Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Thursday
Aug312006

Part Of The Problem



Never fear! Spliffer, that randy bastard, returned home late last night. Mom called sobbing and laughing and I could hear The Spliffer tap dancing across her hard wood floors in excitement. His whitish coat was smeared with dirt so it appears he disappeared for yet another one-off with some woodland creature or other.

I was going to post this yesterday, so it may be a day late and a dollar or five short but fuck it. I know celebrity airbrushing is old news. Especially after we all marvelled over this website a few months back. I expect airbrushing in magazines and movie posters... but news? From the very people who are reporting the problem? Now our newscasters are going to perpetuate the weight worry that affects nearly every single woman I know?

CBS seriously photoshopped about 20 lbs off Katie Couric for her new promo ads. The original picture was taken at the May upfronts and the image on the right is a dramatically slimmer version courtesty of Photoshop. Apparently Katie did not know they were retouching her photo but joked about it when she saw the latest version of herself saying she liked the original one better,"There's more of me to love."

Yes, of course magazine photos are altered all the time. However, this alteration comes as the network is struggling to portray Couric as a news anchor with the gravitas to convey serious news. What's next? Is the E Network going to convey a panel to debate her hairstyle and wardrobe? Additionally, this is the network that has aired several pieces on anorexia and other eating disorders. Not only are they perpetuating weight problems, they're instigating a screaming double standard before Couric has even hit the airwaves. Did they Photoshop Dan Rather into a svelte movie star? Or course not. Let's hope the news the network airs is more realistic than their ad campaign.

Reader Comments (36)

Ah, but is she still as cloying??

"Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my pixellation!"

(Glad to hear the Spliffer is back!)
August 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWry Bri
That is so f*#$ked up! She's an anchor, not a supermodel. God, with girls like Nicole Richie, and the Olsen twins for role models plus the subtle mind fuc* of this kind of thing I can't imagine how screwed up the upcoming generation of girls is.
August 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGemma
So much has been made in the tabloids lately about "Katie's Weight Loss" that I'm really beginning to wonder if she was forced by CBS to lose the weight.Wouldn't surprise me at all if the bastards put it in her contract.
August 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDeanne
Thank you for blogging about this. I was hoping that you would! This is seriously messed up. You are absolutely right....why do the women news anchors have to be hot when the men anchors are no where even close to hot!! Is this just proof that it really is a "man's world"?
August 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJustified
For what it's worth, I like the before photo better. It's just more real. It's a shame but I remember when Barbara Walters started reading news. All the media could talk about was her hair. Media covering the media. Weird.
August 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSloopy
I guess if you're spouting news from the tube, then you're expected to look a certain way? ....... ONLY IF YOU'RE A WOMAN.

I don't even want to get riled up about this, 'cause it just never goes away- the double standard. Even if they hadn't 'photo-shop-chopped' Katie, people would still be talking about how her teeth aren't white enough, she has too many wrinkles, or her hair isn't flattering.
August 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
That's just...creepy.
August 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
Your blog sucks! So do you. You are more self indulgent than Stephanie Klein with all your "i'm so depressed" boohooing. It makes me sick.
August 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRizzo
Um, how does Monica commenting on CBS photoshopping Katie Couric offend you? You're just a hater. Go away.
August 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
Don't feed the trolls.
August 31, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdu_dragons
Rizzo huh?

Are we talking like Stockard Channing "Grease" Rizzo?

Or "Midnight Cowboy", "I'M WALKING HERE..." Ratso Rizzo?

Frank Rizzo - Philly Mayor/Jerky Boys character?

Wait, no, Rizzo the Rat from The Muppets!

I wish we could post pictures in these replies...
September 1, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterereiberg
You've got a pretty cool blog out there.
Would love if you could check out mine.

<a href="http://gandheyjuliet.blogspot.com">coecelanth shaastra zeppelin equivocate durbatuluk</a>

Adios
September 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterShaastra Equivocate
this fact is horrified me as well...sick generation and powerful world of media,everyday creating illusion!!! fuck what for, I'm asking??? they amuse themselves and we need to look at this 'beutiful, perfect fake'...by all means it must be some taste but this is just overmuch!

p.s.I'm happy for your mom, Spliffer is at home now:)
September 1, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterana
Hi. Found you totally by accident or searching for zoloft blogs whatever. We started our meds the same day, same amount. All I wanted was xanax and I got the "z" instead. So far it's working wonders on me. I always thought depression was for "other, weak" people. Not me. I was wrong.
September 1, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermary
Monica, I LOVE your blog and I am totally addicted. Keep up the good work!
September 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJustified
Well, Katie is still ugly whether she is thin or fat. Obviously, she has been hired for her brains and not her looks so what the hell?
September 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSalisha
Have you ever noticed how all the "on the field" commentators for sports now are all hot women? What's up with that? Is it making the players more likely to answer her questions or is it making the male TV audience more likely to watch.
September 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJustified
Sorry to interject here, but I honestly don't understand some people. We are here just having a conversation about certain topics, whether it be about a dog, hollywood, news media, or depression. If people want to join in the conversation because it hits home to them and want to share a little, or if they don't feel like adding to the conversation and just reading, whatever,, that's what it's all about. What I don't understand is why people feel they have to be downright mean. What is one person's problem, dilemna, happiness, whatever may not be another's BUT why would anyone just say something for the meanness of it. I will never understand that. Never. Comment about anything you like, true, but why would you feel that you need to say anything, if all it is,is just plain hate. Disagree, if you like, but why be so hateful??? That being said, Rizzo I don't feel you have many friends and that's a shame.
September 1, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermama
Shouldn't have fed the trolls today, but couldn't help it. I hear they are having second thoughts about having Meredith replace Katie, too late now though eh? Bullshit? or did anyone hear the same thing?
September 1, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermama
The dumbest thing of all is that, it's generally women who sit there and be really nasty and critical "her teeth arent white enough, too many wrinkles, hair is not flattering, look how chubby she is, bitch, bitch, bitch" When we're really honest with ourselves, it's mainly women who put pressure on us to be perfect or gay male clothes designers. Men actually don't care as much as we do.




