Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Marie Claire. An opinion.

Ok, I think I need to weigh in to the Maura Kelly debate (weigh in? See what I did there?)

If you have been living down a mine since......um........yesterday, let me fill you in.



The gist of this (in case you can't be arsed to click) is that Maura Kelly asks "Should Fatties Get A Room? (Even on TV)


She then proceeds in saying that she would be "Grossed out by watching two people with rolls and rolls of fat make out" as well as "but ... I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over. It's something they can change, if only they put their minds to it"



Well lets light up the fire and have ourself a burning at the stake.

It's a blog. We don't have to agree with her, but what I find absolutely AWFUL is the level of anger and abuse in the comments.

For example.

"By the way you dumb bitch, I may be overweight but I have lost 9 pounds in the last 2 years. Before you go judging people, you really should get to know them. Anorexia is just as unhealthy as obesity but you and Marie Claire continue to promote that every second of every day. You are a hypocrite, and rather brain dead at that"

A friend of mine sent this article to me, and I was so profoundly offended that I created an account here just to tell you what a c**t you are.

Your "article" makes me PUKE! Maybe if I read it a few more times I can fit in my skinny jeans and not be aesthetically unpleasing! GFY.


There are approx 899 comments mostly in this vein.

Some have bothered to try to reply with intelligence and to reply to each point. Others......not so much.

Maura Kelly MAY be wrong-She MAY be right. But surely that is the point of a blog? She writes her opinion and it is down to the reader to agree or disagree and then make clear concise points in their rebuttal.

In some points I agree, In some I don't. But I personally don't feel the need to abuse the writer.

I feel that in some parts people who aren't offended by the article,THINK they should be as everyone around them is.

Well let me lay my cards on the table. I AM NOT OFFENDED BY IT.

(AND I'M A FATTY!!!-ok, i'm not, but I was :-) )

It is HER opinion-She IS entitled to it. Usually I would write a comment explaining why I disagree with her but lets face it, its going to be lost in the piles and piles of hate comments she is currently receiving.

I think it is important to realise as well that Maura Kelly also suffers from an eating disorder. I'm going to take a guess and say that this has clouded her judgement slightly. Her post was badly written but it is HER post. and if we all stopped posting our opinions in fear of upsetting people-the world would definitely be a sadder place.

What did you think of Maura Kellys piece?


Kellie
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26 comments

  1. I think they knew exactly what they was doing when they published that, they knew it would generate alot of publicity for Marie Clare... Imagine how much traffic that post got =D

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  2. I dont usually post but i had to on this one.
    Totally agree with your points made above.
    The backlash against her was unreal. Its her opinion end of. We can all agree/disagree but i dont think its right to unleash a torrent of vile abuse on her.
    I wonder would many of the posters say stuff like that to peoples faces?
    It would be a boring oul world if we all shared the same opinion for fear of upsetting others.

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  3. I agree with Karleigh's comment, because to me nothing in that post sounded genuine, it just sounded as though she was intentionally trying to create a stir. I have no problem with people posting their own opinions, that's what blogging is all about, but every single word in that article just sounded contrived to me.

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  4. I absolutely agree that abusive comments are necessary - not matter what you think of the views expressed by the writer of an article or blog. However, playing Devil's advocate - I'm sure they knew what they were doing so if they'd written that some other group who was easily identifiable by their outward appearance should remove themselves..a similar backlash may well have been expected.
    I for one, if I don't like what someone has to say find other ways to vent my spleen - name calling is just a waste of time and makes one look ignorant.

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  5. Totally agree with you - blogs are about free speech as much as anything just as democracies are and we do live in a democratic society. Each to their own I say. x

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  6. great stuff and can't agree more - this is EXACTLY what I've said on my blog. They are there for opinions (right or wrong). The level of abuse is ridiculous for some offhand comments on a topic I'm sure many have discussed before - especially after a personal apology. you wait in a month or two people will be commenting that the marie claire blog is bland and lifeless.

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  7. I completely agree with your post. I think as it is her own blog she is, in every way, entitled to air her views as she feels fit. Its not up to anyone else. Ok, we're all allowed our opinions so fair game to the people commenting on it BUT is there any reason to use swear words and use foul language - since when did we become a nation that find it so hard to use such a language like that!??!
    Yeah fair enough, Marie Claire wouldve got a hell of a lot of publicity for that, but seriously people it is one person opinion on their OWN blog....
    In my opinion I happen to agree with parts of her article, however as a sufferer of an Eating Disorder it will, without a doubt, affect her judgement slightly and I'm not sure she shouldve used some of the points, or maybe she should have at least changed the tone.

