You're being heard, my friends: keep going

Great news: the AGSA has taken down mention of Jenny Craig's CEO's job from her description on the conference website, and a sponsor has pulled out.

An article in The Age lays out the issues.

And, for what it's worth, there's a poll where you can vote there.

If this issue bothers you, speak up. It matters.


  1. Jon Faine on ABC774 (a prominent Australian radio presenter) has just spoken on the topic also - and mentioned the online petition.

  2. People like you that bully successful people over the Internet are cowards. This lady is successful in an international company and should be a role model for young girls, not chased out of town because of petty jealousy!

  3. Usually I'm really on board with what's posted on this blog, but I'm not going to lie - I think this initiative against Amy Smith is ridiculous. After all, she's speaking at a conference of adults about professional strides she's made... not sitting in a gymnasium filled with girls and telling them to diet!

    I think our energy would be better spent in other ways - this just really strikes me as a ridiculous battle, that kind of undermines the good work and name that FEAST and many activists are doing.

  4. I rather think that the last emotion Laura would feel is jealousy. After her long, selfless and arduous struggle to bring her dear daughter back into life, well, I can only imagine the frustration.
    ALL power to her and the parental collective who just desperately don't want another family to have to go through the hell that they had to.
    As someone who's struggled with anorexia for nigh on 20 years I can say that the media, while they don't cause eating disorders directly (this is true for me at least) they (and the diet industry) distort the truth of what is healthy and can feed the already ravaging fire of eating disorders in the most vulnerable..Confusion reigns along with mixed messages. In those who are biologically "loaded" for an eating disorder this can end in tragedy.
    This is serious. People die. Jealousy doesn't EVER come into it.

  5. Diets don't work. They don't. Weight cycling - putting on and taking off the same 15lbs for the whole of your life - is doing no favours for anyone's self esteem.

    A company (Jenny Craig) that promotes a weight loss of 1/2 kilo per week in its special 13-17 year old diet plan is dangerous on so many levels. I am not just talking about those genetically predisposed to an eating disorder either. I sit and watch my friends (in their 40's) talk about their weight, worry about their weight, follow the latest "fad" diet and stop eating dairy or wheat or sugar. Six months later, they look exactly the same. They feel awful because they have not been able to "stick" to their diet and have gained the weight they initially lost.

    I am not talking about friends that are obese or, in most cases, even overweight. I am talking about people who should be settling comfortably into life and not spending their waking (and sleeping) hours obsessing about a number on a scale. It is just a number. It says nothing about their physical or mental health.

    Why should the CEO of a company who makes millions of dollars selling a pie in the sky ideal to millions of people not be allowed to speak at a conference of girls' schools? Well, she is going to be speaking to the staff - the teachers - whose job it is to

    Love the idea that we "internet bullies" should be jealous of a diet company CEO - wow, just what I have always aspired to be. Someone who makes a lot of money out of selling empty promises to vulnerable people. Hey, besides the diet industry, IMHO, Bernie Madoff was a positive saint.


  6. I would like to know whether the dissenting commenters on this post are parents. The point that the Jenny Craig CEO is speaking to a roomful of adults is exactly the point - these are not just adults - these are the teachers of our girls. They are the people that our daughters spend more time with in general than they do their own parents and are greatly influenced by their words. And if those words have been influenced in any way then this is of great concern to me as a mother of girls.
    No-one is bullying Amy Smith - the person they are concerned about is the CEO of Jenny Craig. Now if she had been promoted as 'Amy Smith, prominent woman in industry and CEO of an international company' then this conversation might not be taking place. Additionally if Catherine Misson had responded to initial inquiries with the above mentioned line, rather than reinforcing our concerns by announcing her as a "champion of women's health" then, again, this matter may have been put to bed a long time ago.
    Parents have EVERY right to question the educators in whom we place so much trust. And if we do not receive answers we are happy with, then we have EVERY right to push for change. These are our daughters and gut instincts should never be ignored.
    I would never condone cyber-bullying of a highly successful Australian business woman. And I find ironic the increasing levels of cyber-bullying of those of us frightened enough by the uncertainty that this speaker posed that we felt compelled to speak out publicly.
    Personally, my fears have been allayed - but only through the persistant pressure applied by advocates like Danielle Millar and Lydia Jade Turner. Without their insistence on answers I would have been left feeling very uneasy about what was going to transpire at this conference.
    And why these answers had to be pushed for so hard when there was apparently nothing to hide? I still don't know the answer to that one.

  7. This bit: "No-one is bullying Amy Smith - the person they are concerned about is the CEO of Jenny Craig. Now if she had been promoted as 'Amy Smith, prominent woman in industry and CEO of an international company' then this conversation might not be taking place. "
    brought it home for me. Everything else is moot. I get what you guys are saying now now. I could see where parents would be outraged about it.

    Sometimes all folks need to do to reach some of us is slow down a bit, break down the matter to its essential bits, and then share that, without condescension and namecalling (Cate, I'm not saying that you're calling names - it's just that some people do when people aren't or struggle to 100% drink the Kool-Aid they're selling).

    I had been reading several entries about this issue but not really understanding the outrage, when a couple of clearly-stated sentences helped me to understand the matter better. Thank you. I hope that there will be more of this out there - I get that issues like this raise concerned, caring, activist parents up in a furor, and I can understand that, but expressing things in that way sometimes makes it hard for the message to be accepted by the very people who need to hear it most.

    I really appreciate what you guys are doing. I wish I had had it when I was a teenager with an ED being told that I was just eating (nor not-eating) that way for attention. Makes me admittedly a little jealous for this generation, but more than that, I'm happy that they have such committed, supported activist parents and medical professionals fighting for their sake. I think it's really great.


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