Designing Women S4 E11 - Remember Me Any Way You Like
Updated: Apr 8
Suzanne gets bullied at her high school reunion for gaining weight, while Anthony, Julia, and Mary Jo go on a two-day fast to raise awareness about world hunger. We miss Charlene. (tear emoji)
So where are we on world hunger in the 21st century? We’ll sidebar on it. Then come back Thursday for an “Extra Sugar” dedicated to Suzanne’s plot line including how this episode came about in the first place.
Extra reads for ya’ –
UN Report: Global hunger numbers rose to as many as 828 million in 2021
9 Best Charities That Fight Hunger Globally (Complete 2023 List)
Come on y’all, let’s get into it!
Or listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Amazon Music.
Salina: Hey, Nikki.
Nikki: Hey, Salina.
Salina: I think I just hurt my face popped.
Nikki: It looks like it's still there.
Nikki: Your jaw is not hanging off on that side.
Salina: Welcome, everybody.
Salina: Hey y'all.
Salina: To sweet tea and TV.
Salina: We're so smooth.
Salina: Smooth like butter milk.
Salina: Yeah, something like that.
Salina: So I went down a rabbit hole this morning looking for something for us to talk about.
Salina: And that's not smooth either.
Salina: But we don't like to jump right into the episode.
Salina: Because it's just too much.
Nikki: You know what I mean?
Salina: You got to ease your way into the water.
Salina: I mean, you can jump right in, but that's just not the kind of gal I am.
Nikki: Yeah, no, we don't do it like that here.
Salina: But so anyway, so, like, sometimes I'm like, just like, what can what will spark conversation?
Salina: And so I started looking at a National Day calendar.
Salina: What day will it be when this episode airs?
Salina: And it turns out that it'll be don't go to work unless it's Fun Day.
Salina: That's April 3, you all, okay, mark your calendars.
Nikki: I'll be not going to work that day.
Salina: There's one thing I can promise you.
Salina: So I don't even hardly know what that means, really, but I'm sure that I'm an advocate.
Salina: I'm really big into this day, but I actually think so.
Salina: I started looking at the website because I was like, well, what does that mean?
Salina: And I think they're telling us to protest.
Salina: That's what I protest.
Salina: Well, the lack of vacation days and leave.
Nikki: Did you see how fast I was on that protest work?
Nikki: I'm there.
Salina: I did.
Nikki: What time?
Salina: April 3.
Salina: Just get your sign.
Nikki: Are we getting together somewhere?
Nikki: Is there a meet up?
Salina: People who ate work?
Salina: I'm in.
Salina: I'll be there.
Salina: Yeah, it'll be a big gathering.
Salina: But I thought this was really funny, and I actually fact checked it because I was like, this can't be right.
Salina: So on that website, they were talking about William Taft and the fact that when he was president, he suggested this is in 1910, he said, William Taft.
Nikki: And funny in the same sentence.
Nikki: And now I'm like, tell me more.
Salina: Tell me how funny this is that he suggested every American employee needed around two to three months of vacation annually.
Salina: And that was in order to continue his work next year with the energy and effectiveness which it ought to have.
Salina: And I just thought that was so singular, and I wasn't expecting it.
Salina: So I did fact check it, and it's true because I found an NPR art.
Salina: It was like more of like a script of an interview on NPR, and they talked about it.
Salina: The only thing that wasn't right on the National Today site is they're like and the legislation never passed.
Salina: There was no legislation.
Salina: This is like an off hand comment that he made.
Salina: Not really any follow up.
Nikki: I thought William Taft was about to become my favorite president.
Salina: I mean, even him saying it, I think it's progressive.
Nikki: Yeah, he said he in the sentence team Ten.
Salina: Well, women weren't working.
Salina: They were having babies.
Nikki: That is work, Salina.
Nikki: That is work.
Salina: Not work.
Salina: Like what a man.
Nikki: Not the hard work.
Nikki: Like a man.
Nikki: William Tuft, you say?
Nikki: Okay, maybe I need to research him more.
Nikki: He's like a cool guy.
