America the Beautiful: An “R” Rated Movie You WANT Kids To See

Teens and tweens have heard more raw verbiage on school grounds in any given day than Eve Ensler’s little snippet in America the Beautiful that garnered the documentary an ‘R’ rating. (trailer here)

That ‘R’ is for the reform needed in movie ratings, since even the most graphic visuals of plastic surgery could have shown on ER or CSI prime time on any given night. So this film IS an ‘R’ for recommend, based on its ‘behind the scenes’ peek at the damage to kids alone. (Realize I’ve posted that here and here, so this is the ‘action steps’ phase, with an ‘R’ for riled.)

The ‘R’ is also for Roberts, the film’s Director, for ‘really long’ (see interview) and for ‘roundup’ of theatre showings opening this week in Portland and Dallas. (Darryl Roberts is shown here with the film’s leading lady, Gerren Taylor who hit the runways at 12 and is now a hotshot 6 ft. tall volleyball player senior in high school in Santa Monica, age 18)

‘R’ is also for removal of Revlon from your cosmetics routine (if it was ever in there) due to their ongoing bait and switch tactics to give lip-service to carcinogens in cosmetics associated with breast cancer. And then there’s the letter ‘V’ that, um, …got them the ‘R’ in the first place…;-)

Yes, the movie merits a teen ‘talkover’ or media deconstruction for that ‘eww’ moment in pursuit of ‘the designer V’ but I still say, you’re fooling yourself if you think subject matter like that isn’t discussed in locker rooms already…

As evidenced by tween author Felicia’s post (Feel Good Girl, at left) about ‘De-Fuzzing the Barely Fuzzed’ which might make you squirm. Go ahead…skewer me for being a maverick and dissing the film’s ‘R’…in favor of taking some of the glam out of our multi-billion dollar ‘meat-packing’ biz.

After all, I was the one that admittedly blundered into taking my (then 11-year old) child to her first ‘R’ film by accident, supporting Fast Food Nation opening night. (having read the book, I never in a million years thought they’d play up the dark side/seedy subplot with 20+ F’ words needlessly peppered throughout, and I’d visited the site too; (after the fact on revisiting, I saw a teeny tiny ‘R’ in the very corner of the promo poster–and FFN indeed rated the R.)

But unlike Fast Food Nation, America the Beautiful does not. (CNN Video coverage here) It’s MUCH lighter fare, totally appropo other than a little candor with language; more of an edgy PG-13. (which these days often applies even to ABC Family, sigh)

So let’s get back to ‘the other R’ before the Roberts interview and raise awareness about Revlon, which riled me anew earlier this summer, even after I’d already heard about these antics through the Teens for Safe Cosmetics in person at BABIB (Bay Area Babes in Business) awhile back.

There’s a scene in the film where Darryl Roberts takes in some random cosmetics for testing cancer-linkage to phthalates (temporarily banned nationally) and they discover (quel surprise) phthalates in all…Yet continue to shill for the Revlon ‘Breast Cancer Walk’ under the guise of being ‘good guys?’

Hmn…Let’s toxify then exemplify, eh?

Gee, since skin is only 1/20th of an inch thick, let’s slather ourselves with beauty products linked to questionable cancer/allergens/chronic illnesses, then celebrate the survivors?

I tend to agree with this Treehugger article that says, ‘innocent until proven guilty’ should not apply to personal health question marks on unsafe chemicals. Ok, I’ll grant you, Revlon makes a lot of money for the cancer cause, but…ugh. It’s dripping in irony, don’t you think?

Wait, it gets better…er…worse: Revlon recently came out in force with other powerful cosmetics lobbyists to smear the lead-in-lipstick law.

That’s right, an important bill had already passed in the Ca. Senate, to force cosmetic companies to remove lead from lipstick as a potential cancer causing agent (alas, it’s still in there, with L’oreal ranking highest) but it was just shot down by mega-giant cosmetic lobbyists, including the pinkwashing practices of Revlon. sigh.

