My letter to Marie Claire.

by Brittany on October 26, 2010

in Chubby Girl, Pop Candy

Marie Claire ran an article entitled, Should Fatties Get A Room? (Even on TV?), in response to the shocking appearance of overweight people on television.

You know, where everyone can see them exist.

I don’t often fire off letters to editors of major publications, but this one hit a little close to home, and I would be remiss not to stand up for myself, and every other woman out there who loves eggrolls, soda, and stealing their kid’s Halloween candy.

Here is my letter:

Attn:
Joanna Coles, Editor in Chief
Kate Schweitzer, Senior Web Editor

Bravo.

I’m always thankful when national publications take the time to chastise entire populations of people.  Because, really, how else would we learn, right?

Here I was, in my size 16 jeans, starting to eek out a drop of self respect and confidence in myself, when clearly, I should have been standing in front of a full length mirror, drawing circles around my fat parts with a black marker.

I should just be thankful I found a husband willing to procreate with me, right?

Except, here’s the thing.  I like food.

I think it tastes good.

Apples, bananas, grilled romaine, and Chinese takeout.

All yummy.

And, as it turns out, the majority of women…agree with me.

Weird, right?

Some people find happiness in exercise.  Some find religious strength in fasting. I eat my feelings on my couch with a glass of wine and my comfortable sweatpants.

Does it mean that I don’t want to cry when my jeans are tight or I see a horrible picture of myself?  No.

But, I know my life still has value.  That I can’t let my worth be defined by an unhappy woman half my size.

As a professional blogger, people come to my site to read about my life.  The good parts.  The bad parts.  The fat parts.

Do you know which posts garner the most emails, comments, phone calls, and tweets?  The most yes’, and thank yous, and oh my God’s, and amens?

The posts that reflect my struggle with my weight and with my self.

That’s what women want.

They want to hear someone say all the things they are afraid to say out loud.

They want to relate.  To feel like they aren’t alone.  That they are allowed to both love and hate parts of their body, but still have worth.

Big Fat Rant
Right About Now
A Little Help From My Friends
Fat Ass
Denim is a Natural Fiber, If by Natural, You Mean, Made of Assholes
Let’s all make a list of things I can’t fit into right now, while I cry and get drunk.  It’ll be super fun.

I could go on.

My point is, there is a huge population of women sick of being bullied by other women in skinny jeans and fancy nationally publicized platforms.

I am one of those women.

And there are 210,000 women who read me every month who agree with me.

The Should Fatties Get A Room article will probably get you a lot of press, which was, I’d imagine, your goal.  But in the end, it’s just one more facet of your magazine that I can’t relate to.

If you ever decide you want to stop perpetuating the self-hate and bullying, you should email me.  Us big girls don’t just come with big appetites, we have big readerships, too.

P.S.  I would apologize to Maura Kelly, for leaving her in utter disgust should she ever find me walking across her line of vision, or making out with my husband, but then I realized, she should thank me.  She’ll be that much skinnier due to not being able to keep her food down.

Brittany Gibbons


Brittany Gibbons
http://brittanyherself.com
http://mouth-media.com
http://barefootfoodie.com

DM's Mommy October 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I think I may be a once-or-twice commenter but definitely a long-time lurker (long for me b/c in Mommy days: 1 hour is long:) I read the article and I definitely agree with you. I struggle each day to lose weight after 2 pregnancies in 3 years. I try and try and try and yes, I do fall of the wagon and eat what I shouldn’t or more than what I should eat when I’m eating. I am heavier than I want to be and heavier than I believe the AF believes I should be but at no point does my husband think I am disgusting. Last I checked: no one did. I am not, nor will I ever be, nor was I ever (pre-hubby and pre-kids) what society deems as normal. Yes, at 18yrs old I was 114lbs but at 5’0″….according to several websites: I was still overweight! I was 7-ish yrs old and for a short period of time anorexic b/c I was told by a stick-thin friend I was fat. Yes, at 7 I was told that and since then I have had body issues. I have never been anorexic again and wearing a 12-14 now I don’t ever plan on it no matter how bad I’d like to be thinner. Again, not for anyone but me, not even the AF, and to read that article definitely makes me think about things. And not in a good way. Should she lose her job? In a perfect world I would say yes but as we all know we don’t live in a perfect world. She is a good example of that. I just think the female gender has enough issues, body or otherwise, to worry about and not this. Her apology was nice but I think it would’ve been better had she published it BEFORE people e-mailed her and told her what an ass she was making herself look like. I pray when my daughter gets older she does not have the issues I had and loves her body, whatever shape she will be. Me? At 31yrs old I am working hard at loving my body after 2 kids, 31yrs, and an assload of family medical issues that have prevented me from focusing on me. I am working hard on loving my small frame, big hips, and curvier than normal shape. Thank you for keeping it real and keeping me sane!!! It’s very nice to read that we curvy women have someone standing up for us and who gets the rest of us curvy women!!

