Great Food, but Too Many Obese People!

America has the most obese people in the world. The South is known for its delicious food but at the same time the negative part about it is that the obesity rate is the highest. Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee are leading the nation’s top 3 in number of most obese people. What are the factors that make such a huge difference between the South and the North and what can people do about it?

I cannot talk about the South or America in general without comparing it to other countries in the world, and mostly to my home country Estonia. Growing up in Estonia, main things I heard about America was that there are a lot of fat people, so many McDonald’s restaurants, and everything is big in there. As a child or a teenager my friends and I were jealous because we did not have no McDonald’s or any other type of fast food restaurant in my home town. We had to go to capital city to get some burgers and fries. For us it was like a special treatment when we ate some burgers. All we ate was homemade and home grown food. I never went out to a restaurant to eat with my family. We all ate together at home.  Even now in 2013, you do not find fast food restaurants in every corner of a street. To be honest, people do not even like that food, plus it is more expensive than healthy food. Now, comparing this situation with my 5 year experience in America and mostly in Memphis, I can tell that the stories about America having a lot of fat people and many fast food place is so true.  Honestly, it is ridiculous!

There are obviously reasons why the South has more obese people. Lower incomes make people buy cheaper food. Fast food is cheap in America and it is accessible 24hours. Isn’t it wonderful? Whenever you get hungry you can get some food at any time of the day and only for 1 dollar? That sounds like great deal..BUT I don’t think that way anymore. I used to think it is awesome to go to grocery store at midnight and get whatever I wanted until I started gaining weight. Then I realized it is not fun at all. There is no grocery store in the whole country that is open 24hrs in Estonia. If you are hungry and have nothing to eat then you better wait until the morning. I believe it is great! Nobody should be eating at midnight anyway. That’s one of the reasons why there are many people who are overweight. Moreover, the portions are so much bigger. People will not leave the restaurant until they are so stuffed that they cannot even breathe anymore. Of course, sometimes, I do it as well. I love to eat, I am an athlete, I love food in general, but it is definitely not a good idea to have big portions of food every day.

Another very important part about why the South has more obese people is the lack of physical activity. People do not exercise enough. You have to have a car to get around. When I first came here, I couldn’t believe that Memphis does not have a well-organized public transportation system. Also, I barely see people walking or riding a bicycle on the streets. I always felt so uncomfortable when I walked somewhere, I felt like people think I am crazy. In Europe people think you are crazy if you drive a car everywhere.

I believe that the obesity in the South and in America is a huge issue. Healthy food should not cost more than unhealthy one. Moreover, there has to be more physical activities in elementary and high schools. Parents have to pay attention to their children and promote healthy lifestyle in order to live longer. Grocery stores should not be open 24 hrs and there is no need for McDonald’s in every corner of a street. Also, the city of Memphis should definitely fix the sidewalks and promote walking and riding a bicycle more than they do right now!

Photo essay

Do We Live In A Post-Racial South?

Most people do not know that we do not live in a post racial south, some do. We can all tell that racism is still embedded in the south by the different aspects of it. The number one thing in the south is the different stereotypes. There are multiple stereotypes floating around towards different races. People hear stereotypes so much they began to believe it is true. These stereotypes are deeply embedded into people minds to the point where they think it is natural. On the other hand, it is just made to make a group of people look bad when it is really the group who is making the stereotypes up. Take a look at Latinos, the stereotypes associated with them is that they are all abusing drugs. According to Duke University, “Whites are more likely to abuse drugs and Latinos are almost at the bottom of the percentages right above the Asians.” Actually, they are really known for selling drugs not abusing them. Another racist concept that interests me is the public housing. According to the University Of Dayton School Of Law, “Most African-American public housing residents continue to live in extremely minority neighborhoods. These communities tend to be further differentiated by income.” Subprime loans are five times more likely in black neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods. The different school systems show a little racism as well. According to Jean Anyon, “In the working-class schools, work is following the steps of procedure. The procedure is usually mechanical, involving rote behavior and very little decision make or choice. The teachers rarely explain why the work is being assigned, how it might connect to other assignments, or what the idea is that lies behind the procedure. The children are usually told to copy the steps as notes.” I grew up in a high school like that. We never wrote papers, I wrote one paper during all of my high school years. It’s like we were taught something just to learn it for the test, after the test everything were forgotten. Something I do remember the most is how we were always taught to listen to higher authorities. I was always taught to never over step your boundaries; in other words, don’t think outside of the box. According to Jean Anyon, “In the affluent professional school, work is creative activity carried out independently. The students are continually asked to express and apply ideas and concepts. Work involves individual thought and expressiveness, expansion and illustration of ideas, and choice of appropriate method and material. I still think slavery exist as well, just modern day slavery. You may not see physical slavery but there is definitely a lot of institutional slavery going on.

