OUR LADY OF WEIGHT LOSS
Catalyst October Issue 2006
A woman named Janice Taylor who considers herself a “weight-loss artist” runs a website called “Our Lady of Weight Loss.” Taylor has also recently released a book by the same name, subtitled Miraculous and Motivational Musings from the Patron Saint of Permanent Weight Loss. Mixing in practical advice on losing weight and getting fit with artwork, the goal of “Our Lady of Weight Loss” is to help and encourage dieters.
Taylor’s artwork is frequently centered around wacky and irreverent pictures of the Blessed Mother. In one, her halo is actually the dial of a scale. In another, the Virgin smokes a cigarette and says, “Darling, please excuse my oral fixation.” The website boasts “The Ten Commandments of Permanent Fat Removal.” One commandment is “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s plate.” Our Lady of Weight Loss is quoted as saying, “Should you succumb to the Call of the Cheeto, dust the crumbs off and get back on the wagon. ‘All is forgiven. Move on.’”
When we were originally notified about Taylor’s website, we thought speaking out about it would only cause it to garner more attention. Now that Taylor’s book has been released and is available in bookstores, however, it is no longer prudent to ignore her. This is even more true because the popular shopping club Costco has featured Taylor in the September issue of its magazine, The Costco Connection.
Bill Donohue wrote to Costco and asked that the magazine discontinue promoting Our Lady of Weight Loss. Donohue stated, “Taylor’s book and her images of the Blessed Mother merging with vegetables are not egregiously offensive. However, they do show a lack of respect for the Virgin Mary, whom Catholics revere. For Costco to feature Ms. Taylor’s work is insulting to many Catholics, who do not like to see their faith treated as a joke.
“I know Costco has no desire to alienate customers of any religion. Therefore, I wanted to let you know how upset many Catholics were by the article and ask that you discontinue the dissemination of this book. We will notify our 300,000 members nationwide of your decision regarding this matter.”