September 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNiedlchen
You are exactly right. Women dress for other women, not other men. Sometimes I think women check each other out more than men check women out. The competition is inherent. It's insane! Yet we turn around and bitch about double standards that we helped build. Yes this ad campaign sucks, but women are a huge part of the problem. I wouldn't be surprised if a woman did the photoshopping.
September 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
"CBS: the most trusted name in news...

...also, no fat chicks."
September 1, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkasey
That's just great.....now excuse me while I go throw up my lunch.

September 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterL.A. Jules
I've just deleted a comment. Talk shit about me all you want, it doesn't bother me. I can't even be troubled to reply. At one time in my life I posted a shitty comment on someone's website and I know the sad state of mind one has to be in to do such a thing. I generally feel bad for someone who is inclined to post rude shit on a silly old blog. If you're rude to fellow commenters, your comment will be deleted. Marisa, the comment that you also posted on this thread under the name "Salisha" showcases your generally negative attitude towards life. Also, your "marketing is marketing" comment is utter bullshit. I work in the news. It's important that the news industy strive for being unbiased, responsible and ethical. That ad campaign is none of those things and in my opinion takes CBS credibility down a notch. If you're going to Photoshop your lead anchor so she looks hot, what else are you gonna do behind the scenes? It's the last thing CBS needs after they fucked up and didn't check the authenticity of forged documents about President Bush.. Yeah, I don't like Bush, but a station presenting an in depth report about Bush's military career based on forged documents is a huge blunder. But I digress, point is, the fact that our society's obsession with being thin has seeped into even the news industry is alarming. And the more publicity that kind of photo shopping gets, the better for teenagers who think Nicole Richie is the ideal.
September 2, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko
Hey there Monica, hope you are well.

"If you're rude to fellow commenters, your comment will be deleted."

It looks like you have a lot of comments to delete from your blog....I'm glad that you decided this. Maybe we can all comment on your blog now without getting insulted by the other commenters.
September 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJoan
That is a nice blog.
In my old country, years before i moved to europe, there was a shop where they sold photos of beautiful skinny woman. Although it was forbidden by the sjah, many of my friends buyed.They did not like a fat woman. But, my wife has become fat and ugly, and i still like her. So, I think that photoshops like that are a bad thing, really.Never buy photos like that in such a shop, it is an insult to every fat or ugly woman.
September 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHamad A. Khalifa
Hamad, I don't know who you are but you are making me laugh my ass off.
September 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
Thanks for fixing that, Monica. As I said, your comment was right on!
September 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
Yay to you Monica! I saw Marisa's comment early this morning and thought it was terrible. I'm glad you deleted it. I am actually surprised you don't delete more of them.
September 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
In forums where most users are similar to each other, outsiders may be perceived as trolls simply because they do not fit into the social norms of that group. It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between a user who merely has different values, views, or ideas, and a user who is intentionally trolling.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_trolling
September 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBeg2Defer
Please. How can you classify the comment "your blog sucks" as a different value, view or idea? The comment Marisa made earlier this morning was hideous. We aren't idiots. I can understand the difference between a difference of opinion and someone just being a small minded jackass.
September 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
In case anyone is keeping track, Salisha, Marisa and Beg2Defer are all the same person.
September 2, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko
Thanks for clarifying about the trolls, Monica.

And also thank you for this post in general. As a mother of 2 young daughters, this kind of stuff pisses me off - makes my job even harder to keep them healthy enough mentally and physically not to starve themselves.

How do I explain to them that even educated, successful, mature women have to be skinny or no one will take them seriously?

Arhghghghghgh!
September 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterL.A. Jules
The thing that always gets me about mean-spirited, argument-baiting trolls is that they're never funny. Here it is, the moment you've chosen to denigrate another person under the gossamer thin guise of an internet alias, and it's boring as hell. Why not have some moderately amusing element to your chicanery? Probably because they are incapable of doing so. Not to mention that in this case, they chose to insult someone who was: a) veryc closely related to the blogger b) in full disclosure of their indentity, and c) could whip their obsessive, limey, caterwaulling ass.


And if in the words of beg2defer(?) I'm similar to the other users, then I've been righteously gypped, because nowhere do I have any kind of mammaries on my person and that makes me mad.
September 2, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterereiberg
Right on Ereiberg!

I love this blog! Monica, you are an amazingly talented writer and I agree with everything you've said in this blog!
September 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBeg2Agree
Dude, I wish I could photoshop 20 pounds off my fat ass.
September 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

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