We have received the news that Paula Deen, popular television cook and self-titled "queen of Southern cooking," has Type 2 diabetes. There is outrage against Ms. Deen for advertising unhealthy eating, which I find particularly fascinating.
Here's the question: are we or are we not personally responsible for what we stick into our mouths?
I'm serious. This seems to be an unanswered question in this country.
Let's briefly discuss Ms. Deen. Without a doubt, she is a brilliant self-promoter; a comfortable presence whose personality Americans have overwhelming approved as attractive and acceptable.
As we all know, Ms. Deen's popularity is a matter of taste (no pun intended). It turns out that many Americans are comfortable with the homey, overweight human model on television, I suspect for many reasons.
Southern food is comfort food, and who better to peddle the grits than a Southern mama?
She did a great job in that role. People bought it and ate it, apparently.
Let us never forget that this is television, folks. Show biz. If it were not, perhaps if we were to meet this unknown person who enthused at a social event about high calorie treats, we would chuckle and understand that she enjoys eating those things. End of thought process.
It is her business what she passionately eats. It is our business what we choose to eat. It is a free country where anyone savvy enough to snag a slot on television can hawk anything at all.
Here's where the dispute comes in. We like to forget a little thing called personal responsibility. We live in a free country where we can turn the channel away from obvious stupidity, and shut our mouths to empty calories. In other words, we can just say no to a particular television person who is not our favorite bowl of grains.
So why not turn the channel and understand that this is show business, not science?
We turn to television for expert advice, when really what we are getting is entertainment, be it medical media actors, psychologists, dieticians, financial gurus.
In fact, you are choosing your favorite entertainers when you choose these shows on television.
(It is my hope that there is some real information offered, but I know where hope can lead, and it's not always good).
One last thought on the media event of Paula Deen's diabetes confession. What's up with those who celebrate her having diabetes?
Not only do we live in a spiritless place where being mean is practiced as an art. There is also an epidemic of blaming others for our own life circumstances and choices.
Instead, let's study what it means to be responsible for our own health and actions.
Let's make a deal to stop celebrating that anyone has a disease.