Bre October 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Best.

Response.

Ever!

I absolutely LOVED your letter! Great points and it made me laugh. Hope they listen!

Mylifewithcrazyboys October 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm

WOW~ As a fellow “fatty” I am pissed off about this article. From the looks of it, I am not alone. The author has now added an apology to the end of the junk she wrote. Thank you for standing up for us! I have been following your blog for a bit and think you are hysterical!!

Scarlet October 27, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Hello …
I do not read Maire Claire and now know why. I had not heard about this article until Sharon Osbourne tweeted about her disguist over it. So I had to google it to just see what she was talking about. And when I read the article I wanted to throw my bag of chips at the screen, but really why should I do that to a perfectly good bag of chips????
Anyway your blog came up #2 on google when I was searching. So I read your letter and am so very proud to be a plus size woman!
I love me, I have a fiance who loves me, and I feel that every extra pound or stretch mark I have is part of my beauty! Please dont stop telling off the skinny people who seem to think us non skinnies are gross / wrong / or disguisting!

Naza Shelley October 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I really like your take on this issue! I covered this same story on my blog http://www.thefationista.com.

An interesting point that I thought of is this: What is the real problem here? Is it that Mike AND Molly are overwieght or is it that Molly is overwieght? Think about other television shows, namely, King of Queens (I love Kevin James!). In that show, no one cares that Kevin James’ character is overweight. Actually, “The King of Queens Syndrome” revolves around the running joke is that Doug is fat but was able to pull Carrie, played by the gorgeous Leah Remini. I really wonder whether Ms. Kelly would have had the same reaction to show with an overweight male and a thin and attractive woman.

Even if you think of TV shows like Modern Family where Ed O’Neill’s character, an older not-so attractive overweight male, is married to Sofia Vergara, an incredibly sexy younger woman. Why aren’t we “disgusted” by these images but Mike & Molly cause people like Kelly to cringe in disgust?

Is the problem that Americans don’t want to see fat couples being intimate on TV or that they don’t want to see fat women on TV? Food for thought…no pun intended.

littlem October 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm

You have a point, Naza. A big one.

(I’d add that the actual size that constitutes the pejoratively “fat” woman also seems to keep shrinking, but that’s a slightly different rant.)

Christina October 29, 2010 at 10:51 am

I agree with both of you. But also, I found it really disturbing (for lack of a better word) that the article started with Mike and Molly and fat people in love, and turned into an essay about how overweight people can lose weight and how overweight people in real life AND on TV disgust Ms. Kelly.
I would have been offended and disagreed with her stance if she stuck to TV characters, but when she uses the topic to go into a preachy rant about how good food and exercise and a little mind power can make huge changes, etc, she crossed a second line.
Also the edito is “concerned about the show” that she has never seen because it makes fun of fat people, she thinks, but then she lets this article get published? I don’t get it.

Zahra October 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Good job!

I agree with you completely. Its shameful what they said. I see it as a big publicity stunt…a very offensive one….but one all the same.

