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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Anorexia Bad. Obesity Good?? Marie Claire's Maura Kelly is slammed by Sharon Osbourne

Once again emotions and defensiveness are beating out rational thinking when it comes to obesity... And Sharon Osbourne's reaction via Twitter is just plain wrong...

Marie Claire's Maura Kelly posted a blog lamenting the on-screen love affair of morbidly obese Mike & Molly. If they were both anorexic, and Ms. Kelly posted she'd be "grossed out" by their sit-com romance, nobody would care. (Just like nobody seems to care the show is a non-stop barrage of cliched fat jokes.) But in an era when the largest American population is obese, followed by overweight, we're now not just normalizing obesity, but glamorizing it.

(And poor Richard Conniff over at Men's Health. His new article "I Hate Fat People" hasn't gotten any attention...)

Morbid obesity is not an innate state. It cannot be compared to race or sexual orientation, so forget that argument. Morbid obesity is the result of habitual improper eating, or in rare instances, a result of uncommon medical conditions such as Prader-Willi or Cushing's Syndrome. And while there's evidence that environmental factors can exacerbate the problem, in almost all cases, obesity is a result of eating habits. Period.

The results of self-injury, self-destruction, bodily harm always will repulse--it's our natural instinct. To find romance between two morbidly obese characters unsettling makes sense, especially once you understand that morbid obesity results in a higher incidence of fertility complications, pregnancy complications, delivery complications, and ultimately, a greater rate of birth defects. Our human instinct for survival always will find morbid obesity repulsive, like any damage to the body.

And before you overreact to this post, please keep in mind that obesity is a "thing" a condition--it is not the person. Coming from a family history of obesity, I've never confused the two.

Sure Maura Kelly made a big mistake--she hit a nerve.