Turning this one over to Lisa Ray at PEM…I guess it’s no huge surprise in a world where Shrek hawks fitness and junk food to kids simultaneously and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness ‘alliance partners’ include Burger King, Coca-Cola and Hershey’s. After all, both cancer and obesity kill.

But at least junk food companies SEE they’re under the piercing glare of child advocates and watchdogs and KNOW disconnects like this are offensive.

Revlon’s covert ops on the legal lobbying is downright insulting and cowardly coming around the backside like that to zing in the 11th hour. Bah.

As ATB Director Darryl Roberts points out,

“…Since pleas for incorporating social responsibility into the corporate model have fallen on deaf ears, we have to now implement personal responsibility. That is simply a stance that says if you refuse to care about the people that support you, then we won’t support you anymore…The options are few. Either personal responsibility or lead lips. You choose.”

You know MY answer. Please spread the word to your teens and tweens.

Okay. Finally, my chat with Darryl Roberts

Note: this is not a “review”—there are plenty of those to access (see links at the end) this is an editorial. (I acknowledge I’m far too biased in favor of finding solutions to this hot spot issue trashing kids’ hearts, minds and bodies!)

I simply wanted to hear HIS take on why YOU Darryl? Why ATB? Why now? Why is it so important to get this message out to youth? AND…moreover, how can we leverage films like this and others as SOLUTION based-vehicles?

How can we get back on track from this appearance-based train-wreck of soul erosion and shift the momentum in a more positive direction so kids’ dignity and self worth is not so pervasively and inextricably tied to America’s obsession with beauty? (tell us how you really feel, Amy!)

Right off the bat that I gave this big teddy bear of a gentle giant with the smooth jazz voice a huge hug as if I’ve known him forever (so much for professional decorum) because it feels like I have, based on the work we’re both doing…

Darryl Roberts comes across as ‘the everyman’ and epitomizes that warmth and approachability both in the film and in person…and THAT is why this film has the potential to reach en masse with both humor and humanity.

His charisma comes partly from NOT being in the social scientist/academic arena and partly from projecting a very low key, understated ‘what’s wrong with this picture’ approach which is almost like ‘observational outrage’ tempered and tamped down through the camera lens.

Personally, I think this is Roberts’ strong suit, because he’s NOT heavy handed and the film has enough ‘disconnects’ to let the viewer decide their own level of vehemence on any given subject he tackles.

Example? When I walked out with fellow screenwriter/friend (and parent of two teen girls) Dana Moe Halley, we both came up with similar shoulder shrug moments…Like when Gerren Taylor’s mom Michelle tells her tearful daughter she will not wear mascara or a padded bra, yet consistently markets and manages her catwalk career in stage-mom-style exploitation

Roberts simply leaves this irony alone and lets us come to our own conclusions without comment. He detaches from the drama, and it’s done too many times NOT to be on purpose.

As for the snarky critics that think he zig-zagged on subject matter, cramming too much into the film? Again, I STRONGLY disagree. Each element has a brushstroke that paints the much bigger picture…the landscape of our times, and its impact on our youth.

So, yes, full disclosure, ardent fan here…America the Beautiful represents ‘using the power of media for positive change and I want it to catch on like wildfire.

I don’t care if it takes trotting out every superfluous celeb and Entertainment Tonight style fashionista in the biz to comment on it. Whatever works, baby.

Shaping Youth Chats With Director Darryl Roberts of America the Beautiful

Amy Jussel: Tell me about yourself…How did you get into film-making, what did you do for a living prior, and how did you end up passionate about this subject? Weren’t you a fashion photographer or something before you did your first indie film?

Darryl Roberts: Me? No, no…I wasn’t involved with fashion at all, in fact my degree is in accounting…

Amy Jussel: Ah, wrong Darryl Roberts. But didn’t you mention in the Q&A at the pre-screen that you were a promoter or social reporter as well as in entertainment for WMAQ in Chicago? I mean, ‘c’mon…how does an accountant end up in the world of Hollywood hype?

