Friday, March 30, 2007

Morning Edition - 3/30/07

Sanjaya Madness; When Being Bad Is Good
Sanjaya Malakar, the 17-year old season six American Idol contestant from Washington State, is causing quite a stir in the entertainment industry these days. The soft-spoken, effeminate teen has managed to single-handedly kick-start interest in the top-rated Fox program and brings to question the ability of the show to really choose the best overall singer/performer among its contestants. When the youngster auditioned for the show, he was joined by his older sister, who also had interest in becoming a contestant. Although they both made it through to the second phase, big sis was promptly cut-off leaving the younger Malakar in a heap of tears before the cameras. Some say it was this genuine show of vulnerability that first endeared, the one I’ve come to call my Golden Sunshine, to the general public. Since then, GS has managed to avoid elimination, even standing shoulder-to-shoulder with better singers who are axed in favor of the stunning lad. Now in the final nine, many are saying that if he won, the American Idol franchise faces extinction. A cruise through the YouTube website shows a slew of respectable adults saying some pretty disgraceful things about the little young man who could, in fact, be the next American Idol. What was even odder was how many adults had waged hunger strikes until Sanjaya either stepped down from his finalist post or was cut from the show. Finally there are allegations of the and Howard Stern’s campaigns that recruit folks to keep Sanjaya’s post on AI secure. To add even more fuel to the fire, NBCs Saturday Night Live, spoofed the androgynous waif highlighting not only his wispy personality, but his young and old, die-hard fans. So, what’s the real deal here? At best, it appears that America is letting off steam at a time when it’s less serious to argue about a sexually ambiguous beauty than to speak of the thousands of men and women dying in Iraq or maybe the Sanjaya disdain can be attributed to a flagrant dislike for flamboyant men getting ahead with the support of the general public… who knows? Moreover, the argument that the person with the MOST talent should win, is absurd. First, America didn’t place Sanjaya in the running, the judges did. Now, those same judges seem incredulous that one of their chosen contestants is moving forward in the competition. Second, if talent were the only criteria for making a star, then Lisa Fischer would be bigger than Madonna and Brian McKnight would be enjoying Elton John’s success. Let’s get real folks, a star is born through a combination of things – not the least of which is a difference from us that keeps our interest. In Sanjaya’s case being bad is so good, but being beautiful and original is better.

Rapidly Fraying Rope
This week’s installment of Rapidly Fraying Rope was inspired by an exchange I had with a young lady on the comments area of another blog. Basically, I mentioned that Kimberly Elise’s face looked fat in the new movie Pride. A young lady commented directly after my comment and said that she didn’t understand why people (I would imagine me) associate fat with ugly and skinny with pretty. When I tried to point out that I merely said her face looked fat and that her own “translation” may be more of a self-conscious reaction, another woman jumped in to co-sign with the first cellulite covered c**+. All said, this installment does not deal with the young ladies or whether they are big or small – to be clear, one of them pointed out she is a size 4. We’re discussing “Knowing your girth.” Girth is simply the measurement around something; for the purposes of this column it means the distance around somebody’s body. Lately, I’ve come across situations that made me believe that there are some folks that either don’t know their girth OR don’t seem to know the effect of their girth on the rest of humanity. It’s as though they woke up this morning and went from a size 4 to a 24 on their way to the train. Here are a few things to keep in mind when assessing your girth:
1. Know your girth…If you are over three feet across, it is not recommended that you stand blocking the doorways to modes of public transportation, elevators or face forward on escalators. You should be mindful that it is impossible for other individuals to get around you and therefore make them more apt to point out your lack of regard for your fellow man.
2. Know your girth… If you have very large legs, you should never buy boots that are calf length or above as your calves may look like footballs shoved into a garden hose. Also, if your weight cannot be easily balanced and carried with grace on higher heels, opt for a more reasonable heel that will allow you to walk like a normal human being. Heels that make you teeter on the brink of collapse only give you the Henrietta Hippo look and we don’t think that’s what you’re striving for.
3. Know your girth…Avoid eating fatback and beef tripe sandwiches as snacks while blurting that you don’t understand why you can’t seem to shed any weight. No one believes it's a genetic or glandular issue - least of all, you. Here’s the reality Clara-Belle, it’s the caloric intake.
4. Know your girth…Confidence. Period. If you intend to keep your voluptuous figure, it is recommended that you learn how to choose clothing accentuating your best features, take the time to do your hair and take pride in your appearance. Big girls are just as beautiful, confident and together as their thinner counterparts, but they need to take the time to package themselves with the same care as women of other sizes.
5. Know your girth…Most important – Do not criticize thinner people simply because they’re thin. You come across as a self-loathing, envious and jealous person. Moreover, it opens you up to the tables being turned and the girth issue being highlighted in someone's blog.

Romancing the HOE
Last night the HOE and I had our last date before he takes off for Peru today. His 10 day vacation will take him through some pretty beautiful sites and we wanted to have a last evening together before our first official separation. We fittingly had dinner at a wonderful new Westchester Caribbean-Southern eatery called Legends and retreated to a quiet evening at his place where we experimented with some new flavorful body oils. He also gave me a wonderful little keepsake to play with in his absence and I had to laugh at his demonstration of how I should use it. In the end, I showed him how I’d use his gift and my show-and-tell delayed my return home for another hour. As I drove home I thought about how the 10 days would give me an opportunity to think about the last two weeks with the HOE. He’s certainly brought me out of my winter funk.

On Blast
Being fat is not synonymous with being ugly, just as being thin does not make you a runway model. That said, are the media’s efforts to make Americans (the largest population in the world) comfortable with their size, making folks think that it is okay to be unhealthy? Are we saying, “Be comfortable in your own skin,” OR “Eat yourself into an early grave”?