Salina: Well, I found out something else because I forgot this anecdote, but apparently he was the president.
Salina: They talk about getting stuck in the bathtub, but he didn't really I want to bust that myth today.
Nikki: I'm glad.
Salina: There's no evidence that that happened.
Nikki: Is today's national holiday?
Nikki: Like defend William Taft Day?
Salina: It is for me.
Nikki: This is how we're going to find out.
Salina: It is for me.
Nikki: Defend him at all costs.
Nikki: William Taft cannot die.
Salina: Led me down where I was, like, looking at all these other things because we have no federally mandated vacation time in the US.
Salina: And in 2018, one study found that more than half of US.
Salina: Workers so 55% don't use all the time that they have.
Salina: I feel like Europe was listening to Taft, though.
Salina: They got the memo.
Salina: They understood the assignment, if you will, because according to Travel and Leisure, I mean, most of us, I think, know that there is significant more time off in Europe, but I want to talk about how much time here.
Salina: So workers are guaranteed at least 20 vacation days per year with some mandating up to 30.
Salina: And I don't think this includes, like, the ten or so holidays.
Salina: Ashley and Peter own their restaurant in Ireland, so I get to hear about their different holidays and stuff.
Salina: They have bank holidays there, and I'm like, what's a bank holiday?
Salina: And she's like, I don't know.
Salina: Everybody's just closed.
Nikki: I think it's akin to a federal holiday here because the banks are closed.
Salina: On those days here, too, but everyone's closed.
Nikki: It's always surprising.
Nikki: Not always surprising.
Nikki: Let me take that back.
Nikki: I continue to be impressed when we go to Mexico or the Caribbean and you're at a resort and you meet European people there, and we're like, oh, we're here for two more days.
Nikki: We had five days here.
Nikki: And they're like, oh, I'm here for a week and a half longer.
Nikki: Or like, we were on a cruise ship one time, and the guy was telling us that they were taking this seven day cruise.
Nikki: They were going to get off and get on another cruise ship for another 20 days or something.
Nikki: And they were European, and they were on their, like, summer holiday or whatever.
Salina: I know.
Salina: Meanwhile, Americans, we're just dragging our leg around behind us, just deader than a door now.
Salina: No, it's fine.
Salina: I'll just stay on a few more hours.
Salina: It's fine.
Salina: We're very successful.
Salina: I'd rather have the time off, to be honest.
Salina: I'm not feeling that successful, so I don't know what we're getting.
Salina: I was also looking at, like it's funny because you know how we were talking about not that long ago about the happiest countries in the world or whatever?
Salina: So, like, Finland shows up on this list again, and of course they've got a lot of days off.
Salina: And I'm like, of course.
Salina: And then a lot of these places are talking about parental paternity leave, and they're like, one country gets up to three years.
Salina: That's amazing.
Salina: And they're like, you just have the baby.
Salina: And they're like, you'll be back at work tomorrow, right?
Nikki: My son was telling me my favorite teacher, and granted, he's five, so some of it gets a little lost in translation because my favorite teacher isn't going to be at school anymore.
Nikki: So you dig a little deeper and you're like, why?
Nikki: He goes, I don't know.
Nikki: She'll be back in March.
Nikki: And I was like, buddy, it is March.
Nikki: And he goes, oh, then she's going to be back in April.
Nikki: And I was like, okay, where is she going?
Nikki: And he goes, I don't know.
Nikki: Maybe to have a baby.
Nikki: And it's like I was like, is it the teacher who is, like, fully pregnant?
Nikki: And he's like, yeah, she's my favorite teacher.
Nikki: And I was like, she better have longer than April if she's like, we are almost through March and she hasn't had the baby yet.
Nikki: She better have longer than April.
Nikki: I would hope, but I don't think so.
Salina: When I was in 9th grade at a drama teacher, and she, I want to say, had at least five kids.
Salina: They were all boys.
Salina: She was aiming for a girl.
Salina: Oh, no, she was very actually, I wound up liking her a lot, but she was like that teacher that's mean that people wind up loving.
Salina: You know this myth I'm talking about?
Nikki: I do.
