You know, I usually try to stay out of these things – and I think it’s time for the storm to pass – but it’s struck me that I should make some comment (even if it’s late) about the Marie Claire controversy. Judging from the photo of The Gossip’s Beth Ditto above, you can guess where this op ed is going.
I won’t repeat the entire issue, but in case you haven’t read about writer Maura Kelly and her vitriolic damnation of obese individuals, click here. I’m sure you’ve seen enough threads calling for everything from her resignation to the ban of the magazine and their advertisers. I care not to further either of these causes.
We (the proverbial “we” – as in, the media, bloggers, etc.) have a responsibility for what we put into your line of sight. While we can’t publish all positive things all the time, we must be very careful about the energy we send when we publish opinion pieces. The energy behind the message Ms. Kelly was sending – the anger,the hatred, the disgust – was disturbing. Free speech aside, a major publication publishing something so upsetting, written to deliver maximum emotional distress and judgment on a huge segment of the reader population, was foolish and ill-advised. It wasn’t provocative, it was cruel and mean-spirited, plain and simple.
Our society has seemingly devolved to the point where we relish the bloodsport of crucifying others in the court of public opinion and the most jovial (and accepted) of these pursuits appears to be the condemnation of those struggling with weight. As a fashion and beauty editor above a size 8 (and someone who has struggled with my weight since I was 13,) I’ve grown accustomed to the silent slings and arrows of distaste from the people in my industry. I just never thought I would actually see it…in PRINT…in one of my favorite magazines.
It’s out there now and we cannot ignore it. Now, it’s time to do something about it. No more screaming, no more negative energy. Let’s fix the situation.
I’m a person of action and so I’ve decided to act. I’m choosing to limit my exposure to Marie Claire because I don’t feel the article (and the subsequent lack of reaction from the publication) is in line with my personal values. That’s the beauty about living in a free country: you have the right to do what you like.
More importantly is that I will now dedicate a wider range of size coverage for Fashion.Style.Beauty and all subsequent publications from our growing company. I personally understand the frustration of a dressing room where nothing fits, the nervousness of ordering something at a restaurant, the additional horror of lingerie and bathing suit shopping. If I can use FSB to help with any of those issues, why wouldn’t I? And so I will.
Also, enough with the shame. People, our bodies are God-given gifts that carry our souls through our lives. If we hate the vessel we’re traveling in, the journey is bound to be considerably less fun. So, screw it: let’s celebrate.
Consider this a call to throw yourself an “I-Love-My-Sweet-Ass” party, because life is too short to feel ashamed and sad. Take care of your health and happiness but for the love of all things dear, eat and drink something fun without regret! Dance around in your underwear and if something moves where it’s not supposed to, oh well. That’s life, that’s aging, that’s A FACT. Just do what makes you healthy and happy.
As a proud size 12, I’ll do my very best to make Fashion.Style.Beauty the best celebration of all things amazing for both of us, ok?
So, embrace your body! It’s been my experience (even more so recently) that people who have latent anger tend to enjoy spreading it around. So, drink up and take a big bite out of life. Don’t let people steal your sunshine.
Oh, and by the way? This “I-love-my-sweet-ass” party has a very strict VIP-only policy and a select, highly-curated guest list. The person staring at your body that way? That bitch wasn’t invited.
All the best,