I had to do it, you guys. I’ve never seen an episode of CBS’s “Mike & Molly,” about two people who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting and fall in love, but still, I had to devote this week’s post to that show. I’m sure you’ve heard about the recent controversy surrounding this show, in which a Marie Claire blogger wrote a disgusting post about how watching fat people walk across a room grossed her out, and how fatties should get a room. Seriously.
Jezebel has the story, with lots of links to other blogs that have commented on this story, and links to the original Marie Claire stuff.
Like many people, I find this incident upsetting. Marie Claire is no towering example of fine journalism, it’s true, but that’s hardly the point. This is just crass, ignorant, and outright bigoted.
And it certainly does not encourage me to pick up a Marie Claire and leaf through it at the hair salon or my favorite Chinese place as I wait for my carry-out, much less actually buy a subscription. In fact, as ShopItToMe‘s newest trendsetter, I was offered a free year-long subscription to Marie Claire as part of a promotion.
Because of the magazine’s response to criticism, I joined the promotion but respectfully turned down the free subscription. I didn’t want it and didn’t care for it. First, I don’t really read magazines. Second, I get sent free women’s magazines all the time (currently I’m getting Bazaar and Vogue, before that it was Shape and Vanity Fair) because the industry is in such trouble that they’re desperate for new subscribers and are sending out loads of free issues, and these magazines all have the same fashion and lifestyle and diet and blah blah blah tips, so what do I care? They’re all interchangeable. Third, Marie Claire will pretty much always have a negative association for me.
It’s kind of like when you were younger and you were home alone with nothing to eat so you warmed up one of those frozen shrimp-and-penne-pasta things and then you got food poisoning and now you can’t stand any kind of pasta with shrimp or alfredo sauce.
Lucky for me, the SITM promotion managers are awesome and were like, oh, that’s totally cool that you don’t want to touch Marie Claire with a ten foot pole, how about Esquire instead?
Um…score?! I love Esquire!
But, my personal newfound aversion to the magazine aside, let’s get a couple things straight.
Let’s not pretend this is anything new or shocking. None of us are shocked that the Marie Claire blogger finds fat people gross. (Perhaps it should be mentioned that the blogger suffered from anorexia nervosa in the past.) Some of us share this opinion to a certain extent.
Even saying that this incident was some sort of look at the ‘back room’ of women’s magazines is just an oversimplification. I’ve heard the argument that this seems like one of those things where a bunch of fashion writers were in the editor’s office, talking about all the gross fatties out there, and they decided, what the heck, let’s put it out there, and the readership resoundingly panned it.
No. There was more to this article than just saying that fat people should try to be thinner. Frankly, that is the premise of every single women’s magazine out there. That is the premise of basically every single aspect of our popular culture. This is nothing new or shocking in that respect. I’m sure most of us would agree that the whole ‘try to be thinner!!1!’ thing isn’t all that offensive. We play into it every time we try out a new diet or cleanse or whatever.
The real problem here, at least in my opinion, is kind of (just barely) the same problem I had with Firas Atraqchi’s article in the Huffington post about why American Muslims shouldn’t support the Park51 masjid a couple blocks from Ground Zero, which we actually argued about quite a bit on Twitter.
He argued that as far as good deeds and philanthropy and all that went, American Muslims should donate to Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Sudan. I had no issue with that, but as I told him, first, the two issues were completely separate, and as far as his good deeds argument went, every Muslim donated to the causes of his or her choice in his own personal quest for completing good deeds that would yield a later reward. And there was no reason at all to place road blocks on the road to good deeds.
Similarly, here, there is absolutely no f–king good reason for putting road blocks on the road to humanity, which is the result/ramification of that blogger’s points in her bigoted article. It was absolutely offensive and horrifying to come across an argument that not only should fat people try to get thinner (fine, all of us ladies kind of understand that, as we eye our skinny jeans and pledge to give up soda for good), but they should have the decency to keep themselves out of the public eye until they do so, because their mere existence, much less their right to walk across a room or make out on television, is so horrifying to us ‘normals.’
Any time we start saying that X group of people is somehow less deserving of being a part of the ‘human group,’ we have a big, big problem.
And you know what? This wasn’t ‘provocative writing,’ the kind that’s published to draw criticism and discussion and publicity. This was just bigotry. And any writer or editor that can’t understand the difference, well, maybe he/she isn’t as well suited for his/her job as he/she thought.
But enough about that.
So to that end, today’s post is about Mike & Molly. I still haven’t seen an episode. I probably won’t because I watch too much television already. (The Office, Big Bang Theory, the Mentalist, occasionally 30Rock, occasionally How I Met Your Mother, South Park, occasionally the Simpsons, Family Guy, and sometimes Robot Chicken. Tooooo much television.)
But I wanted to do a post about it anyway, and feature an outfit that Molly Flynn would totally wear. (Molly’s played by Melissa McCarthy, who played Sookie on Gilmore Girls, and I love her. She’s so pretty and cute!)
Let’s get started!
This appears to be a very typical outfit for Molly: printed top, colored cardigan, and dark pants. The look is easy enough to recreate:
I picked a pair of boot cut jeans and found this printed, kind of sparkly top in those pretty, vibrant blue and green colors. It was easy enough to match a comfy green cardigan to it, and because I wanted some more sparkle and interest on the feet, I went with these black studded flats to pull everything together.
And there we are! A pretty plus-sized outfit inspired by the adorable Molly Flynn of Mike & Molly.