Chewing the Fat

A heaping helping of retorts to Unreal's "Lard Have Mercy"

 Big and proud: "Lard Have Mercy" is a shining example of one of the last acceptable prejudices that many people have today. It is OK to insult the plus-size community. It seems that your reporter chose to present the article in a slanderous, disrespectful and very biased fashion.

Unreal was given a press packet of information and interviewed many people who had very positive things to say. But the article presents the plus-size community in a very negative way. The prom was a great success. The room was filled with big beautiful women in formals and big handsome men dressed to the nines. We crowned a king and queen. Unreal missed the focus of the event. The plus-size community is big and proud. We had a prom that was wonderful and we had a fantastic time!

I guess Unreal didn't understand. Maybe you can educate on acceptance.
Linda Moore

It isn't funny: Shame on you! Your article was very one-sided and not correct at all in its assumption of what the Midwest Chub Club is all about. I've said for years that fat people are the last acceptable group of people who can be degraded in public and no one will do anything to stop it. I mean, isn't it funny to laugh at fat people in the everyday world? No, but you will find people every day doing just that.

With 65 percent of the population being overweight, you might have wanted to do a little more research into what the club was about before opening your opinionated mouth.
Natalie Stephens
St. Charles

The boating question is a good one! I wish to express my shock and immense displeasure at the recent article "Lard Have Mercy." I find it personally offensive on a number of fronts.

To begin, the very tone of the article is juvenile and injurious in a way that can only suggest a whiff of the schoolyard in-crowd in full bully mode.

Secondly, I'd like to point out that one would be hard-pressed to find an equivalent story, even one written in a more responsible tone, in a mainstream North American publication, were the topic, say, homosexuals, disabled adults, children with learning disabilities or disorders such as Tourette syndrome (TS), or people of color. Even if one were to argue that being a BBW is an issue of choice rather than of genetics (which, by the way, much of the current research is suggesting), it would still be difficult to locate an article ridiculing people living with AIDS (PWAs), Jews, Christian Scientologists, or even participants in extreme sports such as marathoners, Australian rules rugby players or people who sail around the world. These choices can certainly endanger life as much as carrying some extra weight.

I've certainly never seen a journalist "inquire delicately" about a PWAs favorite position to avoid transmitting HIV to a partner. I've never seen a journalist "inquire delicately" about how a person with spina bifida manages in the bedroom, or how the skipper does it successfully in the confines of a small boat.

And finally, while Unreal seems to need to resort to cheesy puns and tired old food references to fill out the ridiculous excuse for an article, instead of looking at the real story; the story of a segment of the population that has traditionally been ridiculed and oppressed getting out and standing up and doing something positive, we are left, suddenly hungry again, but this time for the true and important story.
Heather Fairbairn
Edmonton, Alberta

We definitely dare, Bob: You did a wonderful job of bashing the BBWs in your fair city. Perhaps you should be assigned other groups with which to ruin your reputation as a reporter. Why not work your wonders on other groups in town: Firemen, policemen, garbage men, doctors, dentists, ministers of all faiths, the blind, the deaf, the homeless -- and don't forget the amputees.

I am a BHM (Big Handsome Man), and yes, I am obese. But how many readers before your article did you have reading your publication before you ran your mouth? Yes, we have freedom of speech in this country. Do you dare run my letter?
Bob Phillips
Marion, South Carolina

The easy way out: The first time I read "Lard Have Mercy," I can honestly say I was amazed. Amazed that in a society so concerned with political correctness, your newspaper allowed you to publish that article. I daresay if you had made fun of African-Americans, gays or Jews, your story would have been scrapped, or more likely it never would have been written to begin with. However, since it was based on a segment of society that up until recently has remained quiet, made to feel inadequate or embarrassed by their size -- mostly because of media attention such as yours -- it was acceptable. How I pity you for writing this story and your editor for allowing this. In a time when the mantra seems to be "Can't we all just get along?" it is shallow-minded people such as yourselves who make that impossible.

It seems Camey and her friends allowed you into their lives, most likely in the hope that you could show the positive side of their event. But you took the easy way out, finding it much easier to make fun of both the situation and the people. A college professor once told me, "People find it easier to make fun of other because then they don't have to face their own inadequacies." I'd invite you to look at yourselves and figure out why it was easier for you to take the low road, instead of taking the high, less-traveled road and writing a story that would have put a positive light on both the people who opened themselves up to you. Maybe then you'll be able to write stories that can focus on what is really important: the good in people and the good they do for others, and not just on their outward appearance.
Frankye Mace
Augusta, Georgia

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