Salina: And I did really actually wind up liking her a lot.
Salina: But she scared me a lot too.
Salina: She was pregnant my freshman year, and she had the baby during that year, and I don't think she was gone longer than two weeks.
Salina: She had a girl too.
Salina: I want to congratulations.
Nikki: When I was pregnant, I went to Motherhood Maternity and was buying some clothes for something, I don't remember.
Nikki: And the cashier there was telling me that she had a baby on Friday, and her first shift back at work was on Monday.
Salina: That's a crime.
Nikki: It's illegal.
Nikki: It's like a crime against humanity.
Nikki: It really is.
Nikki: I was in the hospital two days with my first and a day and a half with my second.
Nikki: That's about the amount of time she had down before she went back to work.
Salina: That is unfathomable.
Nikki: That's crazy.
Salina: Oh, gosh.
Salina: All right.
Nikki: Well, I'm glad we're here to talk about Designing Women, which is a show about progressing women's values and rights in the United States.
Salina: There we go.
Salina: And on that note, also, to be.
Nikki: Clear, I was pregnant.
Nikki: Like, within the last seven years, he heard that story.
Nikki: So I'm old, but I'm not that old that this is like a story from 40 years ago.
Salina: So one of the things that I was thinking about before you told that horrible story was it just suddenly dawned on me sorry.
Salina: It suddenly dawned on me that drama teacher's kid is now 20 years old, and I threw up a little bit in my mouth.
Salina: So with that in mind designing Women.
Nikki: I have a transition.
Salina: Oh, yeah.
Nikki: I have a transition.
Nikki: Speaking of 20 years ago, this week's episode is about a high school reunion.
Salina: Does that make it better or worse?
Nikki: Anyhow, this week's episode is we are on Designing Women season four, episode eleven.
Nikki: They shoot fat women, don't they?
Nikki: The IMDb designingwomenonline.com description I don't know what this means.
Salina: Is a mashup.
Nikki: Suzanne attends her high school reunion, where people shun her because she weighs more than she did in high school.
Nikki: Meanwhile, Julia and Mary Joe join Anthony in a fast to focus attention on world hunger.
Nikki: Air date December 11, 1989 we're calling this one remember me any way you like.
Nikki: It was written by LBT.
Nikki: It was written by LBT.
Nikki: Salina, and it was directed by Harry Thomason.
Nikki: I'm just giving you that reminder in case you need it.
Salina: Thank you.
Nikki: So, general reactions and stray observations.
Nikki: I have no strays.
Nikki: Just to ruin that for you.
Nikki: So all of mine are general.
Nikki: Would you like to start?
Salina: Well, thank you.
Salina: That's very kind.
Salina: You're welcome.
Nikki: You're a guest in my podcast.
Salina: Thank you.
Salina: So this episode really made me admire the strength and the courage of Delta Burke.
Salina: That's my first general reaction.
Salina: We'll talk more about it in this week's extra sugar.
Salina: This week's extra sugar, by the way, is about Delta Burke.
Salina: The last one wasn't.
Salina: But this episode was inspired by the scrutiny that she received about her weight from the media and the public at the time.
Salina: And she just really put it all out there, like, her feelings, because I don't even know we were hearing from Suzanne so much as much as we were hearing from Delta.
Salina: I thought the performance was really beautiful, and I don't know, she's really starting to impress me.
Salina: And not only do I think it was probably very cathartic for Delta, or at least I'm hoping it was, but it was also growth for the character of Suzanne and honestly, a much needed contrast to the weird weight commentary that we've received across several seasons now.
Salina: So we talked about that at length here on the podcast.
Nikki: I feel like this episode may have resonated more for me if I had been sort of living through it with the show originally, because I do think you're right.
Nikki: I think it's reflective of the things that were happening off screen for Delta Burke, and I know of them, but I think to live through something is different.
Nikki: And so if I had seen those headlines or had been living through all that while watching this, it might have been more impactful for me in that way.
Nikki: My first general reaction is that I think Julia said something in this episode that has probably resonated the absolute most with me in this entire show.
Nikki: And it's something that I think about a lot recently.