    Difficult one to judge, but there is def no need to call someone names for simply airing their OWN opinion.

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  8. Personally I completely and utterly disagreed with every sentiment expressed in the Marie Claire article. I'm a fatty myself, and it has impacted massively on my confidence levels so on a personal level I found the article offensive and slightly upsetting to be completely honest. I also feel that given the authors own issues and eating disorder her "advice" for how we should take control of our own issues was spectacularly misplaced. I wonder how she would feel if I sat her down with a big chocolate cake and said " there, just eat that, all your issues with food will them be sorted out!" because we all know it just ain't that simple. If it was we would have no need for weight loss surgery, bariatric surgeons, image therapy, counselling etc.
    That said though, I do agree that she has a right to express her opinion, however misguided I feel it is... And bearing in mind her own issues, that puts a very different slant on things doesn't it!

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  9. I also have to say, I was not offended. In Maura's book, i'm probably vile and revolting but do you know what, that is her opinion.
    I personally don't like the bones-jutting-out skinny look and that is MY opinion.
    Would I go as far as to write a scathing blog post about it? No, I wouldn't.
    If she felt the need to vent her feelings in this blog post, she could have done it in a more articulate and less attacking manner.

    Yes i'm overweight and i'm trying to do something about that, to get to a weight i'm happy with. We're all different and we all have different tastes and find different things aesthetically pleasing. We're also all entitled to our individual opinions and our blogs are an extension of this...but it seems she/Marie Claire have gone out of their way to be controversial and in some parts unnecessarily hurtful.

    There are ways of getting your opinions across without being cruel, and in such a public format I think you need to be mindful of that.

    Do I think her article was necessary? Not at all. It seemed totally contrived and not at all productive - I think it was a bit of a publicity stunt on Marie Claire's part.
    xx

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  10. While I mainly agree with you, I think it's fundamental to the debate that the blog was part of Marie Claire - not the writers personal blog. Publishing companies blogs are not the same as yours and mine, their version of freedom of speech and personal opinion is not the same - everything there has been through the publishing/editing process and is there for a reason - to generate money and publicity for a huge international organisation.

    And yes the comments are vile, but have you read the comments on The daily Mail lately? Newspapers and magazines attract the freaks and weirdos who need to vent. The blogging community may have many people who are up for some intelligent debate, but the rest of the world still wants to rant.

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  11. Have to agree with Beauty Cult and the reference to the Daily Mail...free to comment posts attract such vile people, even when what's been said is nothing offensive. People love to rant and throw all their anger at someone, then remain perfectly anonymous and/or protected behind their computer screen.
    It's a shame because such amount of abuse ends up being a messy cloud and an intelligent woman like you feels like there is no space for an intelligent opinion, and so only the abusive ones remain, leaving any reasonable criticism out of the game, and THAT is sad.

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  12. OK, I have been and read the article. What a load of nonsense. I definitely agree with other commenters who say that this was to create a stir, to me it does seem intentionally provocative but I find the most offence thing the comments. I cannot stand the c word and can't think of any circumstances when it would be necessary to call someone that. I suppose free speech works both ways though- she's entitled to blog about what she likes and people are entitled to comment as they please. I know it's not the point at all here but I think the most offence thing about Mike & Molly is how abysmally unfunny it is.

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  13. If this is what she really thinks, then fine. It's what she really thinks and therefore I really think that she is an idiot.

    I'm not sure that she was deserving of such an almighty backlash, though. Adding recovery from an eating disorder - especially the one at the other end of the spectrum from obesity - is bound to have skewed her perception, anyway.

    ▲ WOLF WHISTLE ▲

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  15. This article made my jaw drop to the floor. Although Maura (nor anybody else) deserves a wave of rude obscenities, it was bound to happen as her article was ignorant and insulting. Her apology doesn't even make things better, although it explains why she's so grossed out by seeing large people canoodling on TV and such. I would have expected more sympathy on weight issues from someone who says they have an eating disorder. Losing weight is godamn hard, how dare she suggest 'just doing a bit more exercise' as a easy and obvious for people have a long history of being overweight and low confidence & low self esteem because of it. In fact the tips she gives to lose weight are just general waffle everyone knows helps maintain a healthy weight, but will not help someone overnight from being obese to an acceptable level of skinnyness so that she doesn't feel too grossed out. I also hated that bit when she gives her string of tips and then concludes with suggesting 'or go to YMCA or something if you can't afford a nutritionist'. I did read it like 'oh for god's sake, eat less, go to see someone, do anything, lose weight, I don't care, as long as you stop being so fat and makes me feel sick at the sight of you. This article makes me want to be morbidly obese just to gross her out and have public displays of attention right in front of her to hit the point ever harder. Fatties as she refers to them eloquently in her title should be allowed everywhere. Could she write anything, because it’s her own blog? Umm, I would not qualify this blog as her own personal blog and I personally attach it to the magazine (it’s written Marie Claire all over the place and for me it looks like it’s a ‘proper’ journalist from Marie Claire who wrote this) but that’s just me. If *IF* was her own little blogpost, would she be allowed to write that? Can you write any piece of outrageous garbage so as long it’s your own blog? I don’t know.

