Monthly Archives: December 2012

Barbara Walters Chooses ‘Honey Boo Boo:’ Say it Ain’t So, Barbara!

FATLASH! Food Police & the Fear of Thin

I finally did it.  I watched the segment of the Barbara Walters Special  in which she features Honey Boo Boo and her family.  Walters named Alana Thompson one of the “Ten Most Fascinating People of 2012.” 

Ms. Walters chose not to interview the family directly but presented previously seen clips.  Apparently, she took a lot of heat for her choice which also helped to publicize her special before it aired.  Intentionally or not, Alana was used to sell Walters’ program just as she has continued to be used by her mother and  her family to garner money, recognition and fame.

What is most curious, is that the most “fascinating” questions as to why Honey Boo Boo has been so fascinating in 2012, were never asked, questions like:

  • Why do people watch this show and why were its ratings higher in some markets, than the national political conventions?
  • Fifteen years after the JonBenet Ramsey case, why is there a show called “Toddlers and Tiaras” and why is it more popular than ever?
  • Why do parents keep putting their kids in beauty pageants?

As in the case of many television programs, initially people tune in for a little escape and perhaps some curiosity.  Many can’t believe a show like this is even on TV.  But if they become a regular watcher, they may be getting seduced in somewhat the same way as the participants and the parents.  The voyeuristic quality of this whole endeavor feeds on itself.  (yet another not-so-inadvertant food pun.) 

Hollywood has never had good boundaries when it comes to child stars.  The long list of children who hit adolescence just in time for an adult meltdown, is legendary in Hollywood.  From Michael Jackson, to Lindsay Lohan, show biz has rarely had positive long-term effects on kids. 

One has to wonder who is leading whom. Does the media lead the culture or is it creating it?  In this case,  individual citizens must begin to  educate and lead the media by refusing to watch a spectacle in which children are being robbed of their childhoods before our very eyes.

Apparently, Barbara Walters was seduced too.  It’s unfortunate that she didn’t use the opportunity to shed real light on Princess by Proxy Syndrome and the damaging consequences that await a whole new generation of little girls.

Diets and Display: What’s the Connection?

Fatlash! Food Police and the Fear of Thin by Karen KatalineChild beauty pageants and issues about food and weight seem to go together like pizza and beer, peanut butter and jelly, lettuce and tomato.  –But why?  In the case of “Honey Boo Boo,” we see a child who is a bit chubby, with a food-obsessed family and an overweight mother. I was a bit chubby too, but had a thin-obsessed mother who wanted desperately for me to be as thin as she had been when she was put on the stage by her mother.In both cases however, weight and diets figure prominently and usually do in families who put their children on display. What’s the connection?  In most people’s lives, food is about much more than sustenence.  It’s about control, it’s about nurturing, and it’s about boundaries.  When food is the instrument that expresses a dysfunctional family, it also becomes the tool that expresses separation from that dysfunction.Whether Honey decides to assert her independence by becoming diet-conscious, or whether she becomes just as heavy as her mother, these issues have been thrust upon her by a family that is feeding off her appearance and cuteness. Can Honey ever truly be an independent person as she grows older?  Time will tell. In the meantime, pass the pork rinds, but for heaven’s sake, not too many.

Figures Can Lie, Liars can Figure, but Who’s Defining my Figure?

Normal isn’t normal anymore.

According to ObesityMyths.com “thirty-five million Americans went to sleep one night in 1998 at a government-approved weight and woke up “overweight” the next morning, thanks to a change in the government’s definition. That group includes currently “overweight” celebrities like Will Smith and Pierce Brosnan, as well as NBA stars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.”   “Overweight” had previously been defined as a BMI of 27.8 for men and 27.3 for women; in 1998 it was lowered to a BMI of 25 for both genders.”

Why is it so important to stir the pot of obesity hysteria and label more Americans fat?  Could it be that it makes us flabbier and more tolerant of food regulation and food controls?  It’s a losing vicious circle, (and not in a good way) as more control and admonishment leads to more real obesity and more FATLASH.

Obesity Myths also reports that many of the biggest food cops who regulate and litigate are funded by the weight loss industry.  Check out this site:  www.ObesityMyths.com  It may explode a few myths you’ve been feeding too!

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