Nikki: When you think about things like you mentioned a minute ago offhandedly sort of joking, I don't feel successful.
Nikki: When you think about this point in our lives where we're supposed to have accomplished so many things and we're supposed to be so many things, and there are times I get caught up in my own head about like, am I doing the things I was set here to do?
Nikki: And am I being effective enough?
Nikki: Because there are just so many tugs that I never feel like I'm being impactful.
Nikki: But then I also pull back and I'm like, oh, my God, we are on a rock flying through space and doesn't really matter.
Nikki: And my daughter and I were reading a book last night about dinosaurs 300 million years ago, and I was like, none of this is going to matter at some point in time, get all up in my own head.
Nikki: Which leads me to understanding fully this comment by Julia where she says, in the end, it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks about you.
Nikki: People are going to forget about you about 10 minutes after you die.
Nikki: Anyway, the point is, you have to be exactly who and what you want to be.
Nikki: I have been processing some version of that for maybe a couple of years now, really coming to terms with both the beauty and the sadness in that statement.
Nikki: I'm choosing to see more beauty in it than sadness, but it's weird.
Salina: So I rewatched the episodes this morning that we're recording today, and I think I was so initially struck by Delta Burke's performance and what Suzanne said that I think some of what Julia said got by me the first time.
Salina: And I agree with you, it's very profound.
Salina: It was like a lot to unpack.
Salina: Like I was watching.
Salina: I was like, oh, God, this is really deep.
Salina: And I think it's right.
Salina: I think that's something that we circle here a lot through our extra sugars and the different segments we do is like, you got to be okay with what's sitting in the chair with you.
Salina: You got to be okay with yourself first.
Salina: And I think that is a lifelong journey and I think it's only going to get more reflective from here.
Salina: So cool.
Nikki: It cool.
Salina: It's really interesting that it's something Julia stood out to you from that segment because that is actually my second general observation, which is she makes a remark.
Salina: Suzanne, it's just human nature.
Salina: People love to see beautiful women get older.
Salina: Fat, how do you feel about this?
Salina: Nikki, did that stick with you at all?
Nikki: Yeah, I think there's a lot to that.
Nikki: I think it's human nature, just as humans.
Nikki: Thinking back to your dating segment, we have to do some processing of why people continue to put those books out.
Nikki: And they continue to put those books out because they continue to make money off of them.
Nikki: And why do they continue to make money off of them?
Nikki: Because people are enthralled by.
Salina: This idea.
Nikki: Of quick and easy and people are enthralled by this idea of drama.
Nikki: That news article you mentioned, it's so about dating in the last episode.
Nikki: Those quick and easy stats that are a little bit terrifying grab people's attention.
Nikki: The coverage of Delta Burke's weight gain grab people's attention because it's exploitive, it's interesting.
Nikki: It's like voyeuristic in a way.
Nikki: So that's one piece of it.
Nikki: That's all people I think that's all people.
Nikki: We're attracted to drama and intrigue and things like that.
Nikki: The other part of it, I think, is woman specific.
Nikki: I do think there's a part of every woman that wants we want other women to succeed, but every now and then there are certain women that we're like.
Nikki: It'd be okay if you gained a few lbs just so I could look at you and look at you differently.
Nikki: I think it goes back to what's bred into us, that there are only so many men, there are only so many opportunities.
Nikki: We can't all be successful.
Nikki: If we're all successful, I can't be successful.
Nikki: So I think that that's very true that a lot of people want to see someone beautiful and successful fall just a little bit because it makes themselves feel better.
Nikki: I'm not saying it's right and I'm not saying that's a part of life of myself and other people we should be proud of.
Nikki: But I think it's true and I think it's still true.
Salina: Yeah, well, it's so smart that they captured so much of this emotion.
Salina: Like the high school reunion part was just really smart and terrible.
Salina: I actually took this out of my general reactions, but it feels worth saying that it was really harsh at her reunion.
Nikki: Oh yeah, that whole scene was horrible.
Salina: It really tore me up.
Nikki: The part where the guy says, like, my wife was really intimidated to come today because she knew I used to date you, but then she saw you.
