Melissa McCarthy and Elle: The Scandal Over a Coat. Really?

I’ve been living under a little bit of a self-imposed rock this week, as I’m in the thick of a huuuuuge project launching at work, but when I saw Melissa McCarthy’s pretty face splash across my computer screen a bunch of times, I knew I needed to check it out. I’m a fan of McCarthy; she’s a cousin of Jenny McCarthy, she’s funny as eff, and I think she’s a really talented actress. The scene in Bridesmaids where she steals all the puppies in the van? Brilliant. Anyways, McCarthy is under some scrutiny right now because of this Elle magazine cover:

Why? Because some people are saying McCarthy dodged a huge opportunity to show off curvy bodies by choosing to wear a coat. Huh? When I first saw the cover, the only thing I thought was, “Oh! It’s Melissa McCarthy. Love her.” That’s it. No “OMG SHE’S WEARING WOOL” or “OMG HER BODY IS COVERED UP!” or “OMG THIS IS SO UNFAIR THAT THE FAT GIRL HAS TO WEAR A COAT ON THE COVER OF A MAGAZINE”. While I kinda get where some of these critics are coming from in saying it “covers up” showing off the bodies of those of us who are lovably larger, I think it’s a littttttle bit dramatic. Quite frankly, I think she looks fantastic, and it’s actually kind of nice to see someone on the cover of a magazine WEARING CLOTHES, rather than, well… this.

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 9.04.35 PMHow about instead of focusing on what this brilliant, talented plus-size woman is wearing, we focus on the fact that HEY, this is pretty cool that mainstream media is diversifying by even having a talented, brilliant plus-sized woman on a magazine cover. That’s cool stuff. Even cooler? Her headline is about being one of the top women in Hollywood. Not 27 diet tips to help you weigh less than a cotton ball. Not 69 ways to make your man moan in the kitchen. Not 18 ways to make your eyes stand out more, your skin look brighter, your butt look smaller, your boobs look bigger. She’s wearing a coat. Who cares? I wear coats all the time. So do you. It’s fall. The magazine even has a feature on “the Perfect New Coat shape”. Is it the most flattering coat on McCarthy? Maybe not. Is it unflattering? No. She looks great. Who cares? She’s a comedian. She could wear a burlap sack and still make me howl with laughter.

We don’t have discussions like this about men on magazine covers. Can you think of a magazine cover with a dude on it that was scrutinized because of what the guy was wearing? The most recent controversial male magazine cover was this one, because it featured Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and some felt Rolling Stone was celebrating terrorism as magazine covers are usually reserved for “idols”. THAT’s controversial. Not a coat. So my advice to everyone smarming over McCarthy’s chic and oh-so-cozy coat? Focus your energy elsewhere. When we have women of all shapes and sizes on magazine covers EVERY DAY, then we can get picky about what they’re wearing. For now, I’m celebrating the fact that she’s hilarious, awesome, talented and lovely, and Elle recognized it. (Side note: I once saw her husband at a local bar here and reaaaaally wanted to go up to him and tell him I loved his wife, but I figured that might be kind of a jerk thing to do considering he’s an actor and all, too!)

What do you think? Is all this uproar over McCarthy’s coat a crock of wool baloney, or is it justified in that she may have missed an opportunity to promote bigger, beautiful bodies?

 

I’m not fat, I’m just a descendant of the vikings.

I fit right in!

Many, many years ago, my ancestors from Scandinavia raided, traded, explored and settled in the desirable parts of Europe – parts of Europe that were laden with plump, juicy rabbits, fruitful rivers jumping with fat fish, and green, grassy pastures, the better to fatten their cows for a juicy steak dinner.

In my many years of complaining about my weight, I often was quick to blame my obesity on my genetics. It’s true that on both sides of the family we are stocky, thick people, as tall as we are wide. We all have blonde hair and white skin that turns ruddy from the slightest heat or smallest sip of beer. Genetically, our bodies stored fat like polar bears in the winter. The long, cold winters spent dashing over icebergs required a thick pelt of blubber to keep us warm; and our stunning fur capes and shields looked much better with some curves behind them, thank you very much.

We needed these bodies for winters spent at sea, preparing the pillage and plunder the next unexpecting nation’s refrigerators. Maybe all this history about vikings being raging, blood-thirsty people is missing one key fact – maybe, we were just hungry.

My horned helmet is a crock of viking voodoo!

