Saturday, May 26, 2007


This isn't typical post material here, but I feel compelled to write something about it...

MeMe Roth on the clip at this post at Feministing is truly abhorrent.

Of course obesity is a problem in our country. But so are eating disorders and self-esteem of young women in this country.

Jordin Sparks isn't obese. She's not even "full-figured", like Neil Cavuto calls her in the clip. She's tall and broad shouldered. Just like it's reasonable, if not expected, for the daughter of a professional football player to be. Jordin is 17 years old. On her frame, were she to lose 40 pounds (as Ms. Roth predicts), she'd look emaciated. It is particularly shameful to describe Jordin as obese, since she was the youngest competitor on the show, and clearly was someone millions of teenage girls relate to. Also, need I even say that wanting someone to lose a singing competition because that someone weighs a little more (a) is stupid and (b) makes you look like a total ass. Jordin's size and frame are as much her own doing as the fact she's of mixed race. Would Fox offer a platform to someone who thought Jordin should lose because she was half African-American? (Don't answer that...)

I'm a new father of a baby girl. I realize that obesity is a problem, but I'm even more deathly afraid that the public and media obsession with weight could affect her sense of self-worth, or worse increase the likelihood of bullimia or anorexia nervosa. I want my child to be proud of who she is, confident in herself. To know that there are people out there that point out supposed flaws in teenage girls like Jordin Sparks and to know that there are television stations that provide airtime and legitimacy to such people truly makes me a little angry.