Keep passin’ the open windows…


adam_ex2 said...

I agree that people should feel comfortable with who they are (i.e. their size). I also think that "who they are" should be healthy.

Good health is such a precious commodity, and it shouldn't be taken for granted. There are those who don't have good health, and would do anything to change that.

People need to stop taking the defensive and admit to themselves that there IS such a thing as being too big or too out of shape.

American culture has adopted an attitude of "It's OK to be big." But when you think about it, it's not. Big business has played on people's frustrations and has told us that we need to stop trying to look like the fashion models and eat up. That's all fine and good, but besides paying for that food, we'll be paying for the doctor's visits and presciptions when our health deteriorates.

Let's face it. Who wants to get dirty looks because they're taking up more than one seat on the subway? Who wants to deal with feeling uncomfortable in their clothes, car, or chair? Who wouldn't feel good about themself if they were thinner?

I say, "Yeah, eat up! But eat healthy. Eat smart." You won't be hungry, AND (if you're lucky) you won't be fat.

Anonymous said...

I co-sign with adam_ex2...healthy should be the goal...because not every skinny person is healthy either. But, to many of us are comfortable in our un-healthy big skin, me included but I am changing.

I notice young girls 12, 13, 14 years old with muffin tops - the excess skin/flab/fat that hangs over the top of the too tight pants either stuck in the bottom of the shirt or peeking from under the shirt - that are proud to sport the look. It ain't cute nor can it be healthy.

So since this confidence of toting unflattering, unhealthy flab is being accepted at such a young age, all I can say is that I will be say eeewwww for years to come.


ReddMann said...

I dont think the media is saying “Be comfortable in your own skin,” OR “Eat yourself into an early grave”.

I think that you can be healthy and still not thin. From what I see (less the fashion/entertainment media) the focus is on being healthy not being thin.

And Brian McNight getting Elton John's success... there will never be a parallel universe for that nonsense and his falsetto non singing ass.

Joey Bahamas said...

I agree that the commotion surrounding GS is ridiculous, especially with everything going on in the world around us. Your governments are a scandal, your economies are inhumane, and there are wars, hunger and genocide and you're on youtube reading some child for his lack of talent. This is a prime example of how America has become politically catatonic...

In any case, I'm living vicariously with your stories about the HOE...keep them coming...mwah!


Anonymous said...

If your girth is causing personal health problems then you owe if to yourself and your family to attempt to corrdct the situation.

On the other hand if your balimic azz is having unhealthy consequences then you need to come to Mama's house and get some green's and fat back.

I try teaching my friends that dieting not the way to go. Change your eating habits and getting out of the chair to walk through a park or walk with a partner and gossip, if nothing better can be found, is the way to go. I don't like dieting, I like knowing how what I put in my mouth will affect my insides. You don't need everything on a sandwich to make it take good, forego the mayo and/or sour cream.

Leniere said... a "person of size" it is not my impression that the media has taken on a feel good about yourself attitude. While models drop dead, and TV, movie stars and musicians seemingly disappear before our eyes (anyone seen Courtney Love recently?), the media seems content with staying on course. Sure, there's the occasional Curves commercial, and the "real women" (or something like that) campaign, but that's it...and those don't speak to men. So maybe it's ok for women to be fat and not men.

I've vacillated between accepting my size and feeling like I need to change it. Some of that comes from being a chubby gay man with friends who are all fit gym rats, and some of it comes from being told for the billionth time what a nice face I have. And yes, some of it comes with concern for my health in the long term.

When the media addresses big people or big people issues it's so heavy handed and forced, and there's so much fan fare and back patting involved: "How great are we? We made clothes that actually fit the majority of the population!" pat pat.

In the meantime, I will continue my Oprah-sized struggle with my weight...and I will continue to hold my head high in the face of those who suggest that weight loss is a simple thing...nice face, man boobs and all.

And....I know my girth. If I see a seat on the train between two people, I look the other way...and not because my ass is too big, but because of the shoulder thing. I have broad shoulders and if there are two people sitting there, they've pretty much claimed the shoulder space.

There have been occasions where I've felt a huge shadow cast over me and I look up to see someone who has no right getting ready to smash their ass into the seat next to me. Usually though, me and my fellow NY'ers give a "Bitch don't even try it" look and they generally keep it movin.

Cocoa Rican said...

Thanks all for the share - especially Leniere. After I initially posted my Rapidly Fraying Rope column on girth, I thought about my own struggle and although my weight issues are very real to me, I realize that when others look at me and don't understand where my issue stems from.

Leniere, your comment was most enlightening to me because it was honest, real and took the issue head-on.

Remarkably, it's a very scary tightrope to walk. We're being asked to be comfortable with our bodies, but there are other instances that tell us to change them. Moreover, I've often compared the gay life to the model's life - we're HOT while we're young and thin. At some point we have to recognize that if we live healthy it should be enough.

Thanks y'all.

caspar608 said...

I believe Kimberly Elise always looks matter how her face looks. Please keep in mind that women go through hormone changes every month. Sometimes PMS makes your face look fuller.

In any case, the most important thing you can do for yourself in life is LOVE YOURSELF. Gay Straight Tall Short Thin Voluptuos or morbidly ovese - although I would have to say if you are so big that you cannot fit through a doorway then you cannot possibly love yourself more than you love food.

You don't have to be mean about it Hector. Just because you have the body of oh my goodness, does't mean you have the right to bash the big gals. I am ashamed of you right now. OK, I am over it!
Play nice dammit.