Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ugly people and reality television

196 pounds
I just watched the Project Runway season finale, and it was killer. The three contestants all sent amazing collections down the runway at Fashion Week, and the moments leading up to the announcement of the winner were possibly the most dramatic in the show's history.

But I want to talk about something that happened in the reunion show that aired right after the finale.

Some of these reality shows can get pretty catty, but for the most part, the Project Runway designers keep things relatively harmless. Yes, they GO OFF on each other's work, but it never gets truly ugly and almost never personal.

Until tonight.

There was one designer—Jay Nicolas Sario—who found out that his work had been heavily criticized by a model named Cerri, and after watching the clip in which she said he should be designing for blonde women in L.A., Jay said this to her:

"And I wouldn't hire a model with thick legs and bad teeth."

I teach writing, and one of my favorite lessons is the one on fallacies. Jay's comment is what is commonly known as a personal attack, people, and it's designed to change the subject from the issue at hand and cripple the other person with self-doubt.

And it belongs in high school.

Yes, Cerri's comment was tough, but what Jay said was simply cruel and worse than that it was personal. Cerri criticized his work, but Jay criticized her as a person.

Which makes me wonder—what the hell is wrong with people?! And why on earth would someone say something so incredibly ugly on national television? And, furthermore, do people really act like they're still fifteen?

Honestly, I feel like Jay felt comfortable saying what he did because Cerri is a woman. If she had been a man, I don't think he would have ever gotten so personal. Unfortunately, we live in a country where it's acceptable to attack women for their looks but men don't often get held to those same standards. And attacking this amazingly beautiful woman's looks (see the picture above) is kind of like saying Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn't selfless enough.

In other words, it's complete horse shit.

But it gets better.

WAY better.

I logged onto my favorite blog of all time—Project Rungay—to say how much Jay's comments bothered me and that I would never wear his clothes as a result, and here is the response I got from a commenter who will go unnamed:

"Molly McCALFrey, no need to worry about wearing Jay's clothes anyway. Yo fat heifa ass couldn't fit into 8 of his outfits stitched together."

I am not making this up.

Someone actually wrote this about me on a blog (or the comments on a blog). Honestly, I don't know if I should laugh or cry. I mean, it's so ridiculous that it's funny, and it's so awful that I actually feel more sorry for the person who said it than I do for myself. I mean, really how unhappy do you have to be to say something that nasty?

Well, I figured that I had to respond, had to show I didn't care what some stranger thought about me, so here's what I said:

"Marion, I have to disagree—I feel confident I could fit into two of Jay's outfits stitched together."

Bottom line: I REFUSE to be ashamed of my body or my weight, and I will celebrate it no matter what anyone says about me.

Enough said.


  1. Hey there, I agree that Jay's comment was immature and nasty. He felt cornered and offended, and he snapped back like a crab. I'm sorry someone wrote those words to you about not fitting into his clothing. That's not right. I guess I was shocked when I heard him say that (I seriously screamed with my cousin who is visiting me and sound asleep.. sorry to her), but I really didn't like Cerri's attitude during Models of the Runway, and I thought Cerri encouraged Brandise who was SOOOOO insecure with her age that she was the meanest of all.

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  3. Molly,
    Any press is good press and maybe it goes the same for insults? I'm guessing because of it, a few more readers have tapped into your blog. Won't be long before your sitting in one of the Project Runway judge's seats.

    And I especially like what your wrote about fallacies. I wish I could take one of your classes!

  4. Thanks, gillcrist and slynch6! It would be an honor to sit in one of those seats, and I hope at least Tom and Lorenzo get there someday.

    T.V. Addict—you make some good points about Cerri. I didn't watch MODELS religiously, so I'll have to take your word for it.