I’m pretty sure you all know the blog entry I’m talking about, but in case you don’t, you can read it here. Essentially, blogger Maura Kelly was asked to write an article about the reactions to the TV show Mike and Molly, which features overweight main characters.
There’s a lot to be said about this article, but I have start with: are you making fun of Sookie? Seriously? Come ON, you just don’t go there. (Yes, I know Gilmore Girls was only a TV show. But I’m still bitter about the last season.)
This is a very real and very important topic, though, so that’s the last joke I’m going to make about it, I promise. I am a huge promoter of health awareness. I believe that eating healthful foods, getting adequate exercise, and taking care of yourself means that the majority of people can be at a healthy weight. I think the trends toward obesity in our country point to huge problems that need to be addressed, and that it would be a mistake to pretend otherwise.
But when it comes down to it, people are people, plain and simple. You don’t have a right to put others down just because you’re not going through the same situation they are. What’s more, belittling them (“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.”) is not helping anyone. Do you really think that it’s healthy to tear into someone’s appearance?
It struck me while reading this article that the actors must have heard about it. And thousands of people reading the article must relate to those characters, and feel the sting of the author’s words just as clearly. No printed apology is going to make up for the disrespectful words they first read that, I imagine, are nearly impossible to forget.
Which brings me to my ultimate point: why has our society drawn sides between the “fat acceptance” camp and the “you must be X size/weight” camp? Why don’t we focus more on education and nutrition, and moving our society away from sedentary activities? Why must everything be cast in a negative light, and people pitted against each other? Because when it comes down to it, there is no us versus them. We all have healthy days and not so healthy days, good months and bad months. I don’t care how thin you are, everyone partakes in destructive behaviors. No one has a right to be self-righteous, and no one should fall to playing the victim either.
Because when it comes right down to it, we are in control. We’re in control of ourselves, whether that means seeking help for depression or other mental struggles, getting involved in exercise or nutrition, educating oneself, or thinking before we speak. In this case, it means thinking before we type. Because what we publish online is permanent. People may not read it today, they may not comment, but it still affects someone. And when has hate ever helped?