Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Big "Fat" Response to a Pirate Rant

In every edition of our campus newspaper, The East Carolinian, there is a section called "Pirate Rants."  This is an anonymous opinion section where students can write 'rants' about things on campus or relating to student life.  People often talk about their roommate troubles or talk smack about other students.

I remember when I first started reading the TEC, way back when I was a student the first time, Pirate Rants used to be funny, entertaining little snip-its that gave me something to read in between classes.  I don't remember them being hateful or mean spirited, as some of them seem to be now.  Last Thursday, after my Southern Lit class, I picked up a copy of the TEC, and just like every other time, I turned straight to the Pirate Rants.  While reading one rant, I got a little upset.
To the horribly gross fat girl in my English 1100 class: PLEASE, for the love of God, do not sit where I can see you anymore. I cannot concentrate on the lecture when I have a disgusting gelatinous blob of nasty whale blubber staring at me.
Seriously?  How dare you suggest that a person stay out of your sight because she is overweight?  I'm sure that this girl probably struggles with her feelings regarding her weight enough, without some insensitive a-hole writing a Pirate Rant about her.  It is a sad society that we live in when being overweight is considered to be "horribly gross."

Obviously, this particular rant struck a very personal nerve with me.  As someone who has been overweight for most of my life, this offended me.  However, I think that even if I were not overweight that I would have felt the same way about it.  People that are overweight or fat, are stereotyped into being these nasty, lazy, human beings.  That simply isn't true.  There are many reasons that a person can be overweight.

It made me angry that such a prejudiced rant would even be published.  And while the TEC will claim that it is freedom of expression, I feel that some editorial discretion should have been exercised with this rant.  I highly doubt that if a rant suggesting that someone of a minority race or of a different sexual orientation not sit in the line of sight of a student were submitted, that it would published.  This rant was just as judgemental as a rant of that nature would be.

If you are so shallow that having a fat person in your eyesight makes you lose concentration, then you are the one that has the problem. This reminds me of the Marie Claire article that came out when the TV show Mike & Molly premiered.  The author, Maura Kelly, said that she would be grossed out if she had to watch two characters that have fat rolls kissing each other on TV.  After lots of criticism, she published an apology.

Today, two Pirate Rants were published in response to this particular rant.  By writing this post, I am validating one of them:
The only people that are offended by the girl posting the “whale blubber” rant are the ones that have the blubber. 
However, I'm sure that more people were offended.  I was particularly happy to see the other response:
To the so-called “horribly gross fat girl in the English 1100 class”: You are beautiful regardless of what size you are. Don’t ever forget that. 
This "horribly gross fat girl" often forgets that.


  1. It's funny. I've been overweight most of my life too. I used to think I was gross as well. I probably would have not gone to class...that's how low my self esteem was. Now that I'm 31 and married to a man who loves all my "grossness" I realize those people are nothing but trolls and have something really bad going on inside of them. I sounds trite but it's true.

    P.S. something magical will happen to you ;)

  2. Thank you for your comment.  Believe me, there are days when I do feel gross.  It's an up and down struggle for me.  Right now, I'm ok with who I am. 

    I'm becoming a little impatient waiting for that magical something :)


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