Thursday, October 28, 2010

Big People, Sizist Society

I have all of these half started blogs saved that I have meant to go back and finish, but time is a slippery snake these days that always evades me. However, this morning, I am fired up and pissed off enough that I need to say something about some really ridiculous crap that is going on of late.

First of all, I had wanted, last week, to address the issue of bullying and discuss how bullying affects everyone, how it’s not right, how I’ve had to face my own series of “mean girls” growing up… and though my tangent right now is fueled by a different emotion, and one that will not really project empathy in regards to bullying, I do still feel it has somewhat to do with what I want to say.

Perhaps you have heard there is a lot of hubbub about this show entitled “Mike and Molly” which airs on CBS. The show, about two heavy people who meet and fall in love at Overeaters Anonymous (a fact in the story I was really peeved at when I heard about this show… why couldn’t the main characters meet at a Barnes and Noble, or at a Bar like the rest of the population? Is taking a pot shot about OA really necessary- but I digress). Anyhow, the bones of the story though, were still hopeful. It was nice to see that someone in Hollywood had decided that not every main character in the world needs to be a size 2. But apparently, an Op-Ed writer at Marie Claire seems to feel differently…
She has written and I quote “"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."

Apparently though, the inability to spell or string intelligible sentences together doesn’t matter to the people at Marie Claire, as long as their writers are Cacomorphobic (that’s the fear of becoming fat) for those who aren’t a walking dictionary- don’t worry I had to Google it too.

Apparently, not just Marie Claire is on this anti fat band wagon. CNN also decided to “weigh in” (pun, intended) on the subject of viewer discomfort watching fat people fall in love.

It stuns and amazes me that in a society where people expend energies about equality in races, equality in sexes, equality amongst alternative lifestyles' and the list goes on ad infinitum on what we should be “accepting of” and you find the everyone from the President, Newscasters, and a slew of impassioned friends proselytizing on these days, it’s still o.k. in mainstream America to hate fat people? These same people (like Ms. Maura Kelly of Marie Claire Magazine) would scream and rant about inequalities if someone said that she shouldn’t be able to write for a magazine because she was a woman. It’s been forgotten I guess, that just a few decades ago, that is exactly what occurred in this country. Or if someone told Neil Patrick Harris, or Ellen, that their shows were being cancelled because seeing homosexuals on TV grosses someone out. Apparently, we’ve forgotten the decade of the 1990’s too, when this very thing was discussed.

I am dumbfounded that in 2010, and after all kinds of “accepting each others differences” and “diversity sensitivity training” we’ve received, and all this love and flowers that has been preached to us that people can honestly laugh and poke fun at people because they look different. Would people be making jokes about a blogger who commented on a person’s race? No, people would be up in arms screaming and yelling and every news outlet in the country would be calling for her dismissal. So, why on earth is it okay for someone to make comments about how disgusting someone is because they are fat, and no one even bats an eye- and it was barely a whisper in the news.

This is NOT Ok. And it’s this kind of attitude that also propagates the acceptance of bullying and a bullyistic (I'm Sure that’s not a word, but whatever) tendencies in kids. The kind of close-minded hateful but not outwardly so opinions, like “oh man that kid is really dorky and never talks, I’m going to pick on him because he’s weak” or “hey look at that fat kid that can’t run, I’ll pick on him because I'm better than him” or “look at that kid wearing a veil over her head, I’m going to pick on her because she looks different than I do” None of this is okay- and if we are going to be a society that says love everyone regardless of race,sex or creed= we also have to start buying into the mentality to love everyone no matter what they look like too. We as a society can not be a walking hypocrisy.

Also on my shit list- Old Navy, owned by the Gap company. Now, originally when Old Navy announced they were going to be selling plus sizes I was over the moon thrilled, because well, Old Navy clothes are very reasonably priced…and for a wanna be fashionista as myself, and has a streak of vanity in never wanting to repeat an outfit when going out, lest it get published on Facebook… Old Navy was the affordable answer to cute tops for outings.

One tiny problem. Apparently, Old Navy wants our Plus Size dollars, but not our fat asses in the stores. Plus sized clothing from Old Navy can ONLY be purchased online. At first, I didn’t care, it was still Old Navy clothes, so I could still fit in with the rest of the known universe wearing Old Navy’s clothes. However, the kicker came when they STOPPED accepting returns in-store (see again my comment about not wanting our fat asses in the store) and made us return everything by mail. Then, as a double kicker--- the cost of the return is deducted from your refund. So, essentially, I’M Paying Old Navy $5.99 for the “HONOR” of TRYING ON their clothing? What crap.

So- until things change - and believe you me, strongly worded letters are going out to both Marie Claire and to Old Navy-

I am asking that you join me in a boycott of both of these companies. If you are so inspired, perhaps you too will be motivated to send them letters of complaint as well.

Gap Online
100 Gap Online Drive
Grove City, Ohio 43123-8605


Marie Claire- Editor in Chief : Joanna Coles

If nothing else, let's keep in mind that we are all people just trying to navigate through our lives... and hopefully think twice before making an insensitive comment about someone.
Until next time,