Salina: And everything's cool and he's just like a dumb dumb.
Salina: Like he didn't even mean to do that.
Nikki: Didn't mean to do that.
Salina: He stood up for her like 5 seconds later.
Salina: But the women in the bathroom, they were really into her.
Salina: Just get other people's name out of your mouth.
Salina: That would probably be a good start.
Salina: It really tore me up a little bit.
Salina: I do also think in terms of what Julia said, I think that people also I agree with you, it's totally like this fascination.
Salina: But I think it's also fear based because there's this fear.
Salina: It's almost like it's like a reset or something.
Salina: You see someone else, quote, unquote, go down or get worse or whatever it is.
Salina: And then it's like a reminder, like, keep it tight, keep it right, keep it good, keep it this, keep it that.
Salina: And I think it's like almost some kind of a weird driver.
Salina: So, other general reactions for you.
Nikki: So I think I figured out this is Suzanne's 15th reunion.
Nikki: I may have misstated that a minute ago, and I may have misstated it because my 20th high school reunion is coming up in May.
Salina: Ours for the same high school.
Nikki: That was a lot to process because in my mind, all of the designing women are still not the same age level as me.
Nikki: We are just not the same.
Salina: They're younger.
Salina: I know it's a lot.
Salina: Well, not all of them.
Salina: Julia's references are from 1919.
Salina: She know william Taft reference.
Nikki: It's probably her favorite president.
Salina: She was in the audience when he suggested three months of vacation.
Nikki: Poor Julia.
Salina: So the last thing that was really circling for me in terms of a general reaction is just that we just put so much emphasis on beauty in our culture and so much of women's value is wrapped up in their looks, even today.
Salina: I thought a lot about this while watching this one and just how exhausting it is.
Salina: Like, body hair alone is like a part time job.
Salina: We're like unpaid chemists trying to figure out skin and hair care routines.
Salina: What are we going to wear?
Salina: We don't have anything that looks good.
Salina: Have we gained a pound?
Salina: Have we lost a pound?
Salina: Is this or that sagging?
Salina: Where did that mole come from?
Salina: Some of these are age creeping in guys, but on and on and on and I was just tired.
Nikki: I think it's interesting you say that for two reasons.
Nikki: Reason one is I was literally thinking that this morning, getting ready to come record today, I worked out and I was like, at a minimum, I got a shower and in the shower shaving my legs.
Nikki: And then I got out and I did makeup.
Nikki: And then I put sweats, like, I'm wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt.
Nikki: And I was thinking, like, how much effort I went to to put on sweat clothes and feel mildly okay about myself.
Nikki: I got in my car literally thinking how unattractive I am today.
Nikki: And I went to all that effort to feel that way.
Nikki: And it really sucks.
Nikki: That really sucks.
Nikki: The second part of that, though, is how much of that is on other people and how much of that is on us.
Nikki: Because I myself am the one holding myself to that standard.
Nikki: No one's telling me otherwise.
Nikki: They may be, I guess, under the radar, but my husband tells me all the time, he's like, I don't know why you get so dressed up.
Nikki: Just to work.
Nikki: I don't know why you're putting makeup on.
Nikki: He says the women at his work he told me one point he didn't ever really think about it till I said something about how I feel like I have to get dressed up if I'm going to be on camera.
Nikki: He's like, I've never thought about it, but since you said that, I've been observing.
Nikki: I've never noticed.
Nikki: But these women now I notice are not wearing makeup, and I've never thought anything differently about them.
Nikki: That's a lot to piece apart and unpack.
Nikki: Is he progressive?
Nikki: Is it something unique to men?
Nikki: Is it women holding other women down?
Nikki: I don't know where it's coming from.
Salina: Or the culture of the place you work.
Salina: I don't know.
Salina: Would it be different if he had seen someone in a full face of makeup and then saw someone in no makeup?
Nikki: I don't know.
Salina: Maybe they get the thing that I got.
Salina: Are you sick, Salina?
Salina: No, I just don't have any makeup on.
Salina: But thank you for flagging that for me.