Working Harder For Less

Although, I walked in class ten minutes into a movie that the Professor was presenting to the class; I found it to be very disturbing the things that employers would do to make their workers feel less than human when paying only minimum wage. Growing up my mother made it seem easy being a single mother of four children. My family had all of the necessities that were needed, as well as enough spending money to go out to eat every Friday night. My family was able to survive comfortably off of one income alone. I understand that the cost of living has risen since the nineties; what I do not understand is how employers still manage to pay their employee wages that are not a big difference from the wages of the nineties.  Now that  I am in the working world it has made me aware of the fact that workers are seen as nothing more than servants that should always be grateful and never question the environment that the employers has created. As of today I am unsure about how to feel about the raises I have recieved over the years. When raises are given it generally means more money on paper but less money in the bank. The more a person makes the more taxes that the government will deduct from the individuals income. It has really gotten to the point where it is nearly impossible for the working class to prosper financially. From the statics shown the upcoming generation will be less likely to receive a college education, meaning that the hope that I once had for the future generation is more likely to only a dream that will never come true. The way that society to structured there will soon be only room for the rich and the poor, there will not be a middle man involved amongst the classes. As of today I have become a big advocate for everyone finding the richest person they can make their sugar mommy/ sugar daddy and make a come up based on their come ups; it has been done for years so what better time to do it than when minimum wage is not enough to survive. Since the age of sixteen I have worked in order to be able to provide myself with the things that I need. I have a front row seat to the reality of working  twice as hard every week to still only have just enough money to pay the bills and no money to put towards savings in case of an emergency. I believe the banks created savings accounts only to sit back and laugh at the fact that most people will never make enough money to put anything towards it. Since recently I have become some what obsessed with steering myself in the direction of success; I am going to keep furthering my education until Sallie May cuts me off. The times are getting harder and the workers are working hard to only have nothing to show for it but a paycheck that is not enough to pay the rent in full.


10 dollars and hour

Today in class we watched this film in class called 10 dollars and hour. The film made me want to change my whole blog posted that I recently started on to discuss this film. The film had me really bugging out in class because of some of the things that was stayed in the film. If you missed class today you missed a great Film. The movie was a documentary about black cooks working in the frat house at a college in Mississippi.  The film was mostly about this woman that was black and was one of the cooks but she was cooking for a white frat and her bosses were white also. She stated in the film how she love one of the student that he was her baby. They told the white student what she said and his respond back was I guess she have respect for me. What!! Really!! respect for you, you should respect her. She is the eldest you supposed to show her respect. Another thing that got me about the movie was the mother dean or whatever her name was basically the manager over the cooks. They were interviewing her about the 25 cent raise they would give the cooks after two semesters. She going to say the raise is based on how they act, if they deserve the raise, depending on how her and the cooks get alone and their attitude because attitude is a important factor. The whole time I’m thinking what you mean if they deserve it and depending on how well yall get alone. What does any of that have to do with them getting a raise or not. I did not know that you had to brown nose or kiss up to someone to get a raise. The raise should be based on your work performance not if you like a person or not. This is a job not a place to make friendships. Also another part of the movie that shocked me was the income of the cooks and the income of the manager. The manager was making 30,000 dollar a year plus free gas for her truck, free housing and health benefits. The cooks was making almost 15,000 dollars a year with no benefits but they are doing all the work. Why do the manager deserve 30,000 plus benefits and all she is doing is sitting on her butt doing nothing but the people that are bussing their butt barely making any money. That is wrong in all kind of ways. After watching this movie it really surprised me that stuff like this is still going on that people are still taking down on people and treating them inferior. Especially since the manager going to say the frat love the cooks just like you would love a maid in your house. I couldn’t take it anymore after she said that. This is really ashamed but overall the documentary is most see if you didn’t come to class I recommend people to look the film up.


