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Marie Claire’s muddled message

Marie Claire October 2010In the past two weeks, Marie Claire, the women’s magazine known for its intelligent reporting amidst a world of diet and sex tips, ran two stories that created a whirlwind of controversy and made many of us question the editorial judgment we’ve always depended on.

The first was a one-sided account of the world of healthy food bloggers, in which Katie Drummond accused the “food- and fitness-obsessed” blog world of inspiring eating disorders. Then, shortly after, Maura Kelly expressed her disgust at the sight of fat people in an insensitive blog post.

In Should “Fatties” Get a Room? (Even on TV), Kelly addressed the CBS show, Mike and Molly, which chronicles the romance of a couple who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous group. “I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them do anything,” she said, including kissing or simply walking across a room. She then offered two sentences of generic nutrition and fitness suggestions, her offhand solution to the nation’s obesity epidemic.

Instead of pointing women towards a more balanced lifestyle, Marie Claire allowed one reporter to bash the overweight while allowing another to discredit women (one of whom is a registered dietician) who have dedicated their lives to inspiring readers to eat whole foods, go running, and do yoga.

Make up your mind, Marie Claire. Should we be fat, skinny, or will you just keep judging us no matter what?

(Note: To her credit, Kelly has since recanted and posted an apology as an addendum to her post, in which she attributed her insensitivity to her own battle with anorexia. The post was removed from the site briefly yesterday, but appears to be live once again, without edits. Marie Claire continues to stand by both stories.)