Meme Roth responds to my angry letter and writes:
Thank you for taking the time to write, Ms. XXXXX.
I understand that you are upset. And while I believe my comments can be controversial, I'd also like to be certain it's my comments we're talking about. Also, I do believe it's fair, and even crucial, that we talk about child/teen obesity in this country, regardless if it's taboo to use the word "overweight." For the record... I was invited onto news shows to discuss child obesity and the American Idol show.
I have only ever used the words "tragedy" or "nightmare" to describe America's child obesity epidemic, not a person, and not a performer on American Idol. Nor have I used the word "obese" to describe Jordin Sparks. Nor have I said her size should prevent her from winning. I stand 100% behind only the statements I made, nothing scripted to introduce any interview.
National Action Against Obesity's mandate is to 1) Rid schools of Junk Food; 2) Eliminate "Fake Food" from the food supply that contributes to obesity and disease; 3) Eradicate Secondhand Obesity-- obesity handed down from one generation to the next...or across the culture; Plus) Promote exercise across all ages.
I have said and will continue to say that Jordin Sparks is an amazing talent and effervescent personality. Her extra weight is a reflection of today's society and a culture where many of our children have compromised health due to unhealthful food choices and inactivity.
What seems in comparison to morbid obesity to be "just a little extra weight" does indeed increase our children's odds significantly for diabetes, heart disease, etc...and even more so if someone is Latino, African American, Asian or Native American. We now are seeing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and of course, type II diabetes, in our children at rates like never before.
The context of the comment about Jordin's imminent weight loss was aimed at unhealthful Hollywood handlers.
Hope the holiday wknd is good to you. And thanks again for sharing your viewpoint.
I ANSWER HER WITH THIS
By all means champion exercise and better food options at schools but don't trot out a beautiful young woman like Jordin Sparks and make an "example" out of her. If you need an example, where were you Jerry Falwell died? Didn't he have heart problems? Or is it just easier attacking 17 year old girl? You may have never uttered the words "she is obese" but you insinuated it many times. At one point you said, "She is not the vision of health, she's the vision of unhealth."
You owe this young woman an apology or your cause has lost all credibility.
PS: From what I've read in the comment threads at feministe, this woman had no credibility to start with anyway.... sigh.