Paula Deen Might Be T2…and Not Slinging Insults

by Leighann on January 16, 2012

Paula DeenSpeculation that Paula Deen will announce her diagnosis with type 2 diabetes has fueled all sorts of snide, judgmental comments about Deen herself and those with diabetes.

When I logged onto Facebook on Sunday I saw a headline from BlogHer that read:

Paula Deen’s Got “The Sugah Diabeetus”

Cue eye roll.

But instead of crying foul, which is so easy to do when you see a headline that places judgment on people with diabetes through the use of stereotypes, I wrote the following comment:

I’m more critical of people who say “The Sugah Diabeetus” than people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My child has type 1 diabetes, which has no known cause and no cure, and people flinging around stereotypes such as that phrase do a great disservice to those of us trying to educate and advocate. While type 2 diabetes can sometimes be controlled by a change in diet and exercise, poor diet and lack of exercise aren’t always the cause. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that can in no way be prevented. Since the two types are often lumped together, my daughter faces a lifetime of biased and unfounded stereotypes.

You know what usually happens when ones of us tries to inform and educate on Facebook or on a non-diabetes blog…a bunch of uninformed people make accusations against us in the comments, telling us to lighten up. (Cue nasty comments from readers defending The Blogess.)

But that’s not what happened on Sunday.

If you actually read the post on BlogHer by Red Dirt Kelly, it’s not against Paula Deen at all, but rather about people who are insensitive on Twitter.

So if I’m not sounding the battle cry against BlogHer or Kelly, why am I telling you about it?

Because the comments on Facebook were supportive and not judgmental. Because Kelly explained that putting “The Sugah Diabeetus” in quotation marks was her trying to quote the yahoos on Twitter, not her opinion, and admitted that maybe that wasn’t obvious. She even added a clarification note on her post. And because BlogHer responded to me on Twitter with appreciation.

Ironically, I used a Paula Deen recipe on Christmas morning. It’s the first time I’ve used one of her recipes. I modified it because it was a little over the top and carb-laden. I am planning on sharing my version of her recipe close to Easter because I think I will make it on holiday mornings.

If Paula does in deed announce a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, maybe I can give her some tips on reducing the carbs in her recipes while still maintaining her Southern style.

Further Reading

We All Scream (at Wendell Fowler) for Ice Cream

Kelly of Diabetesaliciousness: Paula Deen – If You Need Us, The Diabetes On-Line Community Has Your Back!

*Image courtesy of The Food Network


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lizmari January 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Thanks for taking a positive stance. It’s amazing how a story like this can truly bring out our deepest biases, and resentments among many…

I’ll only just add that while overeating (rather than a particular dietary fare or cuisine) and a lack of exercise may contribute to obesity which MAY trigger Type 2 in some persons who are already genetically predisposed for it, obesity is just one trigger among many triggers, and it is not a cause. (Just like Type 1 is purported to have many autoimmune triggers, but really no known cause.) If eating poorly and not exercising, in itself, were a cause, well… almost 100% of America would have diabetes, sadly… Just like, all people who got vaccines, or drank milk, or had a virus or the flu, would get Type 1, if those were causes. As it turns out, 33.8% of us are obese, and only 8.3% have Diabetes (and that includes all types, even Type 1s, AND those who are currently estimated to be undiagnosed.)

It’s just easier for some folks to hate — and Paula Deen, for many, is easy to hate. As are obese people. 🙂


2 Lisa January 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Nice job, much appreciated. In other, but somewhat related news, I wish a law would pass that ANYTIME a commercial or TV show mentions Diabetes at all that they HAVE to specify which they are referring too. At least that would be a start in informing the unknown that there are TWO types and maybe their curiosity would enlighten them to research the two!


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