We Won’t Stop

Here lately one name has been in the spotlights and headlines of many blog posts, magazines, and tabloids. Eyes have been glued to the likes of one young lady as people watch what some may say is her spiraling downfall of her once wholesome career. People are keeping a close eye on her actions, her career, and her parents for their reactions on what is going on with the young starlet Miley Cyrus.

Since the ever popular Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana” starring Miley Cyrus came to an end, Miley has been under a microscope in the public eye as she goes on a journey through life attempting to find herself, as many at her age do. Seeing as though many children idolize Miley Cyrus because of the influence she has had through her show, some parents feel that what she does after the show could still be of great influence to her young fans. Being in the spotlight, we have seen Miley transition from a girl into a young woman. We have watched her mark her body with tattoos, indulge in partying, and even her romantic relationships.

Her more recent “scandal” if I may say, began with her racy performance at the MTV Music Awards featuring Robin Thicke. The performance started with Miley in scanty clothing performing her new single “We Like to Party” which based on its title is about partying. The song makes various references to drug use, sex, and “twerking.” The performance ruffled feathers with viewers as the 20 year old child star began to “twerk” on a married Robin Thicke.

But what is “twerking?” “Twerking,” also known as gyrating has been around for years. Tracing the roots of twerking all the way back to West African culture, “twerking” is often associated with the African American community. “Twerking” isn’t new. Its ubiquity may seem sudden, but mainstream media’s merely catching up to something that’s existed in black global culture for years,” says blogger Christiana Mbakwe. Through the years “twerking” has become a small franchise for some who get paid to do so at club appearances and even in the popular music videos. Miley Cyrus has just become the new face of “twerking” as she is spotlighted for her Youtube videos showcasing her skill, and even to being recognized in a Jay Z song as he raps, “and somewhere in America, Miley Cyrus is still twerking.”

From a parents perspective I see the error in the performance because young girls really do idolize what Miley Cyrus stood for on Hannah Montana, although she would not be a preteen forever and would eventually venture out into other avenues as a young adult. That is not what bothers me. I think the standards the public are holding her to are too high for her unconventional way of living.

What seems to bother me is that there are some African American people who think that Miley Cyrus is mimicking the Black community and poking fun at our culture because she wants to “twerk” and makes cheesy pop music geared towards the African American community. Many people have spoken out in blogs, Facebook statuses, and even tweets to discuss Miley’s performance, and I have yet to wrap my head around this idea, the idea that her performance was racially offensive. As Miley pranced the stage at the VMA’s, she was joined by her voluptuous backup dancers who happened to be Black. In their crazy costumes you can see Miley slapping their asses as she bellows out her tunes. The fact that Miley only had Black dancers and the nature of the type of dancing they were doing, there were some people to really get offended, but why? Many people called the performance “ratchet,” or even “ghetto,” words often associated with the Black community. To me, the over sexualized performance wasn’t a shot at the Black community, but a strategic move by Ms. Cyrus to keep herself relevant and a failing try to expand her audience. It is just sad that her performance leads to negative connotations of the Black community. What are your thoughts? How did you feel after watching?

Will the south ever overcome racism?

Will the South ever overcome racism?  You would think that after 150 years people would think that it’s time to get it together!!  I want to talk about the controversy regarding Paula Deen.   Paula is a well known American celebrity chef and cooking show host that lives in the south and promotes southern cooking. Recently, Paula has been blasted all over the world for making racial slurs that cost a major part of her livelihood.

I feel a certain way about the whole situation; my heart goes out to her but on the other hand she knew better! She was born and raised in the south and knew that people would be very sensitive about other races using the N WORD!! Paula appears to be a sweet lady on television but I was always taught that whatever is in you will eventually come out! This is why I pose the question; will the south ever overcome racism?