Paula Deen, while a successful southern entrepreneur and branding expert, is an embarrassment to southern women.
She did absolutely nothing to discredit the misconception that we are bobble-headed, simple-minded pushovers who wear too much makeup and talk funny.
It was never her mission to promote anything other than herself and hawk cookbooks, cookware, overpriced furniture and diabetes medication.
Most southern women of her generation had grandmothers who cooked the same dishes with the same artery-clogging salt, fat, and sugar. To her credit, she turned southern cuisine and homespun homilies into a mega-conglomerate. She became a branding expert and that was her goal.
Paula Deen is not and never was representative of all southern women. Most of us moved beyond our ancestor’s unhealthy cooking and legacy of appalling bias.
As she stated “I is what I is” and we came to discover we don’t admire what she is. Paula Deen is a brand; she is not a role model.
The entire flap will disappear in time, and it would be wonderful if her legacy as a self-appointed southern belle disappeared as well.
It would be unwise to count Paula as down and out just yet. I predict after an appropriate absence from the public eye she will renaissance, dust off her brand and possibly pursue politics. She could become the next tea party darling. She would appear to have most of the qualifications.