Darryl Roberts: Well, from 1984-86, yes, I was in the social circles as a party promoter in Chicago. It probably DID help me with material for my 1992 film about relationships and dating, “How U Like Me Now?” I also did some on-air radio work at WKKC-FM.

(Ed note: See Variety article from ’93 showing this indie film still made over $7K via word of mouth with no campaign) Also, Darryl’s Huffington Post bio shows he used his earnings as a salesman at Seagram’s wine division to produce his own local cable television program, “Backstage with Darryl Roberts” so clearly he was headed toward entertainment as a field! Now if he can just leverage his ‘accounting’ so that it rakes in the $$ for more exposure!)

Amy Jussel: Media and culture critics have been filming this problem for years…Experts like Dr. Jean Kilbourne of Killing Us Softly and So Sexy So Soon, Jackson Katz, and our own Shaping Youth advisory board authors of Packaging Girlhood

How does your film differ? What makes it viable for a bigger audience?

Darryl Roberts: I think our pop culture approach will ultimately have a wider span of outreach...even though opening weekends are SO important for our distribution right now…We’re taking on the advent of celebrity as a business and showing some of the fundamental problems through the business and the people themselves…like Gerren Taylor’s story.

You can’t infuse social responsibility, but what you CAN do is raise awareness on a bigger scale so people are talking about it more. I want women to be able to take back what’s theirs…their self worth, their self esteem…

Amy Jussel: What about those who say we KNOW the problem, we NEED solutions? Do you see recruiting starpower and celebrities to fight fire with fire, or coming at it from a policy, regulatory, FTC/FDA/CDC standpoint or what?

In YOUR opinion, what’s our best shot at cyclebreaking?

Darryl Roberts: I hate to say this, but I just don’t think it’s going to change until the environment itself changes…

For every Julianne Moore that speaks out with sadness about impossible Hollywood body standards or Kate Winslet who won’t allow fashion magazines in her house, there’s going to be another star dieting to fit into a beauty ideal as part of the business demands.

Sometimes, the environment itself kids are raised in can make the biggest difference.

Parents need to be real parents and stop trying to be ‘friends’ with their kids and watch their own attitudes, body image, media choices and lifestyles. It’s about self-respect…Also, where you live DOES make a difference.

In Vancouver, Washington, for example, I saw how the entire ideology of the town (vs. L.A. and big cities) dismissed this obsession with beauty and created a more ‘wholesome’ (for lack of a better word) place to be a kid.

Amy Jussel: But media doesn’t take place in a vacuum, we’re homogenizing beauty ideals and exporting these fabrications to other countries, other cultures, from bleaching agents in southeast Asia to your sociological film example of the Pacific Islanders in Fiji who developed body loathing shortly after access to television. We can’t just say ‘move’ or point to parents to fight this battle…it goes across BOTH genders, too, don’t you think? What about the boys?

Darryl Roberts: No question boys are impacted…Both in how they feel about themselves and how they feel about women.

Part of what brought me into this film was the fact that I had two five year relationships with two beautiful (and I mean that from the inside out) women, and didn’t marry either one of them…I kept looking for a more ‘perfect’ more ‘beautiful’ ideal, and of course, didn’t find one.

Have you seen the documentary Bigger Stronger Faster by Chris Bell? It just came out this year and deals with steroid abuse and the male Adonis subculture…The gay community contributes a lot to those ideals too, and the athletes and their quest for the perfect ‘six-pack’ like the guy in my movie.

Amy Jussel: I haven’t seen it yet, but Jackson Katz’ Tough Guise and several of the body dysmorphia documentaries point to the demise of the boys equally…In fact two of our  board advisors are releasing “Packaging Boyhood” as a sequel to their first book, it’s so prevalent, from video game avatars to ambient ads of A&F icons. Boys are a huge ‘growth’ category in eating disorders…

Which brings me to your news of next week’s Sept. 10th Congressional screening…What do you hope/expect to accomplish in Washington?

