Ebony and The Daisy Duke Diet

I am notoriously skeptical about the role of the media in causing or even "triggering" eating disorders. It's an attractive theory, and it lines up all the usual suspects, and who doesn't like to sneer at popular culture? But I've never bought it. I think our media says something about how the REST of us have a problem, and that just makes it harder to help real eating disorder patients recover.

To my liberal dismay, I agree with almost every word of The Daisy Duke Diet by Fred Schwarz on National Review Online, which I only read on the recommendation of Carrie Arnold who only read it on the recommendation of Tiptoe. .

I did disagree with this part: "...for some reason, viewers of films and television, male and female, tend to like CoverGirl-beautiful actresses rather than healthy ones." And here's why.

I came of age in the early 70s in a college town, mixed race family, mixed religion, feminists, peaceniks... We didn't go to church on Sunday, we painted signs and went and picketed something. Part of this Raised Consciousness involved my mother ruining all TV, magazines, movies and even cartoons by pointing out the obvious: that almost everyone was "white." (Now she'd say "European American" - she's still evolving) We had a "Black is Beautiful" poster in the living room. My mom actively protested the idea that beauty had to be a certain flavor of western European. She knew from painful experience how black kids and Latin kids and Asians grew up feeling dirty, ugly, and out of place in society and my mother wanted that stopped.

She got her wish. It is no longer remarkable to see black actresses and models and movie stars, not to mention all colors.

Sizes and shapes.... not so much.

But we can change. It takes people like my mom and all the wonderful activists out there to get it done both in our homes and by our actions. We can refuse to accept one standard of beauty, and we can refuse to value appearance above what we DO and who we are. We should, and we can.


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