Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Letter to Paula Deen

 Please note: This letter is a satire. It is not intended to be taken literally, so please do not. This letter has a higher purpose and makes a point. Please do not take this letter literally. Thank you.

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Dear Paula,

I just wanted to send a quick note to congratulate you on your diabetes diagnosis. I'm so happy for you! Your choice to hide your diagnosis from the general public was absolutely brilliant from a business perspective. You obviously can't let those morons in the general public realize that the high-carb, high fat delights you create could be bad for them, right? Absolutely brilliant to hide your diagnosis until you could make a huge profit off of it. Let's face it, you were never in this business to help people, it's all about making money, right? Those idiots who think you should use this opportunity to be a "role model" must be insane. I mean, seriously ... changing your cooking style to include healthier ingredients would NEVER make as much money as you'll make being the spokesperson for a diabetes medication whose side effects are already causing concern, right? What the heck are they thinking?

I loved the interview you did where you said you won't change the way you cook and eat. Be a role model and potentially inspire the other 30 million diabetics in the US to make positive changes? Hell no, right? Embracing your type 2 diabetes instead of trying to reverse it as over 300,000 other suckers have just doesn't make sense. Why bother changing how you eat when you can shoot up instead?

It was also brilliant that you started with a medication that costs $500 dollars per month and is injectable instead of promoting less expensive medications with fewer side effects. Brilliant planning, because you'll soon be able to be a spokesperson for insulin shots and insulin pumps since the way you're eating and living pretty much guarantees you'll soon graduate to full-blown Type 1 Diabetes. Awesome planning on your part. Absolutely awesome. Why settle for being a spokesperson for a low-dollar oral med when you can easily promote a far more invasive medication that costs twenty times as much and was found to cause thyroid tumors and thyroid cancers during clinical trials?

Best of all, your choice to embrace diabetes instead of trying to reverse it will now provide ample opportunity to gain other lucrative celebrity endorsement contracts. Since you refuse to change your eating habits, exercise or stop to think about the fact your high-carb diet caused your disease, you will soon be able to get endorsements from dialysis centers, artificial limb companies, and groups that sponsor assistance dogs for the blind. It is another brilliant business move to turn kidney failure, amputation and blindness from diabetic retinopathy into a means of growing your huge financial empire. When the pain from diabetic neuropathy becomes too severe to allow you to stand in front of a camera, you can get even more endorsements for narcotic pain relievers since none work well enough to allow people with neuropathy to live pain-free. Absolutely brilliant! It would just be silly to use your wealth to hire a personal trainer or a personal chef who could teach you how to eat in a way that might eliminate your chance to get those endorsements. Your brilliant business acumen is a model of manipulative efficiency. Kudos.

Thanks so much for encouraging other people with type 2 diabetes to completely ignore what their doctors and diabetic educators are telling them. Screw that, right? Just do what you want and gain more endorsements! Well, all the "little people" will gain is loss of sight, kidney failure, intense pain and death, but you can't be bothered by that, can you? You have a business empire to run, after all.

Thanks for being such a great business role model to other women entrepreneurs. When we hear of your death a few short years from now, we promise to send gorgeous flowers while we shake our heads and say we knew it would happen. It's good to die rich, isn't it?

Sincerely,

A cynical but unsurprised non-fan

Note to readers: Before you start sending comments about how my letter to Paula lacks compassion, let me clarify that I've had Type 1 diabetes longer than most of you have been alive (almost 50 years), and I've personally helped 100s of people reverse diabetes and get off all meds. News of her diagnosis genuinely broke my heart. However, one thing I've learned in years of professional practice is that you can't help someone who won't help themselves. Paula had a chance to make lifestyle changes and greatly decrease her need for the injectable medication she's endorsing, but she instead chose to embrace the profit she could earn by being a pharmaceutical spokesperson. The medication she's endorsing has already caused issues during its clinical trials and was found to cause thyroid tumors and thyroid cancers. I won't apologize for my sarcasm. I feel Paula's choice to continue eating a horrible, high-carb diet may influence others to ignore the advice of their medical professional and eat the same way they see her cook. It could have devastating effects.

20 comments:

  1. Bravo! Love this letter. Hope she will read it and THINK.

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    1. Thanks. I sent her a link via Twitter. We'll see. (I'll probably hear from her attorneys, instead. LOL)

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  2. I totally agree. It's a damn shame that she's going to continue as-is. Especially considering how much she could help her "fan base" by taking on improving her health through nutrition and conscious food choices. Of course that route would not be nearly as lucrative. . .

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    1. True. I think what disappoints me the most is just that ... she could use this to positively influence thousands of people, but chose to maintain status quo and increase her wealth instead. I won't judge her for making those choices, but they aren't choices I can support.

