Putting the CUTE back into CuteCultureChick

nicole bullock weight loss

I may not be everyone’s ideal of beauty, but I am beautiful. At least, I believe I am most of the time.

The last 24 hours have really rocked my world. An article by Maura Kelly was posted yesterday, via the Marie Claire website, entitled “Should Fatties Get A Room (Even on TV?).” In this inflammatory piece of literary rubbish very bluntly and vocally stated her disgust with people who were overweight. She was speaking of a CNN article about a CBS sitcom called “Mike and Molly,” in which a couple meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. Maura Kelly states,

“Yes, I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other … because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I’d find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.”

As I obsessively thought about this subject yesterday, I decided to watch some episodes of “Mike and Molly” on CBS.com. The show is a comedy about two blue-collar people falling in love, who happen to be obese. Sure, there are fat jokes poked in, but it is a COMEDY series, about people who are more real than most other TV relationships. The fact that they meet at an OA meeting shows that they aren’t content with themselves, and are making proactive steps to improve their lives. I truly believe that Melissa McCarthy is a knockout.

For me, and I’m sure for most people that struggle with their weight, it’s more than just fast food. It’s metabolic and chemical deficiencies. It’s long-term, deep seated fears and habits. It’s difficult to feel judged and misunderstood. It’s hard to be persistent when months of strict dietary observance result in plateaus. And despite the notions portrayed in the media, and the hurtful/helpful comments from loved ones,  I have to remind myself that I AM NOT WHAT THEY PERCEIVE ME TO BE.

Obesity does not equal Ugly

Obesity does not equal Lazy

Obesity may mean flawed and weak, but aren’t we all?

My weight has exacerbated my respiratory problems (asthma and sleep apnea), and I have PCOS. I know my emotional scars and depression are intricately linked to my body issues. Back in May, I started Weight Watchers for the 8th time. It’s embarrassing to say that out loud, but it’s true. Weight Watchers has worked better than any other weight loss method I’ve attempted. And believe me, there have been some crazy ways I’ve tried. Wackjob doctors, diet pills, starvation, injections, days of eating nothing but oranges and pickles. I have kept all my Weight Watchers materials (five different printing editions). I have a thick file folder full of my written food trackers. Month after month after month of negligible progress.

Fortunately this spring, I got up the guts to give it another try. Since May, I’m down 25ish pounds. Unfortunately that means another 160 to go. No weight loss effort has very netted a loss of over 30 pounds. It’s hard to not get frustrated and give up. Or I’ll be having some good Momentum and financial difficulties require dropping the $40/month membership fee. When I’m motivated, I exercise like a maniac…and usually hurt myself. I’ve been through numerous counseling sessions and support meetings, partnered up with workout buddies, and nothing seems to have a lasting effect. I’ve learned the coping mechanisms to avoid binge eating…but I still occasionally relapse. I’m seriously considering bariatric surgery, but I don’t feel like I’ve reached the “last resort” point yet.

So for people who look at my body, thinking I’m lazy, disgusting, slothful, unattractive, I wish they could know the real me. The desire I have to be healthy and shapely. But it’s been a long time since CuteCultureChick has FELT cute. I’m committed again to working towards a better life. I just wish those with narrow minds and cold hearts could recognize that.

  • So many responses and not a one of them fit for publishing. I’ll leave it at the desire to send Marie Claire a heaping helping of nastygrams. For crying out loud. Maybe I should write a counter-article about not wanting to watch walking skeletons that are surely scarfing and barfing make out and possibly breaking ribs.


    And for the record, I think you are cute. 🙂 I’d take your photo and plaster the internet with it any day of the week.

  • Dude, you are gorgeous. I’ve always thought so when I’ve seen you at different events. You should hold your head up. Great post! xo

  • Bre

    You are beautiful.

    I still can’t believe this piece passed an editorial desk & was approved. As a journalist I have had to often rewrite things so that they are more PC you know, “just in case…”. I can’t imagine an editor agreeing with her enough to cause a frenzy unless…Maura Kelly needed to be taught a lesson & they are allowing the public to do so?!

  • It’s too bad so many people are judgmental when in fact, we all have things we struggle with. I think you’re beautiful Nicole and I know how hard you try and how much you desire to change. It is really hard to stay on a healthy path of eating right and exercising. I just love junk food so when I try to be healthy, it only lasts for so long before I really want something unhealthy!

    I think you’re doing awesome, down 25 pounds is great!!!

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  • Good grief! How does she get away with that? I mean, a guy was FIRED for confessing a post 9-11 fear. So this is supposed to be okay?

