Let’s Go Blog Hopping

In my younger days, every now and again, my friends and I would get dressed and go clubbing (out to a club) and dance the night away.  I seldom do that anymore, but I recall fondly some of the clubs we visited.  The clubs were filled with people being merry as they celebrated the weekend.  Different clubs had different furnishings, decorations, people, and cover charges.

Today I invite you to go blog hopping with me.  Maybe you’ll find a new cyber hangout to call your own.  And unlike a club, there is no cover charge.

First stop on our blog hopping adventure is to my friend Paula’s blog.  Now I’ve been busy at work lately and am unable to sit for 6 hours and read blogs like I used to do.  Woe is me.  But one day I saw Paula post a blog Sweet Mother of Anorexia that caught my eye.  After I read it and made sure she wasn’t pulling a Gayle from Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made/Gotta Keep on Tryin’ I became angry at what I read.  Paula did nothing wrong as you will see once you click that link two lines up, but the good people of Random House are kind of on my list. 

Sweet Valley High is being re-released!  You know, my favorite series as an adolescent.  I remember all about them, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, 16 year old juniors, drove a Fiat, wore matching lavalieres that were a gift on their 16th birthday, turquoise eyes, size 6, Jessica the cheerleader and flirt who is best friends and enemies with Lila Fowler, older brother named Steven, Elizabeth the brain and editor of the school newspaper who dated Todd.  Yes, I still remember.  Daggonit. 

But thanks to Random House, they are going from a size 6 to a size 4.  Now you can look at any TV show or celebrity magazines and blogs and you know we as a society are fascinated with physical perfection.  Watch an hour of TV and count how many diet commercials you see.  Weight Watchers, Slim Quik, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem.  Notice how they are sandwiched between food ads though.  I just saw a WeightWatchers commercial followed by a Mrs. Butterworth’s commercial.  Way to go on the double message!  Heavens to Betsy if you watch certain channels around 6 AM on the weekend and you get extended commercials of any number of exercise equiment guaranteed to shed weight, flatten abs, blah cubed.

So to hear that the already skinny twins are going to become skinnier BOTHERS ME!  In my avid Sweet Valley High reading days, I was a size 10.  I’m not a 10 anymore.  But as a teen reading about the perfect twins who were a size 6 didn’t bother me.  Back then size wasn’t as much an issue in all forms of media as they are now.  Or maybe I am more aware of those forms of advertisement in my advanced years and because my size has gone up?

But it still bothers me.  We have girls who are unhappy with their size and will do anything to attain the perject size.  And they go about it wrong.  Instead of adjusting their diet and working out or becoming more physically active, they do drastic things to attain body perfection.  

I don’t mention sizes of my characters because I didn’t give them sizes.  I also realize that none of my major characters are overweight.  I probably should address that in a future book.  Maybe have Kendra feel she is gaining weight because of another insensitive comment that Destiny makes about her and she and her mother have a nice little chat.  I’ll find a way to not make it After School Specialish though.

So anyway, our literature is even subconsciously teaching our girls, and boys too, what sizes are socially acceptable.  Maybe one day the size 12s, 14s, 16s, 18s, and up can be considered just as beautiful and socially acceptable as the 2s, 4s, 6s, and 8s.  They won’t be the special case.  They’ll just be the norm.  We won’t have the plus size contestant on America’s Next Top Model eliminated by the 6th week or we’ll have more than just one plus size girl in the house.

Leaving Paula’s blog, we are about to head over to Renee’s Tweenalicious blog.  That’s right.  Tweenalicious.  Authors love to make up words and phrases.  It’s what we do.

Ms. Renee has a blog posted about Tiana the Disney Princess.  Oh, you didn’t know?  Disney is FINALLY giving us a Black, African American princess.  The Princess and The Frog will be released Christmas Day 2009.  I’m excited for several reasons.  I love animated movies, cartoons, whatever you call them.  I’ve seen Cars, Shrek 1, 2, and 3, Meet the Robinsons, Horton Hears a Who, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 1 and 2, The Lion King, Mulan, and a gang of other animated movies so I am geeked to add another one to my list.

Renee has provided us the link to another blog that showcases drawings from the movie’s characters.  It is great to see that the characters’ hair reflects the diverse hairstyles that African Americans wear — straight, kinky texture, locks, and a myriad of others.

The Princess and the Frog will feature Princess Tiana voiced by Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls, The Starter Wife) and will be set in New Orleans during the Jazz Age.  Other voices will be provided by Jenifer Lewis (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Cars),  John Goodman (Roseanne, Evan Almighty), and Keith David (Barbershop, Platoon).  Purportedly, according to Wikipedia, Angela Bassett (Akeelah and the Bee) is also part of the cast, but Wiki’s been wrong before so I’ll wait until I see it on IMDB.

Regardless of who’s in the movie, I am excited to see Disney telling the story of a Black princess.  I hope that the level of merchandising that I typically see for movies like Cars and Kung Fu Panda come to pass for The Princess and the Frog.  I want to see Princess Tiana dolls, bedding, bookbags, books, lunch boxes, clothing, etc. in all the stores.  I want to see little girls dressed as Princess Tiana Halloween 2010. Please let Princess Tiana be embraced by the marketing gatekeepers next year in preparation for the movie’s release.

I can only imagine how exited little girls named Tiana will feel hearing that they are indeed a princess.

Presenting the first promotional still from The Princess and the Frog

And on that note, we’ll end blog hopping for today.  I had planned to spotlight 4 or 5 blogs, but Paula and Renee’s blogs really connected with me and I blogged as a piggy back of sorts on top of their entries.  They’re my blog muses, lol.  Plus I don’t know how to be brief when I feel so passionately about something as is the case with today’s blogs.

But come back next week, I want to make Blog Hopping a regular feature so every Wednesday check in to see whose blogs I am spotlighting for the week.

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2 Responses to “Let’s Go Blog Hopping”

  1. Let’s Go Blog Hopping 2 « Keeping Up With Carla Says:

    […] Last week, I shared with you about the change in Sweet Valley High where the twins Jessica and Elizabeth will go from a size 6 to a size 4.  Very alarming, right? […]

  2. K.I.M. Says:

    Devil’s Advocate Response: It’s not a far stretch to think that two popular white 16 year-old girls are a size 4. That equates to about 115 lbs and 5’4″. I have no stats to back it up, but when I’m around teenagers, they seem to average around that height/weight. Heck, that’s what I was when I was that age.

    But I do see your point about media’s obsession with weight. Quite frankly, I don’t know why the publisher would note a character’s size, it seems very irrelevant.

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