    p.s the link http://www.marieclaire.com-blog doesn’t work
    *goes to calm myself now*

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  16. The article by this Maura person was misjudged, rude and insensitive and she did a very good job of lighting the blue touch-paper and standing back. What other reaction could she have been expecting?

    As for the diatribe now being aimed at her: she has chosen to argue that fat people should neither be seen nor heard. She would rather they don't exist. In essence, she sees them as somehow sub-human and not worth her precious time or efforts. I'm sorry, that is more offensive to me then any of the responses I have read. Yes, the comments may contain rude names and words, but if you were to rewrite her blog post and replace the nicey-nicey English she employs with more earthy words, would her post not read just as offensively, or more offensively then the responses?

    She is the only one who can take the blame for what has happened. The old adage "keep your mouth shut if you have nothing good to say" springs to mind. Can I just say that I am neither obese nor married to a larger person.

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  17. I read the article, and like a lot of others, was utterly disgusted. How can anyone post comments like that in the public eye and not expect a backlash? But I suspect that that was her full intention - to get a reaction. (Questions all over the place within a piece of writing is basically asking for it.)

    BUT (and this is a big but, hehe) this wasn't a personal blog, it was part of a HUGE brand name and a site that until now I thought credible and trustworthy. How did her editor ever approve this? Just like the whole MAC Rodarte thing, everything needs to go through an approval process - and THIS is what shocks me.

    Obviously the skinny cows at Marie Claire thought this was both a piece of journalism (coughs) and completely acceptable. It was in no way either. What is so awful is that this is a woman's magazine (i.e. sisters together and all that jazz) that is basically abusing the larger members of society.

    Even if this was a personal blog I would find it unacceptable. Yes, we're entitled to our opinions but we don't have to voice them in such a public way. Would it be ok to bash gays or slate ethinic minorities? NO! So don't do it to the 'fatties' as you call them.

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  18. I have to say, I agree wholeheartedly with what you've said here BF. I am not offended by her article (I used to weigh 32 stone so would be in my rights to be!) but I am concerned/bothered/troubled by Marie Claire's decision to publish such a piece by someone that has a history of eating disorders.

    Magazines come under fire all the time for promoting eating disorders and anorexia and some even go as far as claming that they *cause* them (that's a WHOLE other matter) but I think it's irresponsible of them to publish this because it's going to add fuel to the fire.

    I'm not saying that people with eating disorders shouldn't have a say, far from it, I mean you can't shut me up... What I'm saying is that I'm flabbergasted that alarm bells didn't ring within Marie Claire that a recovering anorexic was writing such a contentious piece that was clearly going to piss a lot of people off and potentially further promote the idea of '(painfully) thin is in' to those with a natural propensity to anorexic tendencies.

    Of course it was going to get negative backlash, but I don't think it should be Maura taking the full brunt of the disgust. Marie Claire should surely come under fire for their choice in publishing.

    I'm not sure I'm making any sense to be honest

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  19. I have FINALLY (!!) been able to find the article as for some reason my browser didn't let me get to it...to be honest, she did cross a line, one of human decency. That obese people disgust her so much, only means she could do with some counseling, seriously. And her past with eating disorders, is no excuse, believe me. Again, the insults and vile language... a shame as it ends up leaving people with good arguments out of the point,and all that she will remember is the insults and b*llocking she got in return. Will she asses her own point of views and do something about it? I doubt it.

    Should Marie Claire have done something about it? yes, for a magazine that loves to say how it's good to women, good for women, fashion with a heart and so on... allowing this post on their terrain says very little on female compassion. Marie Claire seems to love b*tchy "journalism" it seems.

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  20. I'm not 'fatty' as she calls it, but I was still very offended by her article (it was on the Marie Claire site and she calls herself a journalist). I get offended when anyone spouts any kind of vitriolic hate.

    It was a bitchy article aimed at causing a stir that was inappropriate on the Marie Claire site, causing many women to feel ostracised by these sentiments.

    I was equally offended by the poor level of English competence in her piece. She is a journalist on the payroll of Marie Claire and her inability to provide a thoughtful well-structured piece is astounding.

