Advocating a Healthy Lifestyle is Not the Same as Advocating a "Pre-Prom Diet"carolyncastiglia
Oh, I hate to get nitpicky about someone else’s writing, especially when that person is also essentially being nitpicky about someone else’s writing, but it’s clearly a slow news day all around, so I’ll just dig in. Jezebel just published a post called Teenage Fatties Best Not Be Fat for Prom, Says Concerned Non-Teen. (Whew! I lost weight just typing that!) The piece is by Erin Gloria Ryan, whose posts normally blind me with their brilliance and whose writing I can almost always ID just from the way it trips off the tongue of my mind’s ear without even checking the byline, but this time Morning Gloria gets it wrong. She accuses a dietitian in Syracuse, New York, of “framing health like it’s a diet designed for optimal hotness” and calls that “depressingly retro.” But let’s be real, Gloria: you’re talking about a lady who lives in Manlius, New York — the highlight of her week is her big trip to Wegmans. Her whole life is depressingly retro. That doesn’t mean she’s hatched an evil plot to shame fatties. Take it from me, I’m a chubby girl from Central New York. In fact, pretty much every girl from Central New York is a chubby girl from Central New York. We could all probably use some lettuce with our cheese curds.
Look, one thing I hate and I’m sure every blogger hates about the blogosphere is the way that we feel forced to sometimes manufacture emotion in order to churn out content that will get clicks. I’ll never forget this AMAZEBALLZ piece by former Gawker editor Emily Gould in which she calls Jezebel out for doing just that by boosting a woman’s insecurities in the same way that, as Ryan might call them, depressingly retro girlie mags do. Yes, women who write and read blogs do live in “Outrage World” as Gould put it, and most of the time it’s good fun. We all sort of winkingly play along when we know outrage isn’t really required, because it’s fun to be mad, and also sometimes we’re genuinely right to be outraged about the topics we cover. (Abortion, the election, the high price of ice cream!) But in this case, Ryan is just looking for something to write about, and this lady from Syracuse is just using the prom as a hook to get kids interested in eating broccoli. Nothing to see here. Move along. Then again, maybe Ryan is just faking a persona, like Gawker writers do. Or maybe we’re all faking it to some extent, or faking our fakeness to use that as an excuse not to have to own our words…….. because we have to churn out so many. Thank God for fat girls! Always flubby fodder! I SHOULD KNOW OMG I’M EATING A PIZZA RIGHT NOW OR AM I YOU’LL NEVER KNOW………
Look, if you want me to be outraged, show me a post that says fat girls shouldn’t go to the prom, or fat girls shouldn’t dress a certain way at the prom, and maybe I’d be upset. Or maybe I’d just be so used to being told how to make my fat ass look cute that I’d deal with it, cuz, honestly – I like it when my fat ass looks good. It’s not like this lady is advocating the use of feeding tubes to lose weight before a wedding or anything. That’s another topic Erin Gloria Ryan tackled for Jezebel, and with lots of gusto! Ooh, she is outraged about those feeding tubes! And she also makes fun of women who choose to get married! Women who get married don’t give blow jobs! Women who want to wear a fancy dress on their wedding day are all insufferable beasts! Women don’t look good in strapless dresses? (What? Now you’ve really lost me. My fat ass wore a strapless dress at my wedding and I looked amazing. I’m not even married anymore, but I stand by that dress.)
Hyperbole is an ingredient in the recipe that makes comedy, but it isn’t comedy in-and-of itself, nor is outrage alone critical thinking. I know Erin Gloria Ryan doesn’t believe that women who get married are insufferable beasts who don’t give blow jobs any more than she believes this nice lady from Syracuse hates fat girls and is advocating they hate themselves, too, by going on a crash, fad, pre-prom diet. So there. The end.