so much of our value now seems to be only in how we look. Regardless, we are a demographic, and if a TV show wishes to reach a different demographic than is the norm in Hollywood...people who we can actually relate with and who struggle with the same issues...then I think that this is a great thing. If we have a weight issue, and some of us are obese, are we not deserving of love and kindness like everyone else? Or are we to be punished, ignored and verbally attacked by the likes of cruel, vapid and ignorant people like Ms. Kelly. BTW, Maura...there are some people that would be grossed out by your looks as well. While you don't seem to be overweight, you are certainly far from
being a super model. And, I think you could use some Rhinoplasty. Now Maura, perhaps you should never be able to find love or acceptance until you get that huge nose of yours fixed...is that fair? The sword cuts both ways. Think on that. I did not know of this show before your blog, so at least now I can go watch it, as I am happy to support people who are trying to change the perception of America about accepting people for their beauty, both inside and out. Think about how many people you passed by on the street this week, Maura. These people could have a heart of gold, but you would spit on them, if they were not physically attractive enough. Good luck with that. You are the true ugly.

Posted by: mayacyrus | October 28, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

If I had said what Maura Kelly said on the job I would have been fired. It's not about free speech. It's about personal responsibility to not obliquely hurt people with our thoughtlessness. MarieClaire has a responsibility to their readers. Guess what? They are not all thin, skinny, and beautiful. They are real women with real weight issues. As William Shakespeare said in the 16th century "If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?" We are all HUMAN beings and maybe, just maybe, MarieClaire will lose their lucrative contract with Project Runway. Money talks.

Posted by: kekai65 | October 28, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I think the blogger behind Fatshionista phrased my reaction to Kelly's post perfectly:

"My rage at this sort of brainless blogging is that despite the lack of critical thinking involved, it has the power to totally ruin someone’s day. It is difficult enough for many fats to just get out the door in the morning knowing that Maura Kellys exist out there; posts like hers are the equivalent of being told, totally unbidden, that they’re right to be nervous and afraid because yeah, everyone really is grossed out by them. “Hey there fatty! Just in case you dared to forget for an instant that you are disgusting and worthy only of disdain and revulsion from a sizeable portion of the people upon whom you foist your fatness every day you dare to step out of your house, here’s a stark reminder! You’re not actually a human being! You’re a gruesome pile of hideously malformed flesh, undeserving of love or affection or even just basic human dignity! No kissing! No walking! Hide your shame! Oh, and by no circumstances should you even consider having any kind of a life until you are thin — by whatever means necessary. Have a nice f[ing] day!”

http://www.fatshionista.com/cms/index.php?option=com_mojo&Itemid=69&p=579#more-579

Hateful speech, unkind speech, cruel speech -- it's allowed (overweight people aren't, after all, a protected class) but it reflects horribly on Marie Claire, and as a result they would be well within their rights to axe her. And I'd applaud it. Because there should be consequences for being hateful.

And really, a show that happens to have overweight people is glorifying obesity? And we should be concerned about being accepting of obese people because it's a serious health concern? Give me a break. Unless you are a person's doctor, it's not your business and you don't know their health factors. Promote healthy living, but get off the high horse. This post disappointed me.

Posted by: abazoe | October 28, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Californian that we've all become too thin-skinned--I'm getting pretty sick of the word "offended." Having said that, Kelly's remarks are disgusting and really only reflect on her, and those who dislike what she said have every right to be angry with or disgusted by her (I'm not offended, I just think she's pathetic) and every right to express those sentiments, as with anyone saying or doing anything that goes against one's sensibilities.

Sara above is right--firing her or not is about job performance. And if I were the managing editor of Marie Claire, I would fire her because she failed in her responsibility to the magazine. That is unless their mandate is to be hateful to overweight citizens, in which case they should give her a bonus.

Posted by: sorcerers_cat | October 28, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

This is in no way a free speech issue, despite Marie Claire's transparent efforts to spin it that way. Nor is it a legitimate "controversy" stirred up by a "provocative" blogger.

It was a lousy idea for a blog post. Maura Kelly executed it in the most shallow, uninformed, tonedeaf was imaginable. And no one at Marie Claire stopped it from running.

I hold the editors just as responsible as the writer. I don't really care if Ms Kelly keeps writing useless, shallow, uninformed crap for Marie Claire or anyone else, but I sincerely hope the magazine's circulation plummets, the advertisers get boycotted, and Joanna Coles -- who has made NO effort to apologize to readers -- gets fired.

Oh, and about that "sincere" apology from Maura Kelly? Read it again. It's the typical non-apology we hear so often these days: I'm so sorry people feel offended by what I wrote/said/did. What .... did she think that only skinny people can read????