Darryl Roberts: As you know, we’re trying to pass a mental health parity bill that’s on the books, since treatment for eating disorders is NOT covered under current medical insurance, and parents are often spending $25,000 month when their child is diagnosed and needing care.

Parents are literally draining their retirement and savings, taking out second mortgages, all in an effort to help their kids recover and get the treatment that they need…

Amy Jussel: I have a niece in treatment right now in L.A. and she’s 29…the monthly costs are horrendous.

It seems so typical that we can CREATE a national social problem but refuse to clean up the mess. (goes for obesity, education, substance abuse, psychological reverb, you name it, don’t get me started) —Again, what can Shaping Youth do to help?

Darryl Roberts: If you can get the word out to anyone in the Washington area, on Sept. 10th the Eating Disorders Coalition and Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-MN) is sponsoring the screening to raise awareness so they’ll pass the latest version of the bill.

I’m getting ready to go to Washington, D.C. to beg and plead for the senate to pass it before they break for the holidays in November and it loses momentum…

Hopefully it will turn out to be a historic day…

(Ed note: Two bills have been introduced in Congress in an effort to provide access to care for people with mental health conditions such as eating disorders.

The Senate bill and the House bill vary, but the EDC supports BOTH.

The original 1996 mental health parity bill must be reauthorized by Congress. Compared to the new U.S. Senate version of the bill (S 558), the new House version of the bill (HR 1424) is more responsive to the needs of people seeking treatment for an eating disorder.

Darryl’s newsletter today adds, “If you know anyone with an eating disorder, then you’re aware of how debilitating this condition can be. Write your state congressman and demand that they vote for the mental health parity bill. Girls are counting on you.”

(—I’d add that boys are too! So lend a hand if you can, Shaping Youth advisors in the D.C. area!)

Amy Jussel: You mentioned you were surprised at some of the positive feedback within the pages of the beauty magazines themselves…and equally surprised at some of the negative reverb; what happened in N.Y. and L.A. that upset you? You know you can’t expect all the critics to ‘like’ what you’re doing, right?

Darryl Roberts: Right. I try not to listen to critics much anymore…it’s just that they seemed to be more personal attacks on me, particularly the men. Most of them were old guys, set in their ways as if they’d heard it all before. Women, even in the beauty business, (17, the Conde Nast group etc.) were supportive. Glamour included it in their blog/website, and now that I think of it, just about ALL of the negative comments were from were men. Hmn…

I’m not saying I’m going to change the world or even the beauty industry, but if I can help ANY women take back their self-esteem through my work, that’s a good thing.

When only 2 out of 200 women respond favorably to feeling beautiful, that means 99% of the others aren’t feeling too good about themselves…

One of my favorite stories at the NYC opening was hearing from a taxicab driver that two women who had seen the film called on their cellphone to cancel their upcoming plastic surgery.

I’ve pretty much started tuning out critics who say I went on ‘pointless detours’ and act like they ‘knew all this before’ because you know what?

Most won’t admit that there’s usually at least ONE piece of information…even ONE piece of knowledge that they didn’t know. That’s why I left all of those details in there. So that EVERYONE is bound to walk away with some little data point they didn’t consider.

Amy Jussel: I know I did. And that’s hard to do since I research this stuff all the time…You got me with the ‘death certificates’ remaining blank for bulimia or anorexia. Wow. Never knew that. Without statistics, there are huge research holes; and that impacts funding. You are SO right that it skews the census in terms of the corollaries, not to mention the increase and gravity of the problem…

What was YOUR most surprising find in your own film research?

Darryl Roberts: I think the fact that it’s legal for any medical doctor to pretty much take a weekend course and call themselves a plastic surgeon without being board certified.

The part in the film where docs are cutting on a tomato gets a lot of people uncomfortable…Surgical decisions made on a tomato? That’s just not right.

