Media

Media Stuff

For Canadian readers, there’s a nice little bit on the blog and me in the October Chatelaine, which I might even get around to scanning someday. I’m mostly really pleased with it, but it does provide an interesting example of the way even the best interviews can get mangled. Elaine O’Connor was respectful and legitimately curious about fat acceptance, which is awesome, and as far as I can tell, she didn’t misquote me. Not exactly. However:

On her blog, one man rages: “How dare you tell women it’s okay for them to accept a body type that I don’t find attractive?”

Um, yeah. “One man” has never raged in those specific words on my blog. O’Connor asked me about criticism I’ve received, and I offered that line as a joking example of the general tenor of troll criticism, not a direct quote.

Here’s an actual example of the kind of comment I’m talking about:

I’m sick and tired of feminists subtly implying that there is something wrong about me or any other guy having a preference for fit women. In nature, animals tend to seek out the strongest, fittest, fastest or brightest mates. Humans are not nearly as far removed from our roots are we like to think. Sure, the idea of attractiveness is manufactured by our media. It changes over time. Attractive women (in the judgement of both men and gay women) are going to recieve preferential treatment from those people, just as attractive men do from women and gay men. Most people who are in love (in my experience) are in love for reasons besides physical appearence, but they were attracted to each other because of physical appearence. There are hundreds of serious issues facing women today, surely feminists can find a more productive use of their time than informing women that it’s okay to eat doughnuts if it makes them happy. It’s counterproductive, it’s based on faulty information and it’s a waste of intelligence.

Here’s another:

Most guys don’t want heavy babes. Unless of course they are larger themselves. Just reality. While the recent move to accept larger people proliferates, and, while it is good to feel good about yourself-self love and all it’s just too much.

And another:

This lady just doesn’t GET it. Some men just AREN”T sexually motivated, or attracted by a chunk. Girls, get the picture…If you want to be happy in your own skin, as all these self help horsecrap books talk about, remember, the author is hoping you buy her book, because she wants your money, so she is going to say it’s OK for you to be fat. NEWSFLASH ! You just might be happy in your own skin ALONE. Yes, you DO actually have a responsibility to look good, if you want to be accepted.

(The last two actually came from Breakup Girl’s blog, not mine, but they’re practically identical to comments that have ended up in my mod queue.)

And another, which actually does come from my mod queue:

FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS FATTIES ARE GROSS

You get the picture. I didn’t have any of those quotes off the top of my head (well, except “FATTIES ARE GROSS”), so I went with the hyperbolic example that made it into the article, expecting it to be recognized as a hyperbolic example. Evidently, it wasn’t.

Why am I hung up on this? Because it sounds like I did tell O’Connor that was a direct quote, and it’s the kind of thing I would respond to as a reader with a resounding, “Oh, horseshit.” It doesn’t pass the sniff test, and it shouldn’t, ’cause it was a deliberate exaggeration. So I worry that that reflects on my credibility — lookshe just makes shit up!

It’s a small thing, and I’ll be over it in about fifteen minutes. But having done more interviews in the last year than I ever expected to do in a lifetime, I keep learning that I can’t be too careful about the words I choose. I’ve been ridiculously lucky in that just about every article that’s mentioned my name has been overwhelmingly positive; that’s certainly not been the case for a lot of fat acceptance activists and bloggers over the years, and I hope it portends an increasing understanding of what we’re really all about. (Hint: It’s not telling people to lie around and eat donuts all day.) But there’s been something in just about every one of them that made me go, “WTF? Where did you get that?” I wonder if that’s something I can ever learn to head off with more carefully measured answers, or if it’s just par for the course.

And heh, I just had to take a break from this because I got another call from a journalist that turned into him running down all the Concern Trolls’ Greatest Hits (up to and including “There are no fat people in concentration camps”), and me barely containing all the “Oh, fuck off“s that bubbled up in my throat, so I suspect I may soon be seeing my first interview that’s not overwhelmingly positive in print. Still learning over here. Still learning.

4 thoughts on “Media Stuff

  1. Oh! Congrats on the article, I’ll keep my eye out for it.
    I wonder what the article would look like if you *had* said “Oh, fuck off.”

  2. ….Oh, gawd. After buzzing through the Chatelaine website, I remember why I don’t read their stuff. It’s in how-to-lose-weight-by-not-eating-coughdrops territory.

Comments are closed.