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Hey Darryl-

I was so sorry to miss your DVD/Fashion Show Party! I really wanted to be there. Will there be a next time? Will there be another documentary? Hmmmm…..

I also wanted to respond to you about Tyra Banks. She’s like so many women out there-they almost get it. They say they’re comfortable in their skin, then next thing you know they’re on diets and trying to lose weight. Why didn’t Tyra do a photo shoot when she was a 14? I don’t know if she’s a natural size 8 either. We all have a genetic code we’re following, and all have different healthy set weights. My guess about Tyra is this: she got out of balance with her body and did what so many women do–panic and go on a diet.

She said she started this challenge b/c she was trash talking with co-workers about how much she loved food. Why is that a bad thing? Aren’t food and sex life’s greatest pleasures? She also made another classic mistake and I see it repeated over and over: she believes healthy=being thin. Or at least thinner than she was. It’s perfectly natural to act on our own behalf, and choose to eat healthfully and mindfully. It’s also very natural to find an expression of exercise/body movement that fits us. And when we maintain an active, healthy lifestyle, over time our true weight will be revealed. What the beauty/diet industries won’t tell you, is that there is beauty in that. There is beauty in that number, no matter what it is. The true task for Tyra and Oprah, since they’re in the limelight (add yourself to this list now!), is to promote that real idea of beauty. Eve Ensler said it perfectly in our Authentic Beauty book. Why am I beautiful? “I am.” It’s really just that simple.

You rock, and I can’t wait to share your doc with so many here in my community. Thank you thank you thank you! Hope to see you in Atlanta again real soon.

Love always, and best wishes-

XXXXX, LPC

Hi Darryl,

I’m getting very excited for the DVD release, I hope to buy it and show it to all my girlfriends and hopefully the college students I work with (once I get hired at a job!!).

As someone who is still working on overcoming an eating disorder, I thought I’d respond to Tyra’s weight loss challenge. I agree with you, that being healthy is a great goal, and obviously this can be done through exercise and nutritious diets. But I also agree that for so many women, including me, this is how E.D. begins. Lose twenty pounds, then just keep going…until you’re a 0 and you are completely hollow. It seems that these images are all over, how to lose ’25′ pounds for good, on every women’s magazine…coupled with recipes for cornbread and decadent desserts.

I just saw today on Good Morning America, how the “cookie” diet has helped women lose weight by promoting 1,000 calorie per days. The one woman has only eaten 1000 calories now for 2 years. At my lowest weight, I was probably eating about 1200, when I was diagnosed with anorexia. If these images and challenges continue, the only way to really win, seems to just keep trying to lose more and more, and at some point, you are no longer in control and cannot think independently.

Keep up all the great work, you are an amazing advocate for strong beautiful people everywhere!

XXXXX

I’m so happy that there will be this edited version. I follow lots of media written about artistic filmmakers having scuffs with rating systems and understand that you feel you are taking parts of your work away.

Regardless, your sacrifices are appreciated. I honestly loved your film and want to show this film to my family but until now have hesitated showing it because of the items that you listed. Also, this version will allow your message to reach more people. Thank you for creating an alternative version for people like me.

XXXXX

Hi Darryl,

In response to your newsletter regarding Tyra Banks and her ‘Weight Loss Challenge’ I have to say I am appalled. I really feel Tyra is all about Tyra and she just uses her celebrity status to help fix her own body issues and/or bad press. What I mean by this is that when she first went off at the paparazzi for catching photos of her not looking as perfect as she would of liked, she then decided to make it into a campaign for all women to become liberated, which is great if she was being genuine about it and really cared. However I feel it was all a huge cover up for Tyra to get her own back at the paps with a lot of women and men supporting her.

It was more a liberation for Tyra than a genuine care for real women/men. Having said that, this campaign she started would of been great if she had stuck with her initial statement of ‘Kiss my fat a…’, but when you read her recent weight loss story saying she has now dropped from a size 16/14 to a size 8 it really undermines her previous statement and shows women that you do need to be a certain size to fit in. So for me she has kind of ruined any good work she maybe did try to set out to do in the first place. How can she promote being real, if she is not really being real herself?

The celebrity world/media world is a sad place for women and men, it forces them to conform to sizes that are unrealistic for most people. Size 0 is becoming all too common, eating disorders are becoming all too common and until someone fights back and says no we don’t want to see these super skinny models in magazines and on TV, we want to see ‘Real People’ then I am afraid this continued growth of skinniness is going to take its toll.

Lets just hope more people are becoming aware of the fakeness of our beauty world today and if we stop buying into it, then maybe we will start to see a change in the way it’s promoted. Here’s hoping!

Regards,

XXXXX