Posted by: SaraMadison | October 28, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to drop you a line to tell you of the burdens of being a member of the Big Girls Club.

I'm 42 years old, 5'8, 195 lbs and a total knock-out. I am well-educated, well-versed and well-read (three traits you will never possess). I own my own business and make over $160,000.00 a year. I rock Christian Louboutin's, Prada and Chanel. I shop at Neiman's and Saks, Bergdorfs and Henri Bendels. I look phenomenal in my Missoni bathing suit, lounging poolside at Le Sirenuse. I get compliments from people every day, about my style, my personality or just my great outlook (and I do have to admit, it's a damn great outlook). I have a great boyfriend who constantly tells me how gorgeous my body is. This, coming from a man who has 0% body fat. I drive a two-seater sports car, travel extensively and own a gorgeous home. Yes, Maura, us Big Girls are smart, successful and intelligent (another three traits you will never have).

Does anyone remember the gorgeous centerfold Glamour magazine did two years ago of the beautiful plus-size women? Or how about the poll asking men who, out of Kate Moss, Kate Winslet and the gorgeous plus-size Kate Dillon, had the best body? Kate Dillon came in first, Kate Winslet came in second, and (what a surprise), Kate Moss came in last! Maura...I can always go on a diet. Whats the resolution for being prejudice, rude and without class? Umm....that would be NOTHING. If I were cruel, I would rip your appearance to shreds, but I don't have the time. I have to run, time for a nice double-cream, pumpkin latte! A gals gotta work hard to keep these gorgeous curves!

Dana Vigilante,
Nutley, NJ

Posted by: dvigilante1 | October 28, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to drop you a line to tell you of the burdens of being a member of the Big Girls Club.

I'm 42 years old, 5'8, 195 lbs and a total knock-out. I am well-educated, well-versed and well-read (three traits you will never possess). I own my own business and make over $160,000.00 a year. I rock Christian Louboutin's, Prada and Chanel. I shop at Neiman's and Saks, Bergdorfs and Henri Bendels. I look phenomenal in my Missoni bathing suit, lounging poolside at Le Sirenuse. I get compliments from people every day, about my style, my personality or just my great outlook (and I do have to admit, it's a damn great outlook). I have a great boyfriend who constantly tells me how gorgeous my body is. This, coming from a man who has 0% body fat. I drive a two-seater sports car, travel extensively and own a gorgeous home. Yes, Maura, us Big Girls are smart, successful and intelligent (another three traits you will never have).

Does anyone remember the gorgeous centerfold Glamour magazine did two years ago of the beautiful plus-size women? Or how about the poll asking men who, out of Kate Moss, Kate Winslet and the gorgeous plus-size Kate Dillon, had the best body? Kate Dillon came in first, Kate Winslet came in second, and (what a surprise), Kate Moss came in last! Maura...I can always go on a diet. Whats the resolution for being prejudice, rude and without class? Umm....that would be NOTHING. If I were cruel, I would rip your appearance to shreds, but I don't have the time. I have to run, time for a nice double-cream, pumpkin latte! A gals gotta work hard to keep these gorgeous curves!

Dana Vigilante,
Nutley, NJ

Posted by: dvigilante1 | October 28, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

maura kelly is not all that herself! she says she's anorexic? where? Maura if you're out there, look at yourself! you're not all that and your body is not perfect either! you do not have an anorexic body nor do you have a supermodel's body!

Posted by: seeker3569 | October 29, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

maura kelly should be fired! i will never subscribe to marie claire! you will always be a liability to marie claire! if they don't fire you, then they deserve to lose subscribers!

Posted by: seeker3569 | October 29, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Her expertise really comes into question, especially since she admits to having an eating disorder. I don’t for a minute believe that Maura Kelly ever suffered from anorexia, it is not a typical trait of an anorexic to one admit to it publically and two to slander overweight people for having their own issues with food. If anything anorexics understand the struggle with food that others with eating disorders suffer. Kelly is trying to get out of this by claiming a disability, an eating disorder. Shame on her.

Posted by: nilvixon | October 29, 2010 3:36 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Kelly should be fired and Marie Claire should issue an apology.

Posted by: coolhouse | October 29, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

What happened to FREEDOM OF SPEECH?!?!? If it were up to the whiney, entitled crybabies of America, we would always have to say nice things about everybody, everybody would be the best at everything, and nobody would ever fail at anything. Good luck going through life like that. I think obese people are a turnoff so I don't watch them make out, and I think the Tea Party people are disgustingly ignorant so I don't give them the time of day, but they all have the right to express their opinions. And
@dvigilante1, if you have to brag about your income (does money somehow make you a better person???) to compensate for your deviant eating and exercise habits, you've completely missed the point. You are still unhealthy from anyone's point of view. Also, 0% body fat doesn't exist. Unless your bf is cremated and lives in an urn.