The other one that really gets me is the FDA ingredients list and the exemption of the cosmetics industry from listing what’s IN these products..The fact that the U.S. has about 450 items deemed safe whereas Europe has banned all but about SIX really says something.

Amy Jussel: That’s the same issue with food dyes and additives when we do our ‘Dare to Compare’ Gross Out Game for Good Nutrition…you just KNOW some of those neon colors are chem cuisine…So how do we get the government, the FTC and all the powers that be to do their job?

Darryl Roberts: As long as money talks, corporations are the ones running the country. People in the industry, media, and advertisers more than anyone…I don’t want to say everyone else is a figurehead, but….well…unless you’re MADD or some activist group that can really shift the entire culture with awareness, it’ll continue until the money dries up.

Amy Jussel: Running out of time here, so what’s your point of view on Tyra Banks and America’s Top Model?

Darryl Roberts: I know tons of women that think she’s helping women tremendously with her show, but I think there’s a fundamental problem there, in that we’re still talking about models and looks, what about America’s Top Spelling Bee or some other value besides appearance?

Amy Jussel: (Amen to that one) Why did you leave the film an ‘R’ when they gave you a chance to edit it for a PG-13? Why swap out mass reach in favor of Eve’s blurb?

Darryl Roberts: Well, we actually ARE going to do a PG-13 edited version with distribution to the schools and students…I just think Eve is great, and I chose to leave it in for this run…it’s that kind of humor and directness that makes the film entertaining in a non-documentary commercial sort of way…I think humor is key to outreach; just a different approach than an academic or pbs crowd…gotta get more mainstream.

Amy Jussel: So lighten up and it’ll sell better without all the doom and gloom?

Darryl Roberts: Pretty much. Yep. Pretty much.

Thanks, Darryl. It was a pleasure…Let me know how we can team to solutions…whatever we can do to help.

Visual credits: Revlon Lipstick/InStyle Mag-Time Inc., Lipsticks/Treehugger, istock

Related Resources

America the Beautiful Documentary: See It. Support It.

Shaping Youth Interviews America the Beautiful Director Darryl Roberts

YWCA Beauty At Any Cost Report (9pp pdf)

Cosmetics Database: Skin Deep (test how well YOUR products do!)

Environmental Working Group

TED Talks: Eve Ensler

A Child Among Women: CBS News/The Early Show: Gerren Taylor at 12

Model Gerren Taylor’s Short But Stunning Career: LATimes: Gerren at 18

America the Beautiful on MySpace

Mamma’s Got A Brand New Bag…er…Face. Nose. Belly.

Buffed Boy, Body Image, and Teen Scene ‘Hottie’ Factor

Facelifts for Kiddie Characters: Rebranding 80s Icons? (Part One)

Manga Makeovers & Other Body Image Cartoon Capers (Part Two)

Beyonce’s Dereon Divas: PopTarts and Sesame StreetWalkers

Body Blitz: APA Study Shows Harm of Early Sexualization

New Moon Girl Media: When Do You Feel Beautiful?

Reign of the Girl Child: American the Beautiful’s Beautiful NYC Opening

Childhood Matters Podcast: Helping Preteens Develop A Healthy Body Image (Nurse Rona Renner speaks with two Bay Area medical experts 6-29-08

About.com (ATB review)

ABC News, L.A. Video: 1:48 minutes Airbrushing the Truth

CNN Video: 2:10 minutes The Ugly Side of Beauty

CNN Video/Showbiz Tonight: 3:26 minutes American Beauty Standard

Good Morning America/ABC Video

Today Show/MSNBC Video 4:47 min

p.s. I’ve had some requests for the NEDA advertising text in the poster on genes. Here’s the link, and here’s the copy: “Be comfortable in your genes. Your genes play a role in determining your body size and shape. Embrace your genes. Stop trying to turn your body into something it’s not. Wear jeans that fit the TRUE you. Yep, cool concept for a Jeans Giveaway promotion…

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Comments

  1. September 6th, 2008 at 1:16 pm edit

    fyi from ‘Make Something Happen’…

    comments about this post there:
    http://makesomethinghappen.net/2008/09/05/130/#comment-14

