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February 24, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-24

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 24, 2000

Gbe dithigui &ziIg

Why I love Lil'Kim and thoughts on celebrity skin

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
daily.letters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

MIKE SPAHN
Editor in Chief
EMILY ACHENBAUM
Editorial Page Editor

Celebrity skin: It's always extreme.
Currently, the media can't stop talking
about how painfully thin actresses and singers
are becoming.
A few seem to be naturally thin, but many

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Dailys editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

are wasting away by
seemingly unhealthy
means. Anyone who
saw "The Birdcage"'
can attest to the fact
that Calista Flockhart,
as slight as she natu-
rally is, did not always
look like she was a lol-
lipop.
Likewise, Jennifer
Aniston was not
always the tiniest
friend on the block,
but now she's practi-
cally floating down the
sidewalk. But amongst
the narrowing of
waists and minds, a

Sweet move

Camille
Noe
Call

age proportion. According to studies, the
average woman in America is 5'4" and a size
12. That's more than 120 lbs, and a lot more
than an average model, actress or singer, who
is likely to weigh in at around 110 lbs. Many
famous women of average body types strug-
gle to rid themselves of "extra pounds." Jewel,
the yodeling poet wonder, is a great illustra-
tion of a yo-yo dieter. One minute she's at the
Grammy Awards, looking svelte in a revealing
dress, the next she's singing on VHI, visibly
larger and trying to disguise it by tricky cam-
era angles
In my opinion, there are simply too few
truly normal women in the spotlight. On the
same note, women who come in looking what
I'll call "healthy" end up burning extra
pounds off as quickly as they can. Fueled by
agents, agencies and their competitive coun-
terparts, women such as Courtney Love, who
has made fun of her own transformation and
extensive plastic surgery, and Miss Butt her-
self, Jennifer Lopez (who has lost more than
twenty pounds in the past few months,
according to interviews), have shamelessly
shed their fat before our very eyes.
Enter Lil' Kim, the notorious rap star
famous for her wild child ways. Admittedly,
I'm biased - I like any short woman with a
big mouth. But Lil' Kim stands out in my
mind. She's a woman of small stature who
has a small bit of meat on her (she's not large
by any means, but she's no Kate Moss). That
doesn't stop her from having absolute confi-
dence in her body. She parades around in out-
fits that make Madonna blush, and doesn't

blink an eye if she accidentally reveals a.
stretch mark or a little cellulite. If you didn't
catch her outfit at the MTV movie awards,,
you must not watch T.V, because it received
more coverage than the show itself. It was
half a dress - and a circle to cover the other
half of her chest.
Lil' Kim had no worries whether she was
the thinnest or the prettiest - she was there
to have a good time. She wore a similar out-
fit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's
Costume exhibit opening, and although I
can't give her points for good taste, she gets
kudos for loving the way she looks. Little
Kim's not alone, either. A few actresses,
including teen favorites Drew Barrymore and
Kate Winslet, are daring to be beautiful and
healthy. And there's no better way they could
be using their influence.
Why does size matter? Personally, I don't
think that skinny celebrities cause women to
have eating disorders, but I do believe they're
a factor. Countries who do not emphasize low
body weight to women have few episodes of
eating disorders, whereas millions of women
in the U.S. suffer from them. The occasional
plus-size woman in the media spotlight will
not end the idea that "dangerously thin is in",
but it might help. More importantly, I think
more "average" women like Little Kim need
to be as prevalent as the uber-skinny figures if
women are ever going to stop suffering for a
dress size, and start loving themselves.
- Love, loss and what I wore:
Camille Noe can be reached via
e-mail at cnoe@umich.edu.
GRINDING THE NIB

Diabetes center adds jewel to 'U's crown

A lthough AIDS and cancer receive more
public awareness, diabetes is a serious
disease that affects more than 16 million
Americans, according to the American
Medical Association. There is no known cure
for the disease, but that could change some-
day, thanks to partnerships such as one
between University Health System and the
Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
The University's new $6 million diabetes
center is money well spent. Centering on a
few of the many complications stemming
from diabetes such as heart problems, vision
loss and kidney failure, research produced
will undoubtedly make life at least a little eas-
ier for diabetics.
Nearly 200,000 Americans pass away
each year from the illness. Many of these
deaths could have been prevented with prop-
er treatment. Sadly, many cannot afford
insulin, or live in areas with no medical sup-
Dort to treat diabetes. Regardless of whether a

cure is found, simply improving the quality of
life for thousands of suffering patients is a
step in the right direction.
The University deserves appreciation for
their effort to combat the disease. The editor
of Journal of the American Medical
Association described the University as "a
special institution in the history of American
medicine." There may be no finer way to
prove this statement true than to continue to
be a leader in medical innovations. Yearly
$100 billion yearly is spent on treatment for
diabetics.
The center's potential is considerable, and
could save the life of a close friend or family
member, not to mention extend the lifespan
of millions of diabetics. Furthermore, numer-
ous students at the University require treat-
ment for diabetes. They will directly benefit
from any advances in treatment. We applaud
the University's initiative in promoting
progress in the science of medicine.

