I was a pretty skinny child. My passion for making my parents chase me around the house and yard contributed to my physique back then. Sometime around 3rd grade, though, I started to realize I wasn’t normal. I was getting fat.
I have no idea how it happened, but I look at my (now) size 24 self and realize that I am considered morbidly obese. I remember back in school, the kids would make my last name rhyme with fat. Fat A-(insert second syllable) was my name through most of school. I remember in middle school, this kid on the bus spit on my jacket, because he felt I was too fat to be on “his” bus.
Sounds insane, but it really happened.
Another big example I remember was waiting at the bus stop one morning, and one of the kids took my gym bag (actually ended up ripping it because I wouldn’t let it go), rubbed it in dog poop and told me that PE class wouldn’t help me so I shouldn’t bother bringing the bag to school. Bullying sucks…I don’t wish this type of bullying on anyone.
When I reached college age, bullying stopped. Everyone was magically more mature, but it was then that I realized maturity did not equal a fair society. The first time I went to the mall with my college friend, we were buying clothes. I remember going into Hollister and getting stares. I was a size 20 at the time. I could barely walk around the racks, since they kept them close together. I remember just looking at the regular sized clothes (helping my friend out), and when my friend went in the dressing room, an employee at the store told me they don’t carry my size, but Lane Bryant probably does. Rude, no?
When I worked at Lane Bryant through college, I realized that not all customers that shop there embrace the plus size. One lady came to my register to buy a gift card around the holidays, and while I was ringing her up, she told her husband if she ever fits in this store, she would just die.
I’ve seen it all…stares at the gym, stares eating out at a restaurant with my husband, even stares at the workplace…it’s everywhere. Society frowns upon the obese.
However, underneath my current size 24 body, I just wish I could wear a sign saying, I’m a person just like you. I have perfect blood pressure, good cholesterol, and while I eat ice cream from time to time, I’m making efforts to change for the better.
I’m sure most of you have read the Marie Claire article about the issues with an author accepting “fatties”. This article made me so sad. I actually was starting to love Marie Claire, because of their plus sized fashionista, who was starting to make me embrace the fact that I can still feel “cute” in clothes. However, since publishing this article, I feel like this was a huge slap in the face to the very readers that they have been trying to empower.
So, for the first time in a long time, I wrote to an editor. I had to. I couldn’t believe this article was published.
I recently came across an article titled “Overweight Couples on TV”, and would like to know why something of this nature was published. The author states that she finds it displeasing just for an obese person to walk across a room, and as an obese person, I find this saddening. I also find it saddening that she does not consider herself “size-ist”. If you think less of a person because of their weight, then that is a blatant discrimination.
I’ve been a Marie Claire subscriber on/off for quite a few years, and I’m just shocked that a magazine which writes about how a woman should feel more self-worth, is now publishing this. Do you not realize how many readers you may have just offended and brought down a few levels?
It’s hard enough to read magazines with size 0 women plastered across the pages, but now, to read this makes me feel like I am less of a person–compared to a stumbling drunk as she stated.
I really hope you will consider your audience when you publish articles of this nature. I’m fairly sure you’ve lost quite a few readers in the long run over this.
::insert actual name::
That article brought back all of the bullying. It brought back the self-conscious feelings of “I wonder how many people find me gross”. It hurt, and it wasn’t fair.
The author tried to make up for it with an update (making excuses with her prior eating disorders and her perception of fat), but of course, you can’t take back how you really feel.
So, thank you Maura Kelly…thank you for making me feel equivalent to “a stumbling drunk” and a “heroin addict” (her words…not exaggerating). And thank you for making those hateful feelings against “fatties” seem OK to have by having them written in such a huge publication. You kind of suck.
How do you feel after reading this article?