    I don't blame the commenters to her piece, they have reacted against a very potent and hateful piece and she invited their response. Sure, some of the comments were rather unsavoury but human beings will react emotionally when they feel underattacked.

    At the end of the day it was a poorly written, bitchy post on a widely-known and respected magazine site. It was inappropriate and offensive in my opinion.

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  21. Wow someone called Maura and spelt correctly too (was my Mummy's name).

    Now on to MY opinion:

    First of all: Freedom of speech is a fundatmental human right (http://www.abouthumanrights.co.uk/your-freedom-speech.html)

    Im not saying she is right or wrong (and quite frankly I cant be arsed to read the article because Im live and let live), but she is entitled to her OWN opinion, as to whether I personally would post that opinion, if it were me publicly, I very much doubt, as our mothers used to say, if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing, and I think this is one of those times.

    xoxoxoxox

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  22. My issue with it that its not just a blog, its a Marie Claire blog, she has a duty to represent that publication and alienating and insulting some of their readers is just stupid! Not everyone is overweight because they're lazy! And even if they are what should it matter to other people, how is it their business what someone looks like, you wouldn't see a blog post like that insulting ugly people and saying remove them from everywhere! She's entitled to her opinion but I just don't think she should have used Marie Claire to get it out there.

    But as with all things online you will get trolls posting abusive comments just because they can. A lot of people went too far but it's a sensitive issue that enrages people.

    But anyway we all know fashion mags only like skinny people so I'm not sure why we're all so suprised! It's just a shame.

    We're all people, what does it matter what we look like?

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  23. While I do not agree with Ms. Kelly's sentiments, I agree that she is entitled to her opinion. However, I believe it was a post that was better suited to her own personal site & not broadcast on a mainstream website of a national magazine that purports to empower women, as I told the editor when I emailed her yesterday.

    The comments were beyond the pale, unnecessarily rude. They didn't need to stoop that low to get their disappointment and frustration across. My frustration was directed at Marie Claire.

    Like LBQ said up there, where were the editors in this? How was this let to go online and then once the ruckus started, why leave it up? Yes, I understand the page views, but is the vitrol worth the click? Apparently so. Again, another disappointing action by Marie Claire.

    But, I don't need to stoop to horrid name calling to get my point across to them - a heated, yet polite letter to the editor, a cancellation of any subs & raising awareness of the issue should be enough.

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  24. I was a bit offended by her article, to be honest, and don't think that the fact she suffers from an eating disorder excuses it in any way. She is completely entitled, however, to her own opinion, and the comments and responses were disgusting, and far worse in some occasions than the original post! I agree with a previous commenter that a magazine's blog is a different animal from an individual's personal blog, so perhaps I'm most disappointed with Marie Claire themselves...... Yours is a great post though, got me thinking!

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  25. Great post hun!! Like the last commenter, I also think that Marie Clare would do better to consider what is blogged about, but as long as they are backing up their part in this then I guess that's their prerogative.

    What irks me is the amount of abuse hurled at anyone who criticizes fat people. Criticizing anyone for their shape or size is unfair, but there's an imbalance in our society. Even saying "fat people" feels wrong, yet we can say "skinny bitch" without blinking.

    There's this idea that skinny people can be analysed, judged and disliked, but fat people CANNOT BE CRITICIZED. Overall there's the idea that fat people are "real people" - as if you're not real if you're not fat! - and that is a concept I am offended by (I wrote a blog on this a while ago - sorry, hope you don't mind the link, but just discusses this point in more detail - http://tinyurl.com/3xwd3eh)!

    At the end of the day, everyone has an opinion, but realistically, if you're going to air it in public, you'd better have a decent explanation for why you've gone there.

    And the same goes for those airing their opinions in response. Those who are spitting venom at the likes of Maura Kelly have lost perspective. You might not berate someone for their weight, but hatefully abusing someone for their opinion is, in fact, even lower.

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  26. Hmmm, less than ideal situation, isn't it!? I certainly don't agree with her. Why should the glandualrly challenged not be entitled to a life love that is carried out in the public domain like the rest of us? As far as her being able to voice her opinion on a blog, I think this might be a grey area. It's technically Marie Claire's blog. So by posting on it she's kind of being the "voice" of Marie Claire and the types of readers they're trying to attract. If it was her own personal blog it would be quite different, but perhaps the editors that control the blog over at Marie Claire should have thought twice before letting the post go up as it was. Simply by weighing in with something slightly more journalistic and more balanced in both sides of the argument it may not be so controversial. But, then again, perhaps this is exactly what they want - controversy. xxx

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