Nikki: I did.
Nikki: But I also think, though, it one I tell my kids this all the time.
Nikki: We just shouldn't comment on other people's bodies.
Nikki: Just in general, make that your operating procedure.
Nikki: Keep it in your head and then go home and tell your family about it if you have a really strong reaction.
Salina: Oh, good.
Salina: So we'll just skip extra sugar this week.
Nikki: Just think in general.
Nikki: I just think if you don't comment on people's bodies because what I think happens if you show up every day looking like a beauty queen and then the next day you don't, and I feel okay commenting about your body.
Nikki: That's the first observation I'm going to make.
Nikki: Because we're visual creatures.
Nikki: We notice those things.
Nikki: And so I feel almost like I'm being empathetic by trying to connect with you and say, are you okay?
Nikki: Because you look different.
Nikki: You're acting different.
Nikki: It's the same.
Nikki: If I showed up on days where I have showed up, I have days where I just am in a really bad mood.
Nikki: And it's obvious from square one, if you didn't ask me what was wrong, I almost might be a little miffed by that because I'm like, she didn't even notice I was different.
Nikki: She didn't even ask, like, what's going on?
Salina: Do you know what I mean?
Nikki: I think it's almost the same principle with your looks, with the added layers of our looks are very personal and we take them very personally.
Salina: Yeah, that's a good point about it being so personal, but it's, like, really personal.
Salina: But your insides are on the outside.
Salina: There's something to think about.
Nikki: Now I'm imagining my greatest intestine.
Salina: I didn't say, like, your buttholes on your forehead.
Nikki: It's just hanging outside my body.
Salina: That's what I heard.
Nikki: I mean, I really just am trying so, so hard, positive and negative, to not comment on people's bodies because it is so personal, and you never know what a person's trigger is going to be.
Salina: That's right.
Salina: Stop encroaching on my extra sugar.
Nikki: I'm done this whole episode.
Nikki: I have approached so carefully with what I am and am not saying just to make sure that I leave room.
Salina: For extra sugar, just yell at you.
Nikki: I like it.
Salina: And in return, I ask that you yell back.
Salina: So I just had one stray.
Salina: Which I think it feels very related to this conversation, but Mary Joe has a spiel, if you will, about how she's tired of everything going to the grocery store, standing in the checkout line, doing laundry, shaving her legs.
Salina: Yes, all of that.
Salina: I felt it in my bones, and I was wondering if you did too.
Nikki: It's my number one, like, it's something.
Nikki: So I've actually been really relieved today in recording that you haven't asked me, like, what's going on?
Nikki: What's up lately?
Nikki: That hasn't been our icebreaker, because it feels like my version of what's going on lately is everything Mary Joe said, everything I'm effing tired of doing.
Nikki: I am so tired of all of it.
Nikki: I'm just tired of all of it.
Nikki: And I would add washing my hair, emptying the dishwasher, and packing lunches for school.
Nikki: What would you add?
Salina: Wait, what was your first washing your hair?
Nikki: Washing my hair.
Salina: So don't do it.
Nikki: I don't and then I have to, because eventually you have to wash it.
Salina: And then it's worse.
Nikki: I don't know.
Nikki: It's just a lot.
Nikki: And I so carefully time when I wash my hair for all the reasons, and so then I start putting it off, and then it gets to a point where there's a point of no return.
Nikki: Like, it has to be washed, and it's like the day.
Nikki: I really don't want to do it, but emptying the dishwasher is the other one that's really gotten under my skin lately, because you do it in my house every day.
Salina: Oh, I bet.
Nikki: Every morning.
Nikki: Yeah, every single morning I do it.
Nikki: I'm tired of it.
Salina: I was trying to think.
Salina: I think the grocery store is a really bad one for me.
Salina: I just don't enjoy it.
Salina: And I feel like I would imagine.
Nikki: You do enjoy it.
Nikki: Like, looking through it's almost kind of a treat for me.
Nikki: I say this very gently.
Nikki: Kind of a treat.
Nikki: When I do actually walk through the grocery store, because I do everything through the app and then just pick it up.