  • You are beautiful.

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  • AMEN sista! It is just disgusting that a national magazine would publish such hatred and bigotry.

  • This is beautiful writing that should be shared nationally, not that garbage from Marie Claire. It is disturbing that they even allowed this author to post that article and I hope the recourse that is happening teaches people a lesson in humanity. We didn’t CHOOSE to be overweight, it just happened and as human beings, shouldn’t we try harder to love one another, regardless of their flaws?

  • I am morbidly obese. The MC blog post tore out some of my pride. I think you are beautiful. Whenever you post a picture I think that you could be a model. Congratulations on the 25 pound weight loss! It is so much harder taking it off (for me) than it was putting it on. I know that I would just like to see a 1 as the first number on the scale–I would do a happy dance!

    Thank you for your heart felt blog post. It is a shame that we have to defend our body weight to other people. I also have PCOS, which is why I only have one child.

  • Nicole you are beautiful! I am so sad to hear that people are so shallow and heartless to post that an overweight person is disgusting. I have so many thought flowing through my head from how disturbing it is that she would state that an overweight individual is disgusting and comparing a person who is overweight with a drug addict and a drunk. Has she ever been around a drunk on regular basis? The fact that statements like this and stick figure supermodels who are angry at the world because they are constantly hungry are role models for our adolescents. It frightens me that the trendy thin causes so many mental and health issues in young women and men. The bottom line is that most of us want to be healthy, and I am convinced that most of us work at it even though sometimes no matter how hard we try we can’t quite make it. So I feel sad that there is judgment and that people are so empty to not see true beauty and happiness, that they chose to spread hate rather than love. Unfortunately fools are heard more than those who are wise, since fools choose not to listen but they are quick to talk and spread what they think they know. I love what you wrote, you are an amazing person who is kind and helpful and beautiful. Keep up the weight watchers a lot of my friends swear by it and congratulations on the 25 pds.

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  • Amen.

    (Except I will freely admit that I am dead lazy.)

  • Good grief! How does she get away with that? I mean, a guy was FIRED for confessing a post 9-11 fear. So this is supposed to be okay?

  • Its crazy much more attention I get from the opposite sex now that I own a Challenger!

  • Okay, I’m ready. I’m not gonna sit here and make excuses for my weight gain. I’m just going to take it off. Hence, I’m a ‘loser’. I started the day with high fiber oatmeal. I’m going to Fitday to get started logging my food. Be back later.

  • Thanks for posting! I really enjoyed your honesty. I’ve already bookmark this article.

  • I’m an enormous fan of this website, keep up the nice job.

  • I’m not usually this foul-mouthed but Marie Claire can suck it! It is just this type of garbage that makes women OF ALL SIZES feel bad about themselves. You are BEAUTIFUL and I never once thought you were lazy. I’ve dealt with eating disorders and body angst the better part of my adult life and I’m what most would consider thin. Just goes to show you unless you make peace with yourself on the inside it will never make peace with yourself on the outside.

  • Amen. (Except I will freely admit that I am dead lazy.)

  • Amen. (Except I will freely admit that I am dead lazy.)

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  • Unbelievable. I wonder who over at Marie Claire thought it would be a great idea to tell women they are not good enough if we don’t fit into a specific mold. Shame on them for promoting some of the last publicly acceptable prejudices. Thank heavens for all the real and non-judgmental people out there who are positive voices for women. Thanks to bloggers like Nicole, who share what is so very often a painful and embarrassing process of bettering yourself for the simple payoff that it will help another woman. Thanks to Marie Claire for the push needed to cancel my subscription and most of all….Thanks to Maura Kelly for proving what it really is to be ugly. And I mean really ugly. You really outdid yourself.

  • cuteculturechick

    Thanks June. That was a tough post to write 2 years ago, and it still frustrates me so much that weight prejudices haven’t changed at all in that time period. It’s unacceptable, unfair, and makes people feel like crap. Nobody needs that in their life.

  • Elisa Black

    Thank you for sharing this post. Sometimes I feel as if I am too ugly to be seen (which is absolute garbage thinking–I know–but the media sure does make it easy to believe). But then I think of the people who love me, who are happy that I am in their lives, especially the children I work with who give me unconditional love. And I figure, ‘maybe I’m not ugly, maybe I’m beautiful if they see something in me to love.’

  • cuteculturechick

    It’s amazing how much that “garbage thinking” can impact your self esteem, though! It may not make sense, but it is valid. Love is key though…those who love us will see us for whoever we are…regardless of size.

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