I found a post on one of my favorite blogs, 100 blogging babes, that I can’t get out of my mind… despite having commented on the blogging babes site. This particular post was by the delicious French Kitchen in America, in which the writer wonders why it is that Rachel Ray gets such a bad wrap….
Yes, the EVOO and the eyeballing and the “yumo” stuff are a bit much. So? You don’t have traits that annoy people? (I know I do!)
But really, is what she’s doing really so bad? I mean, not everyone can afford to buy top quality, organic items. Rachael Ray seems to be showing people how they can eat fairly decent food without spending a lot of time or money.
but to that I reply….
I don’t think the Rachel Ray backlash is so much about her food…….I think lots of people can appreciate an easy to cook meal that doesn’t break the bank…
I think its the cuteseyness…. and why? Cuz I think it sends a message that deep down Rachel Ray doesn’t think who she is is enough, that she could never be accepted for simply being herself. So, instead she layers on a manufactured personality, engineered to elicit love.
I think lots of us in turn are repulsed by her because she reminds us, and not so comfortably, of ourselves. So many of us don’t think who we are is enough,and have taught ourselves all sorts of behaviors and images to project in order to be worthy of loving.. when all we really crave on the deepest of levels is to be loved for simply being our authentic selves. Rachel’s cutseyness is like a punch in our subconscious guts… reminding us of the parts of our own selves that we like the least.
I think this is a part of our collective obsession with youtube. On one hand we are bombarded with images and sound bytes of perfect celebrities, with their stylist hewn wardrobe and plastisized bodies (lets not even imagine the self esteem issues and social implications of a woman who is naturally almost inhumanly beautiful, and yet still feels like she is not enough without size d breasts or the perfect point on the end of her nose). On the other hand we have every day Josephine, doing something inane, unimportant, unenlightened from her suburban garage. BUT… its a REAL HUMAN BEING… that looks like me… and sounds like me…. it may be boring and lack any sort of compelling content… but damn if its not refreshing….
In response to some of the above, the always insightful Ronnie Ann wrote
maybe, women subconsciously worry about their own short-comings and can only safely admire the larger-than-life kindly, all-compassionate, not-too-political female archetype – such as Oprah. But then, we also hear people criticizing Oprah for being a goody-two shoes or not using her OWN money in the right way to help people (as with the recent opening of a school for girls in Africa). So maybe public women will be criticized harshly no matter what – especially by other women for the very reasons you raise. And Rachael Ray and Hillary and Oprah will all go forward just fine, despite the negative comments.
and i agree… I think this issue hits home far more deeply with women then with men. I know that I struggle daily with my own personal power and intelligence, cuz my dad, like so many in our society, did not like “strong” women…. I am most afraid of being a strong, powerful, smart, self-assured “bitch” because I learned that that was the surest way to lose love… and yet those are the things I strive for the most (minus the need to label such traits in a woman as “bitchy” of course!”)
I look forward to the day when Rachel, when I, when you, even when the marvelous, inspiring Oprah, can be our 100% authentic selves…. and know we are loved for it, not in spite of it.