plethora of larger women are succeeding.
Missy Elliot, for example, is a plus-size
woman who's not trying to get any smaller -
and leading the female rap charts. Carmyn
Manheim , who won an Emmy for her role on
"The Practice," speaks adamantly of the beau-
ty and the challenge of being a heavy-set
female. The presence of plus-size women in
the public eye is a good start towards revers-
ing the weight standard, but it leaves me with
one question: Where's the middle ground?
By middle ground, I mean women of aver-

CHIP CULLEN

Sunny and safe
Take precautions during Spring Break

omorrow, much of the University's stu-
dent body will be boarding planes and
cruise ships for their well-deserved week of
spring break fun. But students also have a
tendency to take a vacation from common
sense. There are many dangers that exist on
the beaches of Cancun and Acapulco, name-
ly blistery sun burns and alcohol poisoning.
The sun is a silent predator that can ruin
an otherwise great vacation. It is important
to bring sunscreen and leave the baby oil at
home. More than 700,000 Americans will
Ievelop skin cancer this year. It is the most
-ommon form of cancer in the world today.
The University Students Against Cancer
ias been handing out pamphlets and sun-
screen in the diag. They advocate avoiding
?eak exposure hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and
staying in the shade during extreme temper-
atures. Annual visits to the tanning booth

should be avoided because unlike the lay
belief - tanning booths are just as danger-
ous as the sun.
Alcohol is another potential danger.
Binge drinking and continuous consumption
of margaritas often leads to accidents.
Students have fallen off patios and walls
when partying too hard. As well as making
frequent visits to emergency rooms, in order
to get their stomachs pumped because of
over-consumption of alcohol. Don't drink on
an empty stomach and pace oneself if plan-
ning to consume a large amount of alcohol.
Heavy consumption of alcohol and other
kinds of drugs can leave one out of control
and especially vulnerable to sexual preda-
tors.
Spring break is supposed to be a time for
fun and relaxation. Have a good time, but
come back to school safe.

Faculty members
condemn society
TO THE DAILY:
As members of the University's academic
community, we object to the University's sup-
port of the Michigamua Society, a closed
organization long engaged in the appropria-
tion and misrepresentation of Native
American objects, imagery and practices.
Granted exclusive use of a privileged space in
the Michigan Union, the Michigamua Society
links the University to practices demeaning to
Native Americans and their histories. The
Society's meeting space decor, songs, graph-
ics, hazing, and pseudo-Indian names utilize
stereotypical images of Native American peo-
ple and cultures to promote Michigamnua's
identity. These images and actions have been
integral to the Society's history as an all-male
(until 1999) and predominantly white organi-
zation representing itself as being the best of
Michigan student leadership.
The Michigamua Society has. long been
aware of the Native American community's
objection to these practices. It signed an
agreement with University officials in 1989 to
cease these activities and free itself of all
objects associated with them, an accord which
it has violated despite minor changes. In
recognition of the principle that University
support for any organization debasing another
culture is objectionable, we ask that the
University dissociate itself from the demean-
ing practices and privileged position of this
group.
FERNADO CORONIL
ANTHROPOLOGY AND HISTORY DEPTS.
RICHARD FORD
ANTHROPOLOGY AND BIOLOGY DEPTS.
LEMUEL JOHNSON
ENGLISH DEPT.
THOMAS WEISSKOPF
RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE AND ECONOMICS DEPT.
Daily dissed-
women's basketball
TO THE DAILY:
One of our basketball teams has been on a
seven game losing streak. The other has
enjoyed a seven game winning streak. Both
teams won. One blew a 20 point lead and
eeked out an overtime win against a mediocre
opponent while having home court advantage.

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Free to be smutty
Libraries should not censor Internet access

The other won in double overtime against a
formidable opponent in a less than friendly
atmosphere. The scores were practically iden-
tical (89-87 & 90-87), yet the circumstances
surrounding the two games were anything but.
One team is fighting for 8th place in the Big
Ten while the other just clinched second place.
One team is composed of men, the other,
you guessed it, is our outstanding women's
basketball team. One team is given the head-
line of the Daily's sports page and extensive
coverage on an ensuing page. The other is
allotted a small article at the bottom of the
front page of the Sports section and minor
coverage on the last page.
Give credit where credit is due. In the
three years that I have followed our women's
team, they have been doing nothing but
improving. Now they are one of our confer-
ences best team yet still don't receive ade-
quate support from the student body or the
media. Maybe Crisler can rival the Breslin
Center in attendance once people realize
what they are missing. Let's put the spotlight
on the less than apparent strengths in our
athletic department rather than our glaring
weaknesses. If you write it, they will come.
MATTHEW WILLIAMS
LSA JUNIOR
Club sports teams
need care too
TO THE DAILY:
In response the possible review of athlet-

