To be authentic, according to most authorities on authenticity, is to be true to one’s own self, to one’s own nature. I suppose Paula Deen, while instructing viewers to add butter, sugar, and more butter and sugar, to her recipes–allegedly based on her “Grandmama Paul’s Southern cooking”–was being authentic, even as she was helping millions of Americans enter the growing group known as “obese.”
Studies have shown that obesity contributes to many illnesses and diseases including diabetes, which is running rampant in this country. Ms. Deen revealed recently that she has had Type 2 diabetes for several years. Also known as the “lifestyle illness,” Type 2 diabetes, for the most part, is caused by too much weight, too much high fat in food (butter, perhaps?), and too little exercise. Ms. Deen, being an authentic woman, ate her own cooking while urging others to follow suit, even in the face of an alarming rate of obesity among young children who, conventional wisdom suggests, get their meals cooked for them by parents, who might very well be influenced by the authentic cooking of Ms. Deen.
Sometimes maybe authenticity isn’t such a good thing.
Ms. Deen, still being true to herself, has outed her diabetes and is now going on a nationwide tour harking new, improved, healthier recipes and–even more authentically–a diabetes medication from Norvo Nordick. The tweets on Twitter have been deliciously entertaining. One tweeter noted, “I think it’s completely gross that Paula Deen made $$$ pushing food that makes you sick and will now make $$$ pushing medication for it.”
I’m all in favor of being true to yourself, sticking to your guns, and living your life as an authentic being . . . but I’m a skeptical of those who can change on a dime and make money from it.
Instead of pushing meds, I would prefer Ms. Deen pushed a healthier lifestyle and became the role model she is absolutely capable of being.