Nikki: I'm not joking about that.
Nikki: But, like, once a week, I will be drugged into the grocery store, and I'm like, I didn't even know they had this here.
Salina: I feel very overwhelmed by it.
Salina: I'm like, why are there 18,000 kinds of I just need ketchup.
Salina: Why is this so challenging?
Nikki: And I love options.
Nikki: I love to see my options.
Salina: I get stuck.
Salina: Yeah, that's true.
Salina: When there's not enough options, too, I'm like, there's only twelve kinds of mustard.
Nikki: It's either twelve or 20 and nothing in between.
Salina: I can't be satisfied on routine stuff.
Salina: I think just like I am going through a period right now.
Salina: First of all, I have spring fever.
Salina: So that's bad because in my bones I should always be in Panama City the first week of April from high school spring break.
Salina: I can't even get to college spring break because I can't get off the high school spring break and that doesn't happen for me.
Salina: So it's like my body's like, what are you doing at your computer desk?
Salina: And then I think I just go through these periods where it feels like groundhog day.
Salina: I'll go to take my vitamins and I'm like, was that yesterday?
Salina: Was that today?
Salina: That is a terrible feeling.
Salina: It's no good.
Salina: We're going to have to bring it up.
Nikki: I know this is not going to bring it up.
Nikki: Actually, my last general reaction.
Nikki: Okay, don't mishear me.
Nikki: I thought the moment between Julia and Anthony at the beginning of the episode where they're both sharing their true feelings for one another, it was like beautiful.
Nikki: It was lovely.
Nikki: It was really wonderful.
Nikki: But did you think it was weirdly misplaced?
Salina: Not earned at all.
Nikki: Not earned at all.
Nikki: That's exactly what's in my notes is there was not enough of a sharp right hand turn at the end to make it, like, funny, to give you a funny payoff.
Nikki: It just was like a lot of feeling and a lot of emotion shoved into this one really unlikely moment.
Salina: A really oddly placed beat.
Nikki: That was it.
Salina: Because I like the lovey doveiness.
Salina: I want them to be like, yeah, Anthony is the best thing you all got going for you around here, so you better wise up.
Salina: That's part of me, but the other part of me is like, not within the first 2 minutes of the episode.
Nikki: That was weird.
Salina: All that said, it did make me think that we have a Salina sidebar on our hands.
Nikki: It's a sidebar.
Nikki: Salina sidebar.
Nikki: She's got a keyboard looking for a reward by digging deep in the obscure, taking us on a detour.
Nikki: What you got Salina in Salina sidebar.
Salina: So, Nikki yes, Salina.
Salina: I think we've already talked.
Salina: I believe we mentioned this.
Salina: The fasting like, b plot of this one, which is really because the entire b plot of this one is dedicated to what I think of as a very 80s style.
Salina: The more, you know, world hunger storyline.
Salina: Not that it's not an important topic.
Salina: It is, but it's also done in a way that's very of this era.
Salina: I think we've talked about this before when we've gotten these socially conscious storylines where it is very challenging to just knock some data points in there and make sure that people get all the walkaways that they need.
Salina: I think it's a tall order and it is successfully.
Salina: Done to varying degrees.
Salina: But towards the end of the episode, we're also briefly introduced to Derek, and he's a little boy from Ethiopia whose family died during a famine, and now he travels around with this, I'm assuming, fictitious organization, operation World Hunger, to tell his story and raise awareness.
Salina: It's incredibly admirable.
Salina: I mean, talk about pull up the heartstrings.
Salina: Every time I watch that scene, I cried a little bit, especially with the interaction between him and Suzanne.
Salina: I have thoughts on how I think these plotlines work together, and we'll get there, but it's doing the job.
Salina: It's supposed to make you feel emotional, and at least it is for me.
Salina: It's totally working on me every time.
Salina: Okay, but in case you're wondering, derek is not a little boy from Ethiopia.
Salina: He is Brad Butcher, and he was a little boy from Jamaica.
Salina: IMDb tells me he is an actor and a composer.
