Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Guest Post: Tara Shrodes

Operation Occupy Rupe's Blog

I bumped into Tara on-line on the American Idol site years ago along with a group of like-minded individuals where we waxed and waned about the show. For the last year and a half we've been co-writing a couple columns, CommercialClack and MusiClack on CliqueClack. Among other accolades, Tara was the recipient of a Michigan Emmy in 1991 for Best Talent in a Non-News category for her work on Club Connect, a national PBS show.

Ladies and Gentlemen?

May I present Tara Shrodes ...

.......................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

I'm late to this game, mostly because of Real Life constantly creeping in and keeping me from sitting down to actually write about my thoughts and every day experiences, rather that just reacting to them willy nilly.

As I've been thinking about my contribution to my friend Michael's blog, I went over and over the many things I have rolling around my head each day that I could write about. A Mother with Alzheimer's disease? My part time job, where women talk to me everyday about the troubles and tribulations in their lives? The death of my cat, whom I considered my child? How much I hate it when I pull out of a parking space and no one is around, yet I almost crash into someone speeding behind me at the last moment? (Where do they come from anyway?) My fascination with Awards shows? My feelings about losing my radio job and the horrifying economy?

Yech. Why would you care about those things?

You read blogs and give up a valuable few minutes of your day to escape from your own stuff. We all have stuff.

So I'm not really going to go into anything in my personal life. But as you can tell from my mood, I need a good rant. And I'm hoping that sometimes, it's as cathartic to read one as it is to write one. 'Cause then, we're in a win/win situation. I've always liked those. Let's get started!

Recently, I got into a series of discussions with a friend of mine who happens to be of the male persuasion. We got to talking about the many differences between men and women; what each worries (or doesn't) about, how we communicate and deal with the complexities of being polar opposites.

Inevitably, we strayed to the topic of the manner in which men and women are portrayed in the media. Okay. I might have pushed it. After all it's one of my hotbed issues, and here's why ...

Thin! Way too thin! What's up with that? The average woman is a size fourteen, yet from the moment we become cognizant as people, women are constantly bombarded with the media telling us we're "not right." We're told we must look like this model or that one. We need bigger boobs. We need flat stomachs. We need big hair. We need perfect nails and faces free of (God forbid) a wrinkle or laugh line. We need liposuction or plastic surgery. We must entice and enthrall!

Our eyelashes are too short! Our thighs are too big. Our asses are massive.

And if you age?? Well, shame on you.

It's a kazillion dollar industry. Designed to make us women buy into feeling less and spending more.

And somehow? They have us believing.

That we should be a size zero. What??? A size zero weighs about ninety-seven pounds. Is that a good thing to encourage women to do? Is that healthy or smart? What is this obsession the media has about wanting women to be as small as possible and young forever? When I was teaching, I actually had my little girl students come up to me and tell me that weren't finishing their lunches because they were "fat." Grr! And where do you think they got this idea? Yep. From television and film and ads and billboards and peer pressure. It's become an expected and natural "norm."

Besides a very, very few actresses ... Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general shuns women over the age of thirty-five. And you hardly ever see a "fat" actress.Yet? Male actors with paunches and wrinkles and bald pates are everywhere. There's just not the same kind of pressure on men in society to look perfect. When a man gets old, he's "distinguished and handsome." When a guy is young, he's a stud and has his pick. (Of only beautiful and skinny girls, please.)

So after I said pretty much the above to my guy buddy, he pointed out that it's actually in part our fault as women that this is happening to us. His theory is that we should tell everyone we're ten years older than we are (for more compliments) and just stop paying attention to the lot of it. Walk away. Snip snap. Get over it. Easy peasy.

Sigh. So typical. But a part of me wondered ... wouldn't it be nice? It's impossible, considering the bombardment. But maybe, in this case a woman should be more like a man.

Maybe he's right.

But I'll never admit it.

And now? I'm going to eat an eighty calorie yogurt. Even though I want a package of cookies.


  1. Way to go Tara, my philosophy is be the best healthy self you can be.

    If the people buying advertising don't like it, they can go sell their products to someone in India or China where it's made in the first place.

    I guess it is easier to be a male Honey Badger and just "Don't give a Fuck" about that stuff :-)

  2. Thanks bronsont! (And I can't believe you said the word "fuck!" That's so awesome.)