In honor of my people, I must dispel three key falsehoods about our ancestors:

1) We did not wear horned hats. The familiar “It’s not over till the fat lady sings” image of a big blonde Bertha wearing a silver hat with horns is manufactured, some smart fellow’s marketing move to paint the Vikings as horn-helmeted brutes. Take it straight from the internet horse’s mouth (Wikipedia) “Apart from two or three representations of (ritual) helmets – with protrusions that may be either stylised ravens, snakes or horns – no depiction of Viking Age warriors’ helmets, and no preserved helmet, has horns. In fact, the formal close-quarters style of Viking combat (either in shield walls or aboard “ship islands”) would have made horned helmets cumbersome and hazardous to the warrior’s own side.”

2) We did not drink from the skulls of those we had slain. The only skull I plan to slay is that of a ripe coconut, the better to hold my pina colada as I tan my blubbery backside in Thailand. Apparently, my ancestors didn’t use skulls as tumblers for their Diet Coke, either.”The use of human skulls as drinking vessels—another common motif in popular pictorial representations of the Vikings—is also ahistorical. The rise of this legend can be traced to Ole Worm‘s Runer seu Danica literatura antiquissima (1636), in which Danish warriors drinking ór bjúgviðum hausa [from the curved branches of skulls, i.e., from horns] were rendered as drinking ex craniis eorum quos ceciderunt [from the skulls of those whom they had slain].”

Dirty, blood-thirsty brute!

3) We were not all dirty, barbaric brutes with bugs in our beards. Historical accounts actually prove that the Vikings were among the cleanest civilization in this period’s time. “The Anglo-Danes were considered excessively clean by their Anglo-Saxon neighbours, due to their custom of bathing every Saturday and combing their hair often.[citation needed] To this day, Saturday is referred to as laugardagur / laurdag / lørdag / lördag, “washing day” in the Scandinavian languages. Icelanders were known to use natural hot springs as baths, and there is a strong sauna/bathing culture in Scandinavia to this day.[citation needed]” No wonder I can’t stand a day without washing my hair. There will be no pit-sniffing among my ancestors, thank you very much.

After dispensing this undebatable history to you, I think we can all agree that my obesity is not in any way, shape or form, due to error of my own part. It is clear from these readings that I’m not fat, I’m just a descendant of the Vikings.

(Despite three small, concrete facts…

1. I can’t stand seafood. Vikings ate a lot of it.

2) I can barely hurt a fly. Blood-thirsty? I’m more like Tea-thirsty.

3) I am not a pure viking, as my mom’s side gave me the artistic bohemian heritage from Czechslovakia and Austria. )

So clearly. I’m not fat, I’m just a descendant of the vikings. My weight has nothing to do with college dinners of oil-popped popcorn and guacamole, nor the fact that my biggest form of exercise from the age 13 – 25 was trying to zip up my jeans. I will not take credit for this malady of adiposity – truly, really, thankfully – I’m not fat, I’m just a descendant of the Vikings.

What gets me through the hard days? Humor.

Hi everyone! This week’s weigh in was kind of a bummer because I gained a little bit of weight, and consequently, cut my calories a little bit. I even wondered what I should do on the blog…fess up? not mention it? And then I realized, the whole point of this blog is to stay honest to myself, so I gotta keep it real! I get so discouraged sometimes with weight loss – it seems like its the one thing in my life so far that I just cannot do! However, I know that hard days and times like this will pass, and I have to keep going, and never give up. So when I need a little more pep in my step, I always look to things that will make me laugh – and lately, that’s been Pinterest! Enjoy some of the health related funnies and motivational little pix that have made me smile today! Also, if you’re on pinterest, follow me! I’m @lyssacurran .

Source: tumblr.com via Alyssa on Pinterest

Source: google.com via Alyssa on Pinterest

Top 10 Reasons I Want to Lose Weight

1) When my 14-pound cat crawls onto my chest mid-slumber, I won’t wake up thinking I’m having a heart attack.

It's not a heart attack - just a tubby tabby.

2) I will no longer tag or untag photos based on the size of my double chin.

3) I will stop crash-dieting pre-vacation only to be the same weight I was when I come back. (C’mon – you know you’ve done it too! Vacation food can be irresistible!)

Because one Pina Colada just wasn’t enough.

4) I’ll no longer judge my day based on how good the food was. (Ok, I admit it, I probably still will.)

5) “My 20s” will no longer refer to a jeans size – just a decade in time.

6) I will no longer drink strong coffee before I get on the scale in hopes of losing a couple of extra ounces.

7) My only fear of getting on a roller coaster will come from adrenaline… not if the harness will fit over my belly!

8) The only “plus” in my life will be a social network, positive attribute or mathematical action.

9) I’ll stop wearing my pants like Urkel to smoothe out rolls of fat.

10) I’ll stop holding my breath after going up a flight of stairs trying to pretend like I’m in shape. “Why no, I’m not out of breath… Just a heavy breather.”

What’s the number one reason you want to get healthy? It doesn’t have to be losing weight!