ic transportation policies, all I have to say is*,
What about everyone else?
Now, I don't want to sound like one of
those whiny club sports players who com-
plains that every club chess tournament
isn't covered in full in the Daily, because .
know why: We're not as important.
I'm a club volleyball player and I know
that no one wants to see us play and that no
one cares that we won a tournameuit at
Wisconsin last weekend. What I thikjis,
tragic, though, is that the University fees w
that varsity athletes are entitled to more
safety precautions than all other types of
clubs.
Granted, we don't bring in any revepue,
but does that mean that our lives aren't as
important? Personally, I take the risk as a
driver for our team every time we goto a
game. I mean, someone has to. And, since
we don't have professional drivers (orven
the opportunity to hire them), what else-are
clubs supposed to do? If the University
wants to make a point to ensure the s~'ety
of its students, they need to make it fatr.
In all honesty, I don't care if we'get
someone to drive us. But I hate reading in
the paper about the administration fretting
about our oh-so-precious varsity players,
while they overlook the rest of the stu
dents.
If the Athletic Department wants to
review the travel policies of its students,
I'm all for it. But they shouldn't pretend to
be humanitarians when they're really only
trying to protect a few select people.
KATE CAPOTOSTO
ENGINEERING SOPHOMORE

he issue of filtering Internet sites seemed
I.to have disappeared from the national
scope ever since the e-commerce-dot-coms
came along and transformed the Internet into
the newest marketplace. The Internet, often
vilified with stories of minor's access to
pornography by major media at the beginning
of its popularity, has been transformed. What
once seemed to parents like the equivalent of
allowing their children to play in middle of the
street or be left alone with sex offenders has
become the domain of Disney and
Nickelodeon. In some conservative areas,
though, the thought of allowing kids unfet-
tered net access in public libraries has been
enough to send family groups into a tizzy.
And we need look no farther than the western
side of the state for the evidence.
In what is being hailed as a victory for the
fight against censored public Internet access,
voters in Holland, rejected a precedent-setting
initiative to install Internet filters on public
library computers Tuesday. Holland is the first
city in the nation to confront the issue of
Internet censorship in a local vote. The ordi-
nance, which was spearheaded by Holland
Area Citizens Voting YES! to Protect Our
Children and subsidized heavily by the
Mississippi-based American Family
Assnciation would have cut off funding to

filtering software. The local libraries, which
maintained their policies adequately protected
children from questionable material, refused
to install filtering software that could stamp
breast cancer research sites as pornographic
just as easily as the real porn sites. This effort
to "protect the children" was little more than a
deplorable attempt of censorship.
Taxpayers should have the right to view any
material they wish when they visit the library.
In Holland, taxpayers spoke against restricting
access with questionable Internet filtering
software. Censoring the Net may have been
voted down this time, but the fight to restrict
access continues. Commenting on the fight to
censor the Internet in Holland area libraries,
LoriJo Schepers, a member of Citizen Voting
YES! told the Associated Press after the results
of the city-wide vote, "This is not a stopping
point. We consider this a journey."
The fight against censorship is also a jour-
ney. Local governments should not be allowed
to withhold funding for public libraries
because of an issue as minor as censorship
disagreements. Society's ills cannot be
blamed on the Internet, pornography, or any
other scapegoat. We have made enough
progress with preserving free speech and
reforming censorship laws that restricting
Internet access to the taxpaving public should

Marry a multimillionaire and sell out a whole nation

v

it's unbelievable that a country in which one
out of every two marriages falls apart and
ends in divorce would turn a wedding into a
game show.
Even more staggering, nearly 23 million
viewers would turn on their TVs to watch the
spin-a-wheel get-a-bride bonanza hoping for
disaster. Yes, don't try k
to deny it. You
watched "Who Wants
to Marry a x
Multimillionaire" just
waiting for the gold.
digging tryst to turn
into a Jerry Springer
episode. And when the
honeymoon, both liter-
ally and figuratively,
ended a week later we
ai- 2 . -

public, pretending to be naive, eats it up:
It's a spectacle, sparking huge debates on
marriage, the media and women's rights.
Some say he's a jerk or she's a flake and
responsible for pushing the women's move-
ment back 20 years. Some say broadcasting
networks have to be more responsible. Some
place blame with the viewers.
I didn't watch FOX's broadcast last
Tuesday night. I wish I could say it was
because I was not interested in it or was
upholding a deep moral objection to a show
mocking the sanctity of marriage, but in truth
I just missed it.
I was interested. Often, I pay $8 at the
movie theater to watch two imaginary people
fall in love in the course of some ridiculous
plot. Who'd miss a real-life TV drama about
two strangers entering into a marriage almost
.io.nto . to ai, ha. s ofrnimp if.th

for the advancement of women in the 21st
Century. How is it possible that an educated
woman would sacrifice her integrity anda
marriage based on true love for a large wallet?
How can a marriage be worth no more than the
money involved?
And young women were given a pretty
horrible message - the rich guy picks the girl
that looks best in a bikini. I mistakenly thought
marriage was an institution of trust, love and
partnership. Apparently, we have moved bck
to the days of dowry. You'd think the ultimate
game show would be entitled "Who Wants to#
Marry a Man with a Heart of Gold."
I know. I know. It's TV We shouldn't take
it seriously - except that it's real. And so in
turn is the ending. Unlike most television
shows, these two newlyweds will not ride off
into the sunset, which is maybe the best lesson
nfal Aia wat,.; in ni l fm te~the

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