Whats even more offensive is the people who are backing her up….and saying “well you are only upset because you are fat” …..I wanna smack them all and say IM NOT overweight yet I am EXTREMELY offended! The word “fattie” is what really gets to me. Do we not live in a politically correct world? Especially when it comes to a professional publication. It would be as offensive as referring to gay people as “fags” and black people as the “N” word…..

its just plain offensive.

karia October 27, 2010 at 8:08 pm

http://www.glamour.com/beauty/2006/07/younger-glamour-makeover

Is this really the same woman? Passing….judgment…on how someone looks?

Lisa Marie October 28, 2010 at 7:41 am

oh. my. gah.

Hilary October 27, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Okay, this is the first I’ve heard about this article, but I’m truly shocked that it was entitled, “Should Fatties Get a Room.” I mean, seriously?? Seriously?? I am also trying to lose some baby weight and it is so hard. Good for you for writing that letter. I wrote one myself a few months back to a so-called “expert” who had the balls to say that there was no such thing as postpartum depression. I sent her a strongly worded email expressing just how I felt. It’s so important for women to stand up to ignorance and judgment like this. I don’t want my daughter to grow up in a world like this.

jen October 27, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Bravo! Thank you for sending that letter. I have not seen the show, nor had I ever read Maura Kelly’s blog. While my inclination is to go all mouthy redneck and personally insult her — I digress.

This is what I will say: Thank the sweet baby jebus that we have real women bloggers like you — with real talent, addressing real life — making us laugh, cry and think. Thanks for sharing chica – you rock!

BecZhang October 27, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Very well said. You are a badass.

AmyLK October 27, 2010 at 9:14 pm

I LOVE THIS. YOU ROCK!

Lisa October 27, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Marie Claire can suck my big fat dick! If I had one and since I haven’t blown the hubs in foreer they can suck his dick! Those whore have lost so many readers because that ignorant article.

Tam October 28, 2010 at 2:26 am

Wow. “Should fatties get a room” leaves me wanting to strip my fat self naked and cover myself in chocolate body paint and lie in her bed, leaving her sheets all disgusting, and her wishing I hadn’t chosen HER room to get.

I’m a fatty. And I’m pregnant.

Choke on that, Bitch.

LilP October 28, 2010 at 5:10 am

Fairly new reader here.
Damn douche bags. I second all that Zahra said.
And I’m a former “fattie” (Big one. And I love sharing my story for the hope it gives women I can relate to all too well), but I’m the only person I call that word b/c I’m proud to always be a fattie at heart & a food lover in truth. lol. Otherwise, I really do find it to be one of the most offensive in the damn book.

You do it right too. You maintain your composure & you get through to em’ making em’ feel like a huge, dumb douche. I probably wouldn’t be able to control myself as well.

Sunnie in NC October 28, 2010 at 7:26 am

AMEN Sista’!!!!!!!

Marie October 28, 2010 at 7:47 am

I actually came here cause I hoped you’d do an article on this atrocity. Seriously, I shouldn’t kiss my husband in public because it may disgust the nation. I shouldn’t walk around a grocery store because I’m ruining everyone’s appetite with my rolls and rolls of fat.

I dealt with enough bullying in high school to have the sense to love myself and my body. How dare she bully the people in this nation. How dare an editor allow something like that to be broadcasted so those that are puking after every bite can feel like they disgust everyone, those that are on outrageous diets like only eating celery can feel bad for even eating that celery, those that don’t eat at all can feel bad they took a nibble.

I’m overweight and I’m beautiful. I’m smart, I’m courageous, hard-working, loyal and if my body disgusts you look the other way.

Anonymous Witch October 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Your last two sentences made me cry.
In a good way.

I am going to channel that attitude myself.

Sarah October 28, 2010 at 8:26 am

I’ve been a long time lurker and never posted a response here but for this one I just had to say: fantastic job! It seems to me that articles like that are so demanding that we feel the words and that they hurt us. We’re more than aware that this terrible “health” problem is present. We’re also aware that there are plenty of skinny ladies who think that fatties are the worst thing to walk on this planet and should be hauled away into a dark room with no doors to either starve ourselves into a size 2 dress or eat each other in a desperate need for food. Bravo for standing up and letting them know what’s what.

