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« Elizabeth Taylor: What a Dame! | Main | Pink Pyjamas »

March 31, 2011


What's wrong with people? She's a good dancer and not even that fat. She looks great out there. These guys are just desperate for material.

Wait. Kirstie Alley is 60?? She looks great, and should be proud of herself.

Kirstie's participation on the show has me watching it for the first time ever, much to my mother's delight. (Every past season, every week, my mother would ask me, "Did you see Dancing with the Stars last night?" and each time I'd say, "No, Mom. I don't watch Dancing with the Stars.")

Kirstie is a hoot and a half and I PRAY that I'll be in as good shape at 60!

I love her dancing. When she danced her first dance, I was applauding. She is a true inspiration for me (being overweight and over 50 myself)and in addition she is a truly talented dancer. I am on team Kirstie too!

great post. i can't get over the fact kirstie alley is 60. oy.

very well put.

Thanks Danny for your candor. Too bad there aren’t more of you out there.

Dear Danny,

Fat people (especially fat women) have always been the butt of jokes. And, I suspect that they always will be.

And, it seems that a lot of women (and some men) turn to food when they're unhappy with their lives.

I certainly agree with you that the stick figures, who seem to be what is considered attractive and sexy, are kind of scary looking.

The "Dancing With the Stars" clip that you posted was the first time I'd seen Kirstie Alley in many years. She danced well and looked wonderful.

For comics to take cheap shots at what she USED to look like, only showed that they were desperate for material.


Thank you for this post, it's so refreshing to hear a MAN say these things. Yeah, it seems that the last demographic that it's OK to mock is overweight women. I think I read once that it's specifically overweight WHITE women for some reason. Anyway, it's disgusting. LOPEZ is the pig!

I had no idea Kirstie was 60 til I read it here. She looks amazing! And she's a fantastic dancer- I'd like to see Lopez give it a try. He'd probably drop dead of a heart attack 15 seconds in.

I've never watched Dancing With the Stars, but I will now if only to support Team Kirstie!

Great post!

Danny. My man.

I think that the fundamental problem is situated in the mis/use of language:

"Joan Rivers relentlessly made fun of her."

No, in fact, she didn't. She relentlessly abused Elizabeth Taylor verbally because she was an easy target, no one was going to come to her rescue, and there were going to be no social, legal, or financial consequences for having done so. Au contraire, she was going to be handsomely rewarded for her verbal viciousness.

Sounds very much to me like the problem with calling something "child sexual abuse" instead of rape/torture or "The Final Solution" instead of murder/genocide.

But, that's just my take on what passes for humor in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave Airwaves...

..."The Bailout" rather than the wholesale theft (twice) of unquantified numbers of public dollars... The list goes on and on and on.

Thank you for this post. There is an extent to which it resonates with certain observations expressed by Barbara Ehrenreich in "Bright-Sided:..." (titled brilliantly as "Smile or Die" in the UK) associated with the disconnect between what a person can actually do, what his or her knowledge/talents/accomplishments are, and whether or not s/he conforms to very narrow behavioral (and/or visual) profile--read stereotype.

Allah help us all.

My God, she looks FABULOUS! I know I'll never be able to move like that, but I hope I look as good at age 60 (BTW, how on earth did she get to be 60 already?). Thanks for a wonderful post. I get so annoyed that fat women are so often the victims of "jokes," and it's always bothered me that it seems, more often than not, men who no one would ever describe as "svelte" are so often the ones making such jokes. The others that annoy me (for obvious reasons) are blond jokes and dumb/backwards Southerner jokes.

I'm on team Kirstie, too.

We wonder why bullying is such a problem. Why wouldn't it be if that is the humor that our culture perpetuates. Check this out:

Hi Danny:

Cousin (by marriage) Marc here. As you know, fat gags are as old as literature. For even more brutal slings and arrows directed at the corpulent check out The Satyricon, Rabelais, Swift, and Shakespeare's take on Falstaff. Their targets: Gluttony, sloth, decadence. What is never considered is that the overweight may suffer from irremediable afflictions such as hormone problems, diabetes, glandular disease and involuntary inactivity – paralysis or other incapacities. Great blog, as always. Marc

Civilization is a slow process, keep educating.

