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MIKE-AND-MOLLY AP_397x224.jpg

Does Watching Overweight People Make Out Make You Uncomfortable?

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | October 29, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | October 29, 2010 |

I don’t like the CBS sitcom, “Mike & Molly” for one simple reason: It’s not funny. It has nothing to do with the fact that the two leads (one of which, Melissa McCarthy, I normally adore) are overweight, and has everything to do with their need to make constant fat jokes at their own expense. If only there were a show that dealt with obesity in a funny yet compassionate and thoughtful way. Oh, wait. There is. It’s called “Huge.” And it was just cancelled.

The nation’s tolerance for gay relationships is growing, but despite the ever increasing numbers of overweight people in America, overweight people in sitcoms and movies (see also Paul Blart) are still punchlines to terrible fucking jokes.

Enter Marie Claire, the women’s magazine that offers health, beauty, and fashion information, apparently only for size-appropriate women. Why do women’s magazines feature only airbrushed, unrealistic depictions of women? I guess it’s because the women who run these magazines feel that overweight people are disgusting.

Over on Marie Claire’s dating blog, a woman, Maura Kelly, was tasked with reviewing “Mike & Molly,” and answer the question, “Do you really think people feel uncomfortable when they see overweight people making out on television?” I don’t know what “people” think of when watching overweight people make out on television, but Maura Kelly is not a fan:

My initial response was: Hmm, being overweight is one thing - those people are downright obese! And while I think our country’s obsession with physical perfection is unhealthy, I also think it’s at least equally crazy, albeit in the other direction, to be implicitly promoting obesity! Yes, anorexia is sick, but at least some slim models are simply naturally skinny. No one who is as fat as Mike and Molly can be healthy.


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.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, she pulled out the “black friend” argument as the kicker:

Now, don’t go getting the wrong impression: I have a few friends who could be called plump. I’m not some size-ist jerk.

Wow. Where do you even start? Or is it possible to start without having a brain aneurysm. She is fucked up on so many levels it’s embarrassing. So instead of addressing her obvious bigotry, I’m going to stoop to her asshole level. Here’s a picture of her — the only one I could find. You know how I kind of cringe at lookist comments on the site? And how I’ve occasionally called out people for their unwarranted lookist attacks on folks like Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker or even Katherine Heigl (who, despite my deep and abiding hatred, I will concede is an objectively gorgeous woman)? Well …

[redacted. I was wrong. Two comments in, and I realize that — even with a woman, Maura Kelly, that deserves it — I still cringe at lookist comments. I apologize for initially encouraging you to make fun of her out of some misguided attempt at karmic justice.]

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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