    And my reply on MPAA ratings stuff which is still in moderation on their site, (weekend and all)

    Here ’tis:

    September 6th, 2008 at 10:58 am Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Amy Jussel’s reply:

    “It’s complicated, considering the MPAA ratings were ‘reformed’ just last year:

    Variety: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117957535.html?categoryid=10&cs=1

    which amounted to little more than screenwashing…(promises co-mingled with politics, and petitions like NOW’s recent one on rape scene violence pigeon-holed into ‘special interest group’ outcry.)

    Kirby Dick, creator of “This Film Not Yet Rated” pointed out some of the arbitrary flaws of the ‘new’ MPAA ratings in this LATimes piece, favoring violence over sex, etc. http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-oe-kirby24jan24,1,5915810.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

    Personally, I think we need a broad-based coalition of anti-censorship, nonpartisan orgs like Shaping Youth, Common Sense Media, Parents for Ethical Marketing, etc. to point out the need for solutions over sensationalism, and centrist thinking over polarity and extremes.

    Media contacted me last week about my article on ABC Family’s hardly Disney-esque fare (Greek, Secret Life of a Teenager etc.) http://www.shapingyouth.org/blog/?p=565 and perhaps they were hoping for a sound bite of vehemence over logic, because once I ran the ATB article you mention on the unwarranted ‘R’ I haven’t heard boo from them on their interview request.

    So what does this say about our media machine’s desire for screaming meemies who might add drama into the mix like a gossipy reality show instead of offering grounded, anti-censorship views with pragmatic, mindful thinking?

    THAT is something I think we need to take a look at big time.”

  2. A few more really good links along these lines re: MPAA ratings reform:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4176/is_20070122/ai_n17149073

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/434772896?ltl=1179255851

    (NOW/spring, rape scenes without warning, etc. 7500 petition)

    http://www.deep-focus.com/dfweblog/2007/01/mpaa_reform_the_hard_r_and_mor_1.html

    http://www.ncac.org/entertainment/20070130~USA~MPAA_Weighs_Ratings_Reform.cfm

    The National Coalition Against Censorship, (above link) has some really pertinent info all around…

    Lots of finesse needs to happen here between not just the MPAA but the TV ratings as well…it’s clear as mud for the parenting posse….

  3. Amy, last weekend at my son’s home I was shocked to hear my 12 year old grandson say at the dinner table, “I want to put on more bulk.” Earlier that day at church, he had eaten in his words, “20 donut holes.” False ideas about food and eating often launch at adolescence. Of course, me telling him that he’s going to be tall like his Dad and his Dad was thin at his age, no doubt did not make much impact. The message of this movie really needs to get across to this age group and I’m glad to see all the ways you promote it, Amy.

  4. ugh. Well, Robyn, thanks for adding more evidence to the growing need to address this issue. sigh. It’s pervasive, and those of us working with kids are literally overwhelmed by the ubiquitous self-loathing and/or insecurities created by body image slurs from peer to peer in these appearance-based media/mktg. environs.

    We’re working hard to use media for massive reach, but as fast as we can create alliances, new mega-models muck it up with digital blitzes direct to kids like this one: “stormstyle.com” which I have in the queue to write about.

    This is from their ‘about us’ section,

    “With blogs full of insider tips from models and stylists, health and beauty advice, all the latest trends, revealing Q&As and bags of facts about all kinds of jobs in the fashion industry, from hair and make-up artists to bookers, stormstyle gives you the lowdown on the most glamorous industry – and the coolest model agency – in the world.

    Fancy yourself as the next big thing? You’ll find all you need to know here, including how to make your MySpace photo really stand out.

    Want to know models’ dos and don’ts? What’s on their iPods? Their top tips on how to make it in the modeling world? It’s all here.

    Need to know about the latest fitness trends? How to get the latest catwalk looks? Yep, we’ve got all that too.