Posted by: crunch99 | October 29, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@crunch99 You are sick of whiny people, which is funny, because your post is pretty whiny! Huh. Well, I'm sick of people using Freedom of Speech as a catch all retort when someone gets called out for being hateful. No one is trying to take away her right to say horrible things, but freedom of speech doesn't equal freedom of consequences.

And it's great that you don't like seeing obese people make out; no one's forcing you to watch. There's a difference between not partaking in media that doesn't interest you and calling that media (and people represented by it) horrible things.

Who's thin skinned now, I wonder? The people who dared to be hurt or angry that someone was treating them as less than human, or the ones furious that anyone would react badly to that?

Posted by: abazoe | October 29, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Maura's views. I am not PC and don't care. I watch to see attractive people, is that so bad? I'm tired of people pushing fat people like Queen Latifa as sexy, then she comes out as lesbian? The gay people have enough out there as sexy, now we have to watch fat people, 'cause we will hurt their self esteem'. This country is too fat( not "obese") and that is the main health issue! Don't make excuses for these people.

Posted by: MrEasee | October 29, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Maura Kelly should be penalised for vocalising what is implicit all through Marie Claire's pages. The people called to accountability here should be the editorial staff themselves, first for publishing such hateful, inciting words, and second for publishing such crappy writing. Journalistic standards, anyone?

http://eclectictripewriter.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/and-they-called-it-fatty-love/

Posted by: Vibey | October 30, 2010 4:49 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Maura Kelly should be penalised for vocalising what is implicit all through Marie Claire's pages. The people called to accountability here should be the editorial staff themselves, first for publishing such hateful, inciting words, and second for publishing such crappy writing. Journalistic standards, anyone?

http://eclectictripewriter.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/and-they-called-it-fatty-love/

Posted by: Vibey | October 30, 2010 4:51 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Easee, Queen Latifa is sexy to a lot of people. Your turnons aren't everybody's turnons. Amazingly, people have different tastes.

I don't think you'll find anyone arguing that the obesity epidemic is something to laugh about. There are a lot of causes, and not all of them are that people are lazy -- there are cultural forces at play (like the study that says ease of access to junk food and the chemicals used in it literally rewire our brains, or the fact that junk food is so much cheaper than good food, making it a class issues as well).

But shaming people and making them feel horrible about themselves is not a good way to address the problem -- in fact, it may do just the opposite. For some, it's a terrible cycle -- they eat because they're depressed.

Some people are technically overweight and yet healthy -- just like some thin people eat like horses and are unhealthy. That's why the issue should stay between a person and their doctor; if you don't know their health issues, you don't have the right to judge. Even if you do, you probably don't have any right to judge.

No matter what, the underlying message behind Maura Kelly's blog was that if you are fat you should be ashamed and feel miserable. You should know people find you disgusting when you dare to do so much as walk across the room or kiss your significant other. That's an indefensible standpoint. everyone's crying erroneously about Freedom of Speech, but what about pursuit of happiness?

Posted by: abazoe | October 30, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I keep reading posts on this website and others that mention "Free Speech" and even on"Sticks & Stones". But if she wrote an article making fun of gay people or some other group, people would be calling for her head. But does the fact that she went off on fat people, make it ok? Is it really acceptable to make fat people?
How many kids in school are teased and bullied because they're bigger than the other kids? Should we tell those kids... sticks and stones? In reality though, it does hurt to be called fat or other cruel names, as a child or an adult. The editors of "Marie Claire" should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this horribly hateful blog to be even associated with their magazine.

Posted by: call210 | October 30, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I keep reading posts on this website and others that mention "Free Speech" and "Sticks & Stones". But if she wrote an article against gay people or some other group, people would be calling for her head. But does the fact that she went off on fat people, make it ok? Is it really acceptable to make fat people?
How many kids in school are teased and bullied because they're bigger than the other kids? Should we tell those kids... sticks and stones? In reality though, it does hurt to be called fat or other cruel names, as a child or an adult. The editors of "Marie Claire" should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this horribly hateful blog to be even associated with their magazine.

Posted by: call210 | October 30, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I fear you're perpetuating some big assumptions and leaping to the very same uniformed conclusions Maura Kelly made(assuming her rant was not all about the illness of anorexia at work) when you write that Kelly's true intention was to alert the culture about the dangers of obesity.

