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Worst Week Ever: Paula Deen

Adriana Pratt | Thursday, January 26, 2012

Paula Deen the Queen of Lean? In her dreams. The Southern butter belle has taken a beating in the kitchen this week as her love of cream and sugar molded into fodder for a mass media picnic. Poor Paula Deen, always trying to spread love in a time of calorie-a, is having the Worst Week Ever.

The poofy bouffant announced to the world last week that she was suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, a form of the blood sugar disease often attributed to obesity. Deen’s announcement also brought with it news that she actually received the diagnosis three years ago. Is that trouble I smell brewing in the kitchen?

Critics raged that Deen misled audiences, drowning helpless fruits and veggies in legions of lard as she pumped insulin backstage.

With a blinding white smile and blazing blue eyes, Deenie-baby acted like the overindulgence was anything but dangerous. After fans learned her devious secret, the layers of warm Southerly love for their grandmother-from-another-mother began to melt away.

The love even fell short in Deen’s very own family. Her son Bobby started his own show “Not My Mama’s Meals” which aired Jan. 4 on The Cooking Channel, a Food Network spinoff. The broadcast boasts of delights like “Bobby’s Lighter Fresh Fruit Bread Pudding” and “Bobby’s Lighter Frozen Chocolate Mousse Pie.” He’s like a walking ad for jazzercise devotees.

News outlets suspect Deen’s announcement serves as a sort of promo for her progeny’s show, sort of a “Look what I did wrong, now watch my son make it better” spiel. All I can say is at least there’s some love bouncing around in this whole ordeal, because we know Deen’s not feeling it from the media.

Deen recently became a spokeswoman for a diabetes drug maker’s health initiative, and critics again cried foul. They say Deen only came out with her diabetes announcement to promote her upcoming commercial role. In fact, Deen’s publicist, Nancy Assuncao, quit this week because of her former boss’s plans to plug the drug, according to “The New York Post.” Assuncao has kept pretty mum about the ordeal, but the timing can’t be for nothing.

The food wars rage on as everything Deen does is now under a microscopic light. ABC News ran an article on their website Thursday titled, “Paula Deen Caught Eating a Cheeseburger.”

Really? Note: On the American Diabetes Association website, there is a photo of a hamburger in the side bar with the caption “Bring Back the Classics! 135 diabetes-friendly recipes.” Who’s to say the Queen Deen wasn’t indulging the diabetic way? This girl can’t catch a break.

Actually, she can. She conveniently escaped on a Caribbean Cruise and is probably basking in sunshine and happiness (and heaven forbid, a burger) as I write this article. So maybe her week really wasn’t all that bad and maybe she’ll once again ascend to the top of the chef’s throne. One thing’s for sure though, viewers are going to look a little more closely at each dollop of Daisy Deen drops.

Paula Deen, haters will hate. All I can say is I’d have you in my kitchen any day. Maybe not every day, because I’d like to live a long time. But a casual Sunday here and there — I’m all yours.

Contact Adriana Pratt at apratt@nd.edu.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.