Why is everyone vilifying Paula Deen? Did I miss her announcement that she was supposed to be a pinnacle of health and wellness, and that people should eat what she was cooking on her show if they wanted to improve their physical well-being? Because that’s really the only way this whole backlash over her recent announcement she has Type II diabetes makes any sense. It’s a cooking show, not a healthy lifestyle show. I don’t recall ever hearing this woman tout the health benefits of her cooking.
If anyone watched her show and seriously thought “Wow, she is the picture of fitness and health I aspire to,” the very least of our problems is Paula herself.
Do I think it would have been great if she had, instead of becoming a spokeswoman for a diabetic medication, decided to change her diet and lifestyle and share that on her show? Sure, that would be great. But, it’s not what she gets paid to do. It’s her personal life–she has no obligation to share what changes she is or is not making with the rest of the world. There is power in celebrity, but just because there is power, there is no obligation to expose your life for the “greater good.” We all have things we struggle with, and we certainly don’t all open each and every one of those personal things up to the rest of the world. Simply because she is a celebrity is no reason for us to expect her to do so, either.
Paual Deen is not a menace to society. She’s a woman who gets paid to cook interesting things on television, end of story. The problem is that people are sitting on their arses watching that much TV in the first place, that our nutrition education is horrible, that we feed our kids appallingly bad foods that set them up for obesity and type 2 diabetes, and that our food system is so broken it’s hard to know where to begin fixing it. These things are menaces to society. That our nutrition education system is so poor that someone would watch a cooking show hosted by a clearly-overweight woman using ingredients that are often very unhealthy and think “Gee, I bet that’s good for me,” is a menace to society.
If one cooking show host is more powerful than our nutrition message in this country, then it’s not the show host that is the problem, folks.
Turn off the TV, go to the gym, and the come home and cook a healthy dinner. Then, volunteer at a school garden, help your elderly neighbors cook a meal, ask your sister to go for a walk, write your representative about GMO/GE labeling, plant a garden, Occupy Monsanto. Do something, for heaven’s sake, to counteract this woman’s influence, if you really think she’s that big of a problem. See, Paula Deen crisis averted.