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Fat People Kissing on TV, Andy Warhol and the Perils of Our Internet Age

3 years ago
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Andy Warhol was exaggerating only slightly when he made his now infamous statement: "In the future, everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes."

Of course Warhol made that pronouncement in 1968, long before the Internet era. And he was prophetic except for the fact the information age gives everyone 15 nanoseconds, not minutes, of fame. This week, one heretofore unknown Marie Claire blogger named Maura Kelly got her 15 nanoseconds when she wrote:

". . . 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. "

A dumb statement, we can all agree, no? Even those of us with a bit more avoirdupois than we would like have . . . well, anyway, dumb or not, the comment catapulted Kelly to her moment of fame when the Marie Claire posting went viral, and drew 28,000 mostly angry responses from readers.

Mike & MollyToo bad. Yes, the whole situation is too, too bad for a variety of reasons. Ms. Kelly was responding to a question from her editor about a new CBS sitcom called "Mike & Molly," a show about an obese couple who met through Overeaters Anonymous. The question was whether she would feel uncomfortable watching two fat people kissing, and it was posed in response to CNN reporting that the show "has drawn complaints for its abundance of fat jokes [as well as] cries from some viewers who aren't comfortable watching intimacy between two plus-sized actors."

The whole matter is also too bad because if one bothers to read Ms. Kelly's entire article (instead of the one insulting sentence), she actually makes some highly informative statements. Among them, that promoting obesity in the media is bad for Americans' health and costly to our already-overpriced health care system. Sad, but true.

Too bad, too, because she may not like watching fat people kiss on TV, but quite frankly, I don't like watching skinny people kissing on TV, or in real life (exception: weddings). I feel about sex in the movies or on TV the same way I feel about it in real life. If I'm not part of it, I don't want to be watching anyone else do it, no matter how fat, skinny, beautiful or ugly they may be. But Kelly, of course, slapped down an already self-deprecating segment of the population that needs no additional bashing -- to wit, the two-thirds of American adults who are overweight.

And too bad, lastly, because it is so typical of what happens on the Internet these days. Someone can write an absolutely legitimate, informative piece, most of which evanesces into the blogosphere without notice. But the insults, they go viral!
Filed Under: Woman Up

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