Dimensions Online Please visit our sponsor
subscribe | shop | personals | wannabes | fashion

Kelloggs pulls ads with Miss Universe because she gained weight...

This Miss Universe controversy brings up a lot of interesting issues. The "eating machine" comments are obviously rude and boorish and should be strongly condemned. I didn't see her workout with Trump, but from what I can tell, he handled it reasonably well. I don't think she'll lose her crown with the new contest being just around the corner anyway.

The Miss Universe pageant, of course, is a business, a division of Madison Square Garden. I don't know how the financials work exactly, but my guess is that Madison Square Garden gets all or a share of Miss Universe' appearance fees and endorsement monies. She's elected, "hired" really, because she best represents a very narrow interpretation of glamorous beauty, of the perfect woman. She's hired to play the perfect woman for a year. If it turns out that she's not living up to that ideal, then she has essentially broken the contract. Vanessa Williams had "dirty" pictures taken, and that was considered not compatible with the pristine image of Miss Universe. Alicia Machado gained a lot of weight, and that, too, wasn't compatible with the beauty ideal.

As far as Kellogg is concerned, their position is probably that they paid for the Miss Universe dream and Machado did not deliver and became a liability instead. Just like Rodman did not deliver when he kicked a cameraman and companies dropped his commercials. Or just like the other Alicia went from teen idol to scorned "FatGirl" just because she gained a bit of weight.

So who is at fault here? Kelloggs because they dropped the commercial? For them it was a business decision, though it will certainly disqualify them from receiving a NAAFA Achievement Award. Trump because he decided to hold a press conference and chose a workout theme? Probably not. The folks who made the eating machine comments? Absolutely. Merchado for going for a very well defined job and then not toughing it out for a year? Tough to say. Madison Square Garden for still having those gawd-awful Miss Universe contests that perpetuate a shallow, unnatural ideal of female beauty? Absolutely.

We're all ticked off because once again size discrimination has reared its ugly head and another celebrity has fallen from public grace because she gained a noticeable amount of weight (which, incidentally, probably brought he close to the actual size of the average woman her age). What the incidence really shows is that the fight for size acceptance is an ongoing battle that we all must fight every day. Alicia Machado--a lovely young woman at any weight--found that out the hard way. She deserves our support, just as those who ridicule and slander her deserve our contempt.

-- Conrad H. Blickenstorfer