You just gave me a great start to my day. :D

Karen October 28, 2010 at 9:36 am

I am so fired up right now after reading that article. How the hell did this ignorance get approved by the editors of Marie Claire? “But … I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over. It’s something they can change, if only they put their minds to it.”
Thank you for being real! Your response was pure genius.

Erin October 28, 2010 at 10:27 am

Amen, sista!

AmandaJo October 28, 2010 at 10:43 am

Oh, fuck them.

I’m sorry, was that rude? Was it inconsiderate? Should I have added a please? Or a very much? Let’s try again:

Oh, fuck them VERY MUCH. Please.

I’m a size 10-11, and that’s hard enough. It’s bigger than I was before I had my baby a year ago, it’s bigger than I ‘ve been in my adult life, it’s a lot SMALLER than a LOT OF WOMEN in my family, and it’s somehow still a constant source of discomfort and shame for me. CONSTANT. Because I didn’t used to look like this, I feel like I shouldn’t look like this now- this isn’t me, it’s not who I am, it isn’t who people want me to be. I’m not comfortable, I feel like I should hide away and keep myself out of other people’s judging sight. I feel gross, I feel disgusting.

But yaknow? I’m a pretty girl. I am. I’m pretty. (I’m also wicked smart and kind and generous and a great mother, Marie Claire. You ASSHOLES.) And the only reason I feel like I’m not any of those things is that ARTICLES LIKE THAT ONE perpetuate the idea that I’m not. That none of us are. Well fuck that, and fuck you, Marie Claire. I’ll never read another thing you publish. You know why?

Because we deserve better than this self-loathing bullshit. We deserve MORE than to feel like the only time we’re valuable is if we’re a certain size or look a certain way or follow certain trends. We aren’t all perfect, we don’t all fit your standard of beauty, but it’s the bitchy, holier than thou skinny girls that make *me* sick. So why don’t YOU hide away? Why don’t YOU keep yourself somewhere we can’t see you, so all the NORMAL PEOPLE can go about their lives without having their stomachs turned?

Brit, will you come to where I live and move in with me so we can hug and eat doritos and drink whiskey (Or wine, whatever) all the time? ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY.

JustAnotherLondoner October 28, 2010 at 10:57 am

I respect you for voicing something which many people perhaps wouldn’t.
(Also, this is not meant in a negative way at all, but if you haven’t sent this letter already, ‘eek’ in paragraph 3 should be spelled ‘eke’!)

Hope October 28, 2010 at 11:36 am

LOVE the letter. Thank you for sending it and sticking up for us “fatties”.

Laura October 28, 2010 at 11:59 am

I read your blog all the time, but rarely comment. With this one though I have to say BRAVO!! I LOVE the letter. That article was disgusting. And her apology at the end of it more than a little hollow. I don’t read Maire Claire regularly and after reading that I certainly won’t start. As a fellow BIG GIRL (size 16), I totally agree with you. I could get in shape. It’s laziness that I haven’t, to an extent anyway. Like you…I LIKE FOOD. Shame on me. Apparently I should just hide in my house. But, I’m not the type to hide and if I ever see Maura Kelly I will not only walk across her line of vision, I will dance across it and laugh at her skinny ass. My husband LIKES to have some cushion to cuddle up to, not a bag of bones.

me October 28, 2010 at 1:00 pm

i love you. your awesome. you speak for everyone whos dealt with their weight in a bad way. and when i see people like you who had a mind and a mouth, i smile

Icarus October 28, 2010 at 2:04 pm

That is what I’m talking about! You should have ended your letter: “It’s Brittany – Bitch” … and my next letter will be about why Nina Garcia should be fired!