You're awesome. Fat jokes are just as funny as gay jokes, or race jokes, or sexist jokes. I don't find blonde jokes funny either. They are always mean spirited, but maybe I'm just humorless. Sadly, there will probably always be someone that society marginalizes simply because it can.

Mean people suck!!!!

You have a civilized group of readers who understand discrimination and decency. I know that I have written in the past about this same topic, particularly how politically correct we are nowadays about everything, except when it has to do with weight. Don Rickles would get booed off the stage in some circles unless his routine was only about fat people. A comedian would get more flack making a joke about terrorists today than someone's weight. This cultural attitude probably had to do with our obsessive consumer-oriented life and the class distinctions we seem to make between thin (rich) and fat (poor). In the past, I have gotten comments practically defending the poor treatment of anyone over a certain weight, as if these people deserved it, or needed it out of "tough love." Some very health-oriented individuals who pride themselves on their ability to run in marathons sometimes seem even angry at those who can't "control their weight," dehumanizing them in ways that are reminiscent of 1930's Germany or the KKK south. Can you imagine associating anyone with a farm animal nowadays other than a person who is deemed "fat," which is odd -- because most of the population is overweight -- so it might be a self-hatred response at work.

Yeah you! I'm a teacher and even children can be very cruel. I have zero tolerance for it. My class is a safe zone and I won't allow it. I'm glad you have the same high standards.

Danny, you are a bright spirit…love you dearly. And while I’ve never had any desire to watch Dancing with the Stars, I now consider myself a passionate member of Kirstie’s team. What I’d give to rock the dance floor like she does. She looks sensational—in all ways.

Joan Rivers even managed to insult both Elizabeth Taylor and all Chinese people in a single joke there.

I had no idea Kirstie was 60. She looks great for her age.

I'm just about Kirsti's age and I can barley walk without tripping. She dances like she's weightless. What a babe !


Right on, Brother!

60 and dance like that in high heels? Brava! Thanks for a thoughtful column.

Danny, you are such a mensch. I never watch DWTS and I don't have a clue who is on it this season, but that clip you posted od Kirsty is fabulous. She's 2 years older than I am and there is no way I could ever dance like that in heels. Never mind that we are about the same size (my legs are skinny due to some genetic anomaly), I would kill to look as good as she does. Man, that "pig" can dance! Somehow I don't think the zaftig George Lopez could match Kirsty's moves.

Well Kirstie is being kind of
"tonge in cheek"...Let's fact it...
That's not dancing...But she's likeable and trying...
Maksim (or whatever his name is) ...
There is something about him that makes me almost vomit upon looking at him...
I think it's because when I see a man shaking his rear I just want to puke...

AMEN danny!! i never watch DWTS and i actually kind of can't stand Kirstie Alley [she's just obnoxious to me], but THANK YOU for writing this! you miller/tweedy's are a plethora of insight and knowledge...

Thank you for posting that. I don't pay much attention to "popular culture", so I didn't even know about the specifics of any of this. These things are probably why I don't pay attention to popular culture. I have had weight issues my whole life and I want to thank you for posting this. I feel like our culture is some sort of "feeding frenzy" to take people down, destroy them, ridicule them. It reminds me of the cruelest playground ever...with no appropriate adult supervision. In a bigger picture sense, it seems to me that "the public" does this because they don't want to look at themselves. The person doing the ridiculing might not be overweight, but they feel more comfortable focusing on someone else and what is "wrong with them". What if they didn't do that? They would have to look within and I feel they are too scared to do that. I feel the ultimate thing pretty much everyone is afraid of is that they are not worthy of love and connection (it might not look like that in various situations, but when stripped down to it's essence, I believe that is the fear) so they are constantly trying to project that on to others, as if they could keep it from themselves by doing so. I also believe that everyone is "worthy" inside (their behavior may not be "good", but I really believe we all have innate worth justbecause we exist), which makes these "games" people play in their heads even more ridiculous to me. And sometimes, maybe not in this obvious or cruel way, I play them too. Whenever I judge someone else, I try to take a look at why I am doing that. Most of the time it is because I am feeling insecure about something that person is triggering in I project. We can do better then that, don't you think? Thanks again. Your post touched me personally. : )

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