The First Lady of the U.S. has provided a very visible rallying point in that country -- people respond to her sheer force of personality. Children look up to her; they want to eat their vegetables for her. That's not a policy lever, but no one can say it's not effective. Here in Canada we do not have such a figure.
When I recently read that superstar Beyoncé, a role model to millions, especially her legions of young fans, signed a 50 million dollar deal with Pepsi, I was compelled to speak up. A lifestyle brand! Seriously? Do celebrities have a moral responsibility to talk their talk and walk their walk? I believe they do.
During PQ leader Pauline Marois' acceptance speech on Tuesday evening, shots rang out. Marois, undaunted, returned to the stage and made this statement: "This is an example of a woman head of state. Voila." Throughout her campaign, Marois brought up her sex several times, as did Ann Romney and Tammy Duckworth in their respective convention speeches. For women who are politically-minded, it's been one hell of a week.
Only a few years ago, if you'd attacked a politician for his weight, or complained about where she ate her dinner, it would be seen as poor form. Reporters could write about a politician's views on taxes and trade, but the burgers and buns on his dinner plate were off limits. How times have changed.The fight against obesity has mobilized a growing number of public health zealots, who've taken a punitive, selective and judgmental approach to anti-obesity policy.