However, I feel that as a public figure, she’s done her followers a serious disservice by not only hiding her disease, but by providing such a terrible example of managing it. Medication is all fine and dandy, but fixing your diet and moderate exercise can prevent serious complications, or even prevent/delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes in the first place. Furthermore, there are people living with diabetes who absolutely refuse to acknowledge or treat it, or change their lifestyle & eating habits. My grandmothers are among them. Both have diabetes, neither has changed her eating, one has had a triple bypass as a result of that refusal to make a change. For many, Paula Deen’s example is an easy one they can use as an excuse: “I can keep eating the same crap- Paula Deen still cooks the same stuff and she has diabetes.”
Now yes, I know she’s not eating the crap she puts up for show all the time, and honestly, I doubt TOO too many people are cooking that way ALL the time. Furthermore, she’s not responsible for other people’s eating habits. However, promoting that kind of eating when you’re a prominent figure with a following that can suffer from your example? In my humble opinion, that’s NOT good PR, nor is it a good example of using ones celebrity for good.
But what really bothers me is this comparison that I heard on NPR. Someone said there are tons of shows out there that “promote” dangerous things, so get off Paula’s back. They used Jackass as an example of this. The thing is, Jackass at least has a warning in the opening credits (and I THINK though I’m not completely sure that they include the same warning when returning from commercial breaks). That warning says NOT to attempt the stupid stunts they’re doing because they’re professionals. Duh. It’s common sense, but they include a warning anyway. It should be common sense that Paula Deen’s cooking is NOT healthy and eating it often would take a whole lotta leafy greens to be considered a part of a balanced diet. However, for some people, it isn’t common sense. Some people don’t know or care. It’s not a valid comparison, frankly, because Jackass doesn’t PROMOTE those stunts. They perform them for entertainment purposes (and by my reasoning, THEY do them so YOU don’t have to). Paula Deen’s show, books, line of cooking ware and products PROMOTE that kind of cooking.
I know this is a rambling rant here, but my point is that I’m disappointed that Paula used this as an opportunity to profit on a product endorsement instead of using it as an opportunity to improve and educate.
What were your reactions to Paula’s announcement?