Oh Paula. You sure have gotten a lot of attention lately, haven't you?
In case you haven't been following the controversial Southern Queen, I'll break it down for you real fast: an ex-employee from her restaurant has the media's attention for reporting that while working at The Lady & Sons, Paula would make racist jokes and use the N-word. When asked if she did in fact use this word she responded with "Of course" and thus the lawsuit began. Her plans to re-create a wedding that was Civil War themed with "slave" waiters was the buttercream icing on the two layer racist cake. Jackson, an Ex-General Manager also reported sexual harassment and personal assault from Paula's brother Bubba Hiers. Paula has been dropped by millions (ok, maybe just a lot) of business partners and is now on tv in tears asking those who haven't made mistakes to come forward because she'd like to meet them. This story is pretty boring, but it brings up some interesting issues.
This isn't the first time Paula has incited a media riot. She has long been hated on for "encouraging" Americans to consume traditional Southern recipes; y'know the ones made of oil, butter, and every other fat. Paula was in the news when she announced that she had Type 2 Diabetes ("Serves her right!" the public said) and then "selling out" by collaborating with a drug company that addressed diabetic options. She was also attacked for being fat before losing a significant amount of weight ("Good for you!" the public said) last year.
Acceptable Reasons to Hate on Ms. Dean:
Blatant bigotry. Pretty obvious, right? No tolerance for those who perpetuate hate towards a person (and subsequently an entire demographic) especially when it's based on looks. Instant asshole status, as far as I'm concerned. A few quotes:
“Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n***ers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around. “Now, that would be a true Southern wedding wouldn’t it? But we can’t do that because the media would be on me about that.”” - via
“It’s just what they are- they’re jokes… most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks… I can’t determine what offends another person.” -via
“The whole entire waiter staff was middle-aged black men, and they had on beautiful white jackets with a black bow tie. I mean, it was really impressive. That restaurant represented a certain era in America… after the Civil War, during the Civil War, before the Civil War… It was not only black men, it was black women… I would say they were slaves.” -via
Lack of Southern pie recipes. I love the Red Velvet, Tiramisu, and candy recipes but I NEED MORE PIE INSPIRATIONZ! Pie making happens to be my seasonal obsession which just highlights the tragic underexposure of the Southern staple on her website. ALL OF THE PIES PLEASE PAULA. Kthanx.
Her weight: We all know how I feel about this.
"You may not agree with a woman, but to criticize her appearance - as opposed to her ideas or actions - isn't doing anyone any favors, least of all you. Insulting a woman's looks when they have nothing to do with the issue at hand implies a lack of comprehension on your part, an inability to engage in high-level thinking. You may think she's ugly, but everyone else thinks you're an idiot." -Erin Gloria Ryan
Attacking Paula over her weight is embarrassingly simplistic, and is sadly only exacerbated by the fact that she works as a chef for a living. I also really dislike how our culture then patted her on the back when she dropped several sizes. I don't care if you're concerned about her health; her body is not public property.
Because she's a bad role model. It's amazing to me that I have to explain this. Listen carefully guys: Paula is not responsible for your decisions. We're all grown-ass adults for chrissakes; lets not insult our intelligence by saying that just because someone deep fries food they are responsible for our health. I, for one, am smarter than that and guess what? Even if she stopped cooking, Southern food would still exist. Yep, it's the truth.
Butter. But, but, but... butter is a necessity for cooking and baking! Its what makes pie crusts flaky! And scones airy! And pastry cream delicious! A person who hates butter is no friend of mine.
Of course hatred is a wasted emotion, but I'm trying to give you legitimate reasons to disagree with her actions and then correct those superficial opinions that hurt society as a whole. Except for the butter one. That just hurts bakers, but I care about that too.
What are your thoughts? How fucked up are we with our judgments? Or are we not fucked up at all?