It’s almost hard to believe that anti-obesity zealot MeMe Roth consented to this profile in the Sunday Guardian. After all, this isn’t the first time Roth came across to her interviewer as a joyless food nut with overly stringent dietary rules she wants everyone – from Angelina Jolie to you – to follow.
Here is Roth’s modus operandi:
While she does not enjoy the hate mail (as she meekly puts it), Roth sees herself as the bold purveyor of uncomfortable truths.
But is she taking on the fast-food industry? The sugar barons? The government? No, she is taking on Jennifer Love Hewitt in her unflattering bikini ("She’ll be doing some serious squats from now on") and Angelina Jolie ("Every picture of Angelina Jolie shows her children eating a bag of Cheetos. How dare the richest, most educated people who have access to everything do this to their kids?"). While every media outlet of the relatively new century makes at least a token effort to help women of all shapes and sizes feel comfortable with their bodies, Roth manages to be swashbucklingly offensive. But she has a rationale for this. "Love it or hate it, whatever socio-economic category you’re in, we are a People-magazine society. So if you get it right with Angelina Jolie, the kids will listen and everything will change."
Picking celebrities apart to shame the public into avoiding foods that Roth doesn’t believe you should have is no way to win fans among ordinary Americans who occasionally enjoy a sugary treat or a salty snack. Which is to say: almost everyone.
We haven’t seen much from Roth in a while. Now her ugly return is perfectly timed to coincide with the next stage of her nutrition counseling business. Bad press is good press — as long as it raises her profile as MeMe Roth, soon-to-be certified (or is that certifiable?) health counselor.
The Guardian rang plenty of alarm bells regarding Roth’s own personal choices – specifically, that the interview took place at 3:30 p.m. and Roth had yet to eat anything that day. Skipping breakfast and lunch seems to us like bad advice coming from a self-styled “integrative nutritionist.”
Then again, this is the same person who insulted an American Idol winner for not being a size 0, and made headlines when she organized a boycott on Girl Scout cookies.