    Meet the team at Storm, find out what they do and how they got there.

    And don’t forget to upload your picture or drop them a line to see if you’ve got what it takes. You never know, stormstyle could soon be featuring you!”

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH. Nothing like tapping into kids’ desire to be desired…talk about a brain-based hook. Uphill battle here, but we’re sloggin’ along…Thanks for commenting. –Amy

  5. Darryl ROCKS! Check out his latest newsletter where he announces MTV will NOT air the ‘modelmaker’ reality show! Woohoo!

    Darryl is NOT taking ‘personal credit’ for this, but it DOES show you how influence on the airwaves from those of us on the frontlines impacted by this crud CAN make a difference!!!

    Speak out, America…it’s beautiful. —Amy.

    “As some of you may be aware, MTV was involved with a new “reality” program entitled “Model Makers.” The show aimed to take 15 young women between the ages of 17 and 24 and turn them into high fashion models by forcing them to lose weight. Sounds disturbing doesn’t it? It’s actually worse than it sounds! The website for the site itself pulled no punches in its description of the program which “dares to go where no modeling show has gone before”:

    “Have you always wanted to model but don’t know where to start? Maybe you don’t know the right people. Maybe you are not thin enough. Women come in all shapes and sizes, but models don’t.” Read it for yourself here!

    http://www.mtvmodelmaker.com

    A lot of words popped into my head when I found out about MTV’s plans to broadcast such filth: Disappointment, Disgust, Anger – to name but a few. For two months I blogged about the deleterious effects of the show in blogs like this.

    I even took it upon myself to write an open letter to MTV on
    behalf of teenage women on my October 6th Huffington Post blog. Huffington Post article:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/darryl-roberts/mtvs-new-reality-show-emm_b_132042.html

    In my letter, which I know many of you read, I warned MTV of the dangers of promoting such a careless and destructive message. A message that has become almost pervasive these days and leads to millions of unnecessary eating disorders.
    How many millions of young girls everywhere would be negatively affected by the ludicrous premise of the show: A beautiful woman = A very thin woman. None, if I could help it.

    Recently I was on CNN News talking about the show and the potential dangers. I encouraged all of you to write MTV and a lot of you did!

    I have tons of letters from mothers and teenagers themselves that were sent to MTV, letting them know that this kind of programming would not be tolerated.

    I had even come up with a great idea. On the first night of “Model Makeovers,” airing, whenever that was, I was going to have all of you across the country interview every teenager that you could find with your video cameras and cell phones, having them tell us in their own words what they thought of the show.

    I was then going to take the footage and turn it into a documentary, entering it into film festivals and theaters across the country. The name of the documentary was going to be called “MTV, look at what you done to be.” Catchy title!

    I called MTV today to find out when they had planned on airing the show and they said, “We no longer plan on airing “Model Makers.”

    WOW! My first thought was the American public is awesome. When you decide that you’ve had enough, you can move mountains.

    Speaking of which, I have a tree outside that I can’t quite dig up, why don’t the thousands of you come on over, so we can talk about it.

    Seriously, I’m so proud of every person and every organization out there that voiced a complaint. From the bottom of my heart, if I could afford it, I would treat all of you to a taco and a glass of tap water. I’m sure you’d rather have juice or soda, but it has too much sugar in it. Hey, just trying to do my part!

    I take no personal credit for “Model Makers,” not being released. The credit is all yours. Every person and every organization. I’m just one guy, trying to make a difference. It’s all of you collectively that have the powerful voice.

    For all I know, someone at MTV decided the show was ill-conceived. What’s important here is that the show doesn’t see light of day, not who’s responsible.

    This is a step in the right direction for millions of
    teenage girls everywhere!

    To teenagers across America, I want to say that we love you!
    You’re beautiful, exactly the way that you are!

    And thank you MTV. You did the right thing. If this show not airing creates an extra half-hour in your schedule, call me. I have plenty of show ideas. –Darryl Roberts

  6. I like this theme you are using… what is it?

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