March 25, 2023
Maura Kelly - Marie Claire Writer

I caught a story this morning on the Today show about an article in Marie Claire website in which the writer, Maura Kelly, was saying that she would be “grossed out” by watching people on a TV sitcom that were over showing intimacy. This blog post has caused a bit of a firestorm on the internet and when I just checked there were over 1600 comments from people angry about the attitudes. Here is a quote from the article:

So anyway, yes, 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.

Now comparing over people to drunks and heroin addicts is not fair but it brings up a question about TV and how we watch it.

The show in question is Mike and Molly, a show that I had never heard of before but now I wonder about. The comment in context in the article was that these people were not fat but were obese and that brings up a lot of questions for us as people fat or thin and how we view pop culture in general and TV in particular.

I know that in the past I have watched many many episodes of the Biggest Loser and watched Kevin James on “King of Queens” but when I think about it with heavy people body image is really noticed on TV in the first place and then after that I tend to notice storyline. I know that this is not fair and it makes me look at my own attitudes when it comes to TV and my perception of people on TV versus rfeal life.

In real life we get to see people as they are and interact. If someone is boney, fat, short, tall, or even disabled (can we say that on the internet? Not trying to offend really) or anything else that makes them distinctive appearance-wise that first impression is quickly dropped by the first few sentences that come out of their mouth. On TV this is not the case. I have never talked to someone on a TV show so I can only judge them by the character they are playing and at a distance.

I have to agree that pop culture has really gotten out of control over the last few years and the standards that we judge celebrities is ridiculous, they are as intelligent or not just like the rest of us but as far as I am concerned TV does not often reflect our real life interactions with people.

I have a couple of questions to pose here:

1. Do you personally care about how people look on TV?

2. If you are over or somehow different than “average” in your own mind, how does that affect you and youor daily interactions with friends and also how with strangers?

Let us all know. With a bit of distance from the Maura Kelly Marie Claire article I think we can look inside ourselves and see how we are not being fair to ourselves and those around us.

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