Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | October 28, 2010

Marie Claire: ViR Lack of Statement

I wanted to briefly clarify ViR’s lack of statement on the Marie Claire fat hate blog. I had originally decided not to do a blog post, but I know many come to ViR for thoughts on issues such as these, especially because they concern eating disorders. I also know by me posting this it may be seen as hypocritical because I said I won’t comment, and now am bringing attention to this. But life isn’t so easy and black and white, and sometimes I have to do things that are challenging. I aso feel transparency and honesty are a HUGE part of ViR.

I was recently asked if I would be addressing this and this was the message I sent:

As much as I am upset with this, I have decided that ViR will not be making a public statement, nor blogging on it. I feel while she had anorexia – of course she doesn’t represent the ED world, and I would hope people know she is using it as an excuse to be hateful. I have a HUGE problem with the lack of research portrayed in her message. I absolutely hate the blame, shame, mean, fat hate message in this blog. But for me – I want to work to change those attitudes. I am trying to keep ViR as proactive vs reacting – and that is proving difficult on a daily basis (because so many things are angering me lately). If I do blog about this – it will not be about this author or the magazine, but it will be about the overall general fat hate we have in society. And create discussions on how we can change this, how we can work with FA advocates, get the HAES message out, and what we need to do next in order to help change the messages being fed to our children (on more of a preventative level for me).

I feel the obesity campaign has gone terribly wrong in the media, as being a blame game, and creating judgment . I think research studies are also being twisted in the media. One study doesn’t equal fact, and often if a study has a bias of blaming the person, or parent, the media LOVES to run with this. I feel we need to address the prevalent themes in the media, in this culture about fat hate, misunderstandings of obesity in general, and people honestly DON’T have the knowledge of research, health not equaling weight, etc. So for me, from a ViR standpoint, I have to look at themes, bigger pictures, and try to approach it from a “what do we need to do as advocates now to change this?”

I overall am a very opinionated person and get reactive instantly, but with regards to advocacy, I feel what is right for me is to focus on what we can do now, what are the next steps, address the themes I see as issues, and provide hope and inspiration that each person matters, their voice is important, and fate hate is unacceptable by ViR. So in that regards, those themes I will discuss, and will talk about, but I feel there are many voices, many blogs acting in outrage and I think that is right for them, and I believe my boundaries are changing all the time, and am trying to approach things in a certain way. I don’t know, I learn, grow, and while I am APPALLED by this blog, the authors comments & her fake PR apology, I needed to take a step back, see the big picture and do some planning a fight in a way I feel is right for ViR.

It is hard – I debated this a lot. I also listen to feedback on my page when people saw it – and this comment stuck out to me:

“I agree that addressing the overall the topic is important and that there needs to be support for the opposite of what they’re putting out there…but I know that they know that the minute they put something like that out there, they’ll get hits and comments and advertisers love that! They’re thinking short-term gains…not long-term impact. I remember reading something once about the opposite of boycotting…instead of rallying and fighting against something you don’t like or agree with, you support and promote those things you do like and agree with (and AVIR is very good at that :-)”

Just wanted to explain a bit as to my reasoning. And who knows – I am flexible, constantly revising how I want to represent ViR, and the bigger I get, the decisions get tougher 🙂

I also would like to add – I know there are MANY people in the activism world who have more knowledge on this area, especially Fat Acceptance advocates. I would recommend also reading Dr. Samantha Thomas’ blog The Discourse.

I hope this explains further ViR thoughts, concerns, because I think it is important as a public voice to explain the reasoning behind what I do here. I also want people to see that my mission is constantly evolving in practices, and is open to discussion, feedback, opinions, etc.


  1. You must be mad, as there were two missing final serial commas, and a typo (‘fate hate’), within a few lines of each other. I know that you would never make such mistakes without being so utterly angry!

    I agree that it is important to take a positive stance if that is viably possible.

    • That is hilarious! I copied the exact response I gave to a person – it wasn’t going to be a public thing so I didn’t edit every single sentence. When I reposted it here, I wanted to keep it as I originally sent it. So for this case – there was a reasoning behind my madness 🙂 I do however know when emotional, I tend to make long sentences, miss tiny details 🙂

    • And in a funny additional comment – that serial comma is up for debate depending on what source you research. Always a fascinating topic though 🙂

      • I actually thought of a sentence while I think of it…

        “I am anxious about food, and running.”
        “I am anxious about food and running.”

        Am I anxious about the two independently? Or is my anxiety only related to the two in combination, uncertain about the former purely in terms of fuelling the latter?

      • I think it depends on tone, and how you intend it to be read. I would say in your example I would use “I am anxious about food and running” 🙂

  2. The whole Marie Claire thing is what it is….Emotional Journalism… it angers, it promotes reaction, but it also brings the issue out in the open for people to talk about… As sad and true as that is, often that is what starts change.

    History has many, many, many issues like that…too bad we haven’t found a way to do it differently…

    I have read tons of blog posts about this issue but not necessarily the article and yes…bottom line. it started a lot of conversations…not always in a good way but people are talking about it.

    • I agree and this is why I posted this. Because I honestly am still processing this, the approach, the response. I am learning and trying to find when my rant is focused on the positive, or just to be heard as a rant.

      • That is why you are the advocate that you are! I did go read the articles..finally and her post on her own ED today. What I had to learn the most through my recovery is to see beyond the words of others. I, daily, sometimes, hourly, remind myself that I don’t have to always take it on…You know..the wisdom part of serenity.

        The unfortunate part is that having been obese since elementary school, I have seen this so many times before….what she wrote is what many think to themselves and it can be noticed in their actions and our interactions with them. Yes, it goes beyond the words…

        I was a cutter in my teenage years….I started that when my physical abuse STOPPED… the emotional pain is often greater than the physical pain…recovery is the process for me of dealing slowly with the emotional pain AND returning and integrating with my body.

        Honestly, to be truthful, it is no different than your concern that you voiced when I started the Slimdown project. I saw beyond your words and was able to feel your concern but it has taken MANY years of understanding that our own fears and experiences lead our thoughts.
        It is my healing process from my disordered thinking that has kept me unhealthy and in the pain. And it is my recovery that allows me to see everyone has a right to their feelings, their opinions, and it is my journey to see what I need. and leave the rest…just like you…just like everyone else that follows you….

        I SO APPRECIATE your post on this….and all the others that you put so much heart and passion into…..

  3. I agree with your stance on this. Frankly, when I read the article, I was more pissed that she used her eating disorder as an excuse for hate speech than at the actual hate speech, though that was thoroughly appalling too. What she did takes everything that the media stereotypes anorexics to be- skinny, bitchy, vain, fat-haters- and validates it, which does NOT do wonders for the cause. Then, of course, was the rest of what she said, which doesn’t even deserve a response, it was so ludicrous. The responsibility for this crap making it onto a public forum doesn’t just lie with her. I think her editors are culpable as well; this would never have made it into the printed magazine.

  4. Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your
    post to my blog?

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