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  3. This letter is extremely well thought out and thoughtful. I have been a big fan of Paula Deen feeling she was one of the People's people. Given a well rounded education on just what choices Paula has made to promote to her huge fan base she has lost me as one of them. I feel saddened and a bit disillusioned by Paula's lack of showing the smallest bit of care for an audience who steadfastly loves her infectious personality when she is in a position to help so many. I certainly hope she is not following the regimen she is espousing to others herself. Just think what a triumph it would be if she took her amazing talents and personality and put them to work revamping her recipes for health AND mouth-watering taste the huge benefit she could effect. Until then, she has lost one fan.
    Linda Allison

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I agree. I think she may find that she's been removed from the "good ol' southern gal" pedestal she was on. All we can do is pray for her.

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  4. I love the thought behind this letter. I agree with you.

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  5. Well Said, the last thing we need is bad role models. She can afford those over priced dangerous drugs, while the people who follow her usually cannot. I would be willing to bet my farm that she gets her lovely drugs for free, further driving up the cost of the drug for those who can't afford it.

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    1. Thanks, Hazel. That's a good point. It hadn't occurred to me that she's getting her meds for free and driving up the costs for everyone else. Love it! :)

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  6. Love this letter. Why anyone would "choose" to have diabetes, is beyond me. Wake up people (most importantly, Paula Deen!) Type 2 diabetes is 100% curable! Why live with a chronic condition that literally destroys! I've lived w/Type 1 diabetes for 30yrs, test my glucose up to 10 times a day and battle just to stay alive. I would give anything to be free from this disease! Paula Deen's decision is her own, of course, but I highly disrespect her for it. She's just shameful in my opinion!

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    1. Thanks, Lori. Let's be fair ... Type 2 is not always reversible, as it is not always caused by lifestyle choices but is instead caused by metabolic dysfunction in some people. Most cases can be reversed, but not all. :)

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  7. Thanks so much for all your support. I recently submitted this post to an online magazine who refused to share it because they deemed it too "controversial." I've been really blessed by the positive comments you have all shared. Thanks much! :)

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  8. So sorry for the pain Paula's recent announcements and decisions must have caused you, having personally been affected by diabetes. Hang in there.

    ~ Tiffany

    Transfer of Health
    Healthy Living and Recipes

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  9. Everything you wrote is what I had to tell all me unhealthy, Paula Deen loving fans at work. They tried to defend her. Their only defense was "her son is making his mom's food healthy." That's their defense? He has nothing to do with her poor judgement and lack of compassion for her own healthy, as well as being a poor role model for the unnaturally high population of Americans who are just as unhealthy...

    Thank you!!!!

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  10. The tone is quite harsh & mean. I understand you've had your own personal struggle with diabetes, but to congratulate her diagnosis, & to count on her death, went far over the line. There is a respectful ways to address your concerns, and then there are ones that willfully starts controversy for illogical reasons, like this one. I agree with your overall message, that Paula's decision to hide her disease for THREE YEARS in order to maximize profits of her unhealthful empire, and her insensitive decision to become the face of an unreasonably expensive & unsafe drug, were quite foolish, but you absolutely crossed a line. She may be rolling in dough, but she, like the rest of us, is just another human being. Wouldn't you want compassion? And aren't there more effective ways of getting your message across than icy cold snark? No wonder this didn't get published.

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  11. Pamela, that is great news that your post was deemed too "controversial" -- that means you struck a cord of truth. Wow... love your letter and quite gutsy! I have to share this! My mother has Type 2 Diabetes, and I'd love to see her able to go off her meds.... working on that when she will listen. My health coach colleagues with IIN are going to love this!!!! :)

    Blessings,
    Beth

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  12. Thanks so much to everyone who shared your support and took time to comment on this post. Please note that this post was written with love and was very sarcastic. No ill will was intended. My own experience has nothing to do with this letter. My concern is for her fans who may now be influenced to not make life changes based on her choices. Thanks so much to those whno understand the higher purpose, the sarcasm and the humor of this letter.

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  13. ...you can't help someone who won't help themselves.
    It's a hard balance between that understanding and asking celebrities to be role models. I think you are right on in this case though as we talk about a life and death issue. I have one family member that did not follow doctor's orders and the progression you would expect with diabetes occurred and eventually took his life. I also have other family members that have successfully controlled diabetes through diet, so well that as a child I did not even notice any specific dietary avoidance in them. I think it is dangerous to suggest that dietary changes are not made. I think it is unwise to ever look to medication only when nutrition and exercise can make such a major difference. I think she is missing out on the Paula Deen Diabetic Cookbook market. That has to be worth more than free meds, right?

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  14. BRAVO!!!! Perfectly said. Paula was dishonest with the public in hiding her condition and now expects everyone to "wink-wink" and forgive her. Had she immediately come out with her diagnosis (which...of course...would have prevented the development of her $$$$$$$ diabetes related product endorsement plans) I would have had great respect for her. But she put money before integrity. So sad...for Paula, it's all about the money.

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