If You Don't Like it, Change the Channel

I know I said that I was only going to post once a week and this would make two. And yet, I just saw something on TV that made me comment. It turns out that a writer on Marie Claire made some comments on her BLOG that require addressing in some manner.

Apparently, Maura Kelly was assigned to review or comment on the show Mike and Molly on CBS. I don’t know if you have seen the show yet, which is why I include the link. It is cute and it deals with the obesity epidemic head on. People who are overweight and obese will joke about their situation. I am not skinny, nor do I want to be a size 0. I can relate to their struggles with weight or feeling uncomfortable with the idea of breaking a piece of furniture because of their size (OK, I have yet to break any chairs or tables, there is the fear though).

The sad thing is that Ms. Kelly’s blog starts of with some very valid points. She starts by talking about our unhealthy obsession with perfection and the cost to our economy of the obesity epidemic. Mike and Molly are not simply overweight, they are on the obese side according to her statements. However, I don’t see any reason why they cannot have a show. We are surrounded by rowdy and disrespectful “reality housewives”, shows about addicts kicking the habit, teenage pregnancies and others. The same way I don’t think these shows are advocating bad behavior, addictions or teenage pregnancy, I don’t think that is the point of Mike and Molly. I believe the point of this show is that life does not end because you are heavy. And there is where Ms. Kelly missed the mark.

The bottom line for me is very simple: if I don’t like a show on TV, I change the channel. There is a thing in most houses called a r-e-m-o-t-e control. Ms. Kelly, just take it in your hand and change the channel.
Now, in the same link where the article is, you will see her apology for being insensitive. I found her apology interesting because if you read it all the way through, she seems to be justifying her very simplistic view of the issue of obesity. Let me be clear with all of you: OBESITY is not about food. You can eat healthy and exercise for the rest of your life. If you don’t deal with the issues that made you gain the weight in the first place, you will never be a “normal” size.

Ms. Kelly mentioned that her review might be colored by her background with anorexia. I have been on both ends of the spectrum. When I was young I was anorexic and now I’m battling for my health (my weight is of no interest to me, my health is). I don’t pretend to guess what drove her to make the comments she made. I do believe that her view on the issue is all about the food and the exercise. That is not enough. There is an entire psychology and body issues that has to be addressed if people want to get rid of the weight. I will give her and the magazine props for having the guts to apologize publicly. That is not easy to do and most people don’t bother doing that. If nothing else, her comments have opened a debate that is important. I hope the debate continues and I do encourage Marie Claire to keep the conversation going.