Is This Sugarplum Fairy Too Fat?

The NutcrackerThe New York Times critic Alistair Macaulay stirred up a big controversy recently by writing that the Sugarplum Fairy in the New York City Ballet's version of The Nutcracker "looked as if she'd eaten one sugarplum too many."

What do you think?


Since his review was published, many have defended Sugarplum Fairy Jenifer Ringer's physique, and derided Macaulay for his apparent insensitivity. What makes his words particularly offensive to some is the fact that Ringer once suffered from anorexia and has recently had a baby.

The amount of negative reader mail generated by Macaulay's column prompted him to write a follow-up piece defending his words and admitting that his own physique had caused him personal torment. Ringer even appeared on the Today show to talk about the issue. You can see the video here ...


However, I'm thinking this is a bit of a tempest in a teapot ...

Macaulay didn't call Ringer "fat." He simply said she looked to him as if she'd had one sugarplum too many. Those words would sting if I were a dancer and someone had written them about me; however, it's a very minor insult.

Ringer herself doesn't seem particularly bothered by the column and even mentioned that the outpouring of support she received afterward was wonderful. She used her appearance on Today to talk about the New York Ballet's incorporation of women and men of all body types in their performances, which makes me think happy thoughts about that company.

But what do you think about this brou ha ha? Does Alistair Macaulay have a right to his opinion, and maybe even a good point? Or should he keep his comments about weight to himself?


Image via New York City Ballet

h/t: The Lookout

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