LOH October 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm

hi, i just read this article, and it disgusted me. i dont even get the real…problem with her, if you dont want to watch something on tv, dont watch it! she, however, then said that ppl like that disgust her, it made me feel like we were back in racist times…only now…”sizeist” times?. she seems very judgmental, narrow minded, and perpetuates an inferior feeling among any woman. im not overweight, but I judge myself in the mirror nonetheless, her article made me feel like dirt, and im not even overweight! normally, i would say not to let it get it to you, or get you down, but…she just seemed out to make ppl feel inferior to her, and it made me mad. “we shouldn’t judge people on the color of their skin (or size of your body) but on the contents of their character”- i doctored the famous MLKjr quote here, but i think it fits, and she needs to learn that lesson.

your blog, and various comments on marie claire, actually help me feel better about my body, and im gonna continue to be happy, feel beatiful, and healthy, not feel guilty if i eat a chocolate pudding or skip a workout or whatever :)

Tony October 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Brittany, you never fail to make me smile. Love your perspective. Your persepctive is so cathartic. I try daily to convince my 10 yr old daughter that she is beautiful being her and not what others say she should be like in some damn magazine, TV show or whatever. Keep up the awesomeness of being you.

Alison October 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm

You ROCK!!

Goose October 28, 2010 at 6:53 pm

I applaud you for your post and your letter to the editor of Marie Claire. You truly are an inspiration to us all.

Did you see her apology at the end of the web article? A little too late I’d say.

Veronica October 29, 2010 at 1:49 am

LOVE.

IT.

Couldn’t have said it better!

Becky October 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Bravo Brittany! Very well said, and I appreciate people who have the huevos to stand up to people who aren’t very accepting of differences. And just a little rant of my own…

It really pissed me off when they pulled all of the “Lane Bryant” lingerie ads off tv, yet I have to watch at least 6 Victoria’s Secret ads during an hour long program. If they’re going to pull an ad for overweight women (Which, I’m sorry to say is the silent majority), then you need to pull the ones for the unrealistic expectations of women’s bodies. Try as you might, but I hate to tell you, after a baby, that weight does NOT just fall off.

chickens consigliere October 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Slow clap. Marie Claire, you should listen. I’ve read three or four posts on this article (all negative), but I haven’t read the article yet. And you know what? I don’t think I’ll bother. Because I trust these women to know when something really sucks.

cozmikgrl30 October 30, 2010 at 11:03 am

Awesome letter! And good for you!!

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels October 30, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Bravo, Brit!

Usually I don’t get involved in all the rah-rah, but this one had me literally fuming. Not just because I’m fat, too (and isn’t that alone a good reason?) but also because it is absolutely absurd to give mean-spirited, small-minded, snobbish, bitchy bullies the spot light to spew bullshit unpunished.

I think it is shameful that they allowed this. Maura Kelly is clearly, quite aside from being a total bitch, not very bright either, or she would have never said those things “out loud”. The MarieClaire editors, however, fully realized what they were doing it and did it anyway, all for publicity. It’s sad that it’s not surprising, and it’s sad to think that they will go on unpunished, skinnier and richer than ever, congratulating themselves and giving each other pats on their bony shoulders for scoring such a coup. Until karma catches up with them.

And karma… why, she can be a bitch. A bigger bitch than Maura Kelly and her editors even. Until then, long live women with curves. And without. Long live all women and all people of all body shapes, in fact, tall and short, fat and skinny. Just as long as they are not skinny bitches.

Chuck October 31, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Well done. As usual!

Steph November 1, 2010 at 7:49 am

Thank you Brittany! Great letter.

lesli November 1, 2010 at 1:40 pm

amen.

mommymae November 2, 2010 at 10:36 am

i’m a fairly skinny gal who is quite offended with the marie claire piece of tripe. twobusy said it all at mamapop. it’s simply hateful. i hope you know she’s the one who should be ashamed of herself and her body issues. NOT YOU! you are beautiful, courageous, kind-hearted, hilarious, fabulous, extraordinary, you want me to keep going?

Jennifer Durr November 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm

You are truly amazing. Thank you for writing to them what i only wish I could say!!

impatientgirl December 29, 2010 at 9:40 am

Just started reading you recently as everyone at work raves about you. THANKS for such a great letter and I love your site. : ) cheers

Bernadette February 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Your response to that rocked! I get so mad when people make fat jokes. I haven’t chosen to be fat or overweight. I struggle everyday! I thank you for putting that woman in her place!!

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