Fat is fine
by Jennifer Cohron
Nov 07, 2010 | 2346 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jennifer Cohron
Jennifer Cohron
One of my new favorite TV shows is "Mike and Molly" on CBS.

I have loved Melissa McCarthey since her days as Sookie on "Gilmore Girls," and Billy Gardell is too adorable for words.

So imagine my surprise when I found out last week that a writer for Marie Claire is "grossed out" by both of them.

Maura Kelly's blog post from Oct. 25 was named "Should 'Fatties' Get a Room? (Even on TV?)" I guess putting "fatties" in quotation marks was supposed to make the word less degrading.

Kelly was asked by an editor if she thought audiences were uncomfortable watching overweight people make out.

Since Kelly is apparently too cool for TV, she had to read about the show in a CNN article. She decided that she certainly would not want to see Mike and Molly kiss.

These are her exact words: "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."

Then Kelly played the "some of my best friends are plump people" card and dedicated an entire paragraph to nutrition and fitness suggestions.

Now, here's the real kicker. Kelly has a history as an anorexic.

I'm no psychologist, but I would think that someone who has struggled with feeling comfortable in her own skin might have a skewed view of other people's bodies as well.

I'll play devil's advocate for a second and admit that Kelly may have used an unfortunate choice of words to express a genuine concern for the health of people who are overweight.

However, I don't think she would have said similar things about any other kind of couples. The difference, I assume, is that fat people are to blame for their appearance, so political correctness doesn't apply.

Of course Mike and Molly want to be healthier. They joke about their weight, but they're trying to do better too.

If Kelly had actually seen the show, she would know that Mike is always talking about a diet he's on and Molly was seen exercising in the first episode. They are also in Overeaters Anonymous together.

But they don't need a skinny person to pity them or save them from themselves.

I love Mike and Molly because I think real people can relate to them.

In one episode, Mike is afraid of intimacy because Molly will see him naked. She lets him know that she cares about much more than his fat rolls.

Maybe someone like Kelly can't understand that. In an apology she posted several days later, she said she assumes that everyone with an eating disorder is unhappy.

Mike and Molly don't love being fat, but that doesn't mean that they hate themselves. And if they never lose a pound, they will still love each other too.

Maybe I shouldn't be the person writing this column. I've never been stared at by strangers when I approach the dessert table at Ryan's or been given dirty looks before I sat beside someone on an airplane or in a movie theater.

The thought of anyone being treated this way upsets me, but I know it happens every day to wonderful people who can't get others to see anything but their "aesthetically displeasing" appearance.

The message we should be sending to people, young girls in particular, was recently painted on the Highland Avenue bridge in Birmingham -- "You Are Beautiful."

No one has taken credit for it yet, but some people believe that it was inspired by an Internet campaign called Operation Beautiful.

The mission of the campaign is to post anonymous notes in public places for other women to find and hopefully encourage them to stop having negative thoughts about themselves.

We should all strive to develop healthier habits. But let's start with seeing beauty in ourselves and others.