In March 2008, a local woman named Mayra Lizbeth Rosales was arrested for the murder of her 2-year-old nephew, who died of blunt trauma to the head. And because his alleged murderer weighs 800 pounds, local headlines immediately gave her the title “Half-Ton Woman” (they used “nearly half-ton woman” a couple of times, but I guess that’s not quite as catchy).
In addition to the bullshit title, early (unsubstantiated) news reports claimed she accidentally crushed him to death. When that proved false and it began to look like an arrest was forthcoming, newspaper readers were treated to such choice comments by the Sheriff as, “”She won’t even fit through the door of her room. We would have to remove the walls to even get her out of there.”
Then when it came time to arrest Rosales in August 2008, the paper decided to dedicate an entire article to the difficulties and logistics of moving/accommodating such a large person.
- Rosales has major health issues and is bedridden. Her weight is attributed to a rare thyroid condition.
- Knowing this, the paper is still referring to her as the half-ton woman even two years later (and when they’re not, they’re referring to her weight in one way or another).
Her health issues don’t make the media’s sizeism any more/less shitty, but it is truly fucked up that they’re knowingly sensationalizing someone’s medical condition.
If she killed that child, so be it; she’ll be tried and sentenced in a courtroom. But the fact that she possibly killed someone does not excuse the bullshit that The Monitor is spewing, nor does it excuse the newspapers tolerance for the abhorrent comments being published on each of the articles.