As the Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) "Health at Every Size" SIG, Vice President the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and the founder and moderator of an online community (www.aweighout.com) that addresses issues related to emotional eating and the desperate dieting that's often triggered by blogs like Kelly's, as well as "Health at Every Size", I'd highly encourage you to do some research about cause and effect and the true risks of obesity. Read the CDC's corrected research about how few people actually die from obsesity (major news story--should be in your paper's archives). Google the "Obesity Paradox" research. Read Dr. Linda Bacon's Book, Health at Every Size; the Surprising Truth About your Weight. Read Glen Gaesser's book, Big Fat Lies. Read the Brandeis University study released last week that says when it comes to delaying health declines as we age, how much you drink, smoke, and weigh are less important than social connections,the belief that you can control important aspects of your life, and physical exercise. Take at look at the large Canadian and Japanese Ministry studies released in the past couple of years that report on weight and longevity (I bet you'll be amazed by the conclusions). Please, as a fellow blogger I ask that you not buy hook, line, and sinker, into the medical profession's highly studied, acknowledged (and detrimental to the health of the majority) prejudice about overweight and obese people.

Ellen Shuman

Posted by: EllenShuman | October 30, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Maura Kelly did not write an article on "healthy eating". She wrote a hate piece. Liz Kelly says that's just how a blogger needs to write. She defends M Kelly and writes this line supposedly interpreting the attack: "What Kelly was trying to say is that a show that normalizes what she terms "downright" obesity might be as dangerous to our culture as a show that celebrates women who appear to be anorexic or suffer from other eating disorders."

What? Where's the insulting diatribe against thin people? Not that there should be one, just saying that there isn't one for this (here) blogger to alude to. Liz Kelly, why are YOU defending this very ugly attack? Do you agree with Maura?

Posted by: laurelmoore | November 2, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Maura Kelly did not write an article on "healthy eating". She wrote a hate piece. Liz Kelly says that's just how a blogger needs to write. She defends M Kelly and writes this line supposedly interpreting the attack: "What Kelly was trying to say is that a show that normalizes what she terms "downright" obesity might be as dangerous to our culture as a show that celebrates women who appear to be anorexic or suffer from other eating disorders."

What? Where's the insulting diatribe against thin people? Not that there should be one, just saying that there isn't one for this (here) blogger to alude to. Liz Kelly, why are YOU defending this very ugly attack? Do you agree with Maura?

Posted by: laurelmoore | November 2, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Marie Claire is going to do whatever they want with this person. They are loving the publicity they are receiving, free of charge, and I'm sure that the bogger is reaping some sort of benefit. I subscribe to the thought that when I want to be heard, I'll do it with the checkbook. So, as of today, my subscription has been canceled to Marie Claire. If they want to promote hate they can do it on their dime, not mine. If I want to subscribe to hate, I can find a disgusting media to subscribe to.

Posted by: rogers922 | November 3, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

It's fascinating that people are defending Maura Kelly's writing as it is because it's "free speech." When you write something and send it out into the big wide world, that's free speech.

You cannot demand that people like it. You cannot demand that they not criticize it. And you cannot demand that people not hold you accountable for something they consider offensive at best.

This is like insisting that people not criticize your book, or movie, or dress design, or painting, guava jelly, or anything else you create.

It takes a big ego to create. The "thin skinned" here are not the people who found the column offensive. Those people are exercising their right to respond to another's creation.

The thin skinned are the creators--or their defenders--who refuse to grant the audience those rights.

Posted by: elmore1 | November 3, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

That is why a television has channels. Nobody has to watch anything they do not wish to. But then she formed conclusions without even watching the show. I seriously doubt that anybody is going to watch that show and make a conscious decision to become fat. As far as drunks and heroin addicts, many of the much admired supermodels could certainly speak with authority on those subjects. People that strive to emulate them are called anexoric or bulimic, or addicted to drugs or cosmetic proceedures. Where is the proof that fat people are a burden on healthcare? They work, they pay their share. They pay into Social Security and supposedly die before they are old enough to collect. Doesn't that mean more left for everyone else? Fat people get crap from everyone, their families, the medical profession, the insurance industry (they are denied life insurance even if they pass a physical), the fashion industry, the airlines and even the government. What is next, concentration camps? They certainly don't need idiots like Maura piling on. As far as watching people being "affectionate" people are entitled to their personal preference. Being
"affectionate" is a private thing and those who enjoy watching it have other issues. Perhaps this is a good place for "don't ask don't tell". Just like the homophobe, fatphobes hate themselves and project onto others. I already had Maura pegged before her sorry apology. She hates to look at fat people because she fears she is not far from being one, yet she feels superior
because she is not overweight regardless of the risks she takes to remain so. People who overeat and people like Maura and her admiration society are TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN. How sad that a very serious problem has become the last socially acceptable outlet for hatred and bigotry. Let's talk about that, why don't we?

Posted by: joEi1 | November 4, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

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