Salina: And I only mentioned this because I thought it would be kind of interesting if they pulled in someone who was doing this kind of work in real life, but they didn't.
Salina: Maybe that would just be too much.
Salina: I don't know.
Salina: So they dropped some numbers on us as well.
Salina: 40,000 children were dying daily from malnutrition, or every 72 hours, the same number of people would die of starvation as were killed by the Hiroshima atomic bomb or two atomic bombs a week.
Salina: That was some really weird social math, to be honest.
Nikki: Here's one depressing thing, and here's another one.
Salina: I'm like, aren't we supposed to say, like, people in a soccer stadium?
Salina: Anyways, but what about today?
Salina: So first, I just want you just.
Nikki: Need I'm sorry, to go back to your stats.
Nikki: They wanted you to know how depressed to be, right?
Nikki: So, like, you were depressed about this thing.
Nikki: You want to be twice as depressed about that, right?
Salina: Yeah, I think that's a very good point.
Salina: So just a really quick little reminder about what malnutrition is.
Salina: That can mean, like, the underweight side of things, or it can also mean the overweight side of things.
Salina: And I'm saying that because there's not a prettier way to put it.
Salina: But the starving Children ads that were so pervasive when we were younger and growing up, I think it's caused some confusion.
Salina: So you see those little babies, and they have, like, the distended tummies but real skinny arms.
Salina: That's a different type of malnutrition.
Salina: But if you don't have the right nutrients and you have some kind of deficiency or you have an excess of micronutrients, whatever the case is, that's all bad.
Salina: You really just want the right infection.
Salina: You just want to be perfect.
Salina: So according to who?
Salina: So that you can come in these different forms again, of under nutrition, micronutrient deficiencies or micronutrient excess.
Salina: So while I couldn't find an apples to apples comparison for the numbers that they shared in the episode, I did find some stats that feel really relevant and important.
Salina: So according to a UN report released last year, global hunger rose to as many as 828,000,000 in 2021.
Salina: That's about 10% of people globally are one in ten.
Salina: And then I get the sense that we had been making a lot of progress to eliminate hunger and malnutrition, but we're losing that ground.
Salina: And the number of undernourished people grew by as many as 150,000,000 from 2019 to 2022.
Salina: This was largely driven by conflict, climate change, and I'm sure what you're probably thinking about, which was the pandemic.
Salina: So in January, actually, the UN called for urgent action to protect the most vulnerable children in the 15 hardest hit countries from what they called an unprecedented food and nutrition crisis.
Salina: That's 30 million children who are suffering from acute malnutrition, 8 million are experiencing the deadliest form of undernutrition.
Salina: It's a type of wasting where your weight is too low for your height, and it's about twelve times deadlier than just typical wasting.
Salina: So according to UNICEF, about 3.1 million children die each year globally from under nutrition.
Salina: So again, I'm going to do some math here, okay?
Salina: I know every time I say it, but you could do that math and compare it with the numbers in 1989 to say generally, are we better off, are we worse off?
Salina: And if you did that, the current number would be about 8500 a day.
Salina: Are dying.
Salina: That's terrible, do not get me wrong.
Salina: But that's also about a fourth of the numbers that they shared, which was the 40,000.
Salina: Okay, so maybe there's an argument in there that there's been some progress, but I'm saying take that with a grain of salt because I don't know what all the nuances are of the numbers and why those two might not be comparable at all.
Salina: And the last thing I want to do is bring it.
Salina: Well, I think down, but maybe further down than where we've already know that from.
Salina: Hey, I didn't make this episode.
Nikki: It gets any more down than babies dying.
Salina: Well, I meant from the top of the episode.
Salina: We also sad place, but this isn't an easy thing to transition into and out of.
Salina: But I do just want to make sure that it's clear that this is not a throwaway reference.
Salina: This is still a problem today and I certainly didn't want to breeze past that.
Salina: The good news is that there are things that we can do, like you can donate and we'll link to some charities in case you're feeling compelled to take action.
Salina: And I did try and find ones that felt ethical and not like you were getting caught up in some kind of scheme.
Salina: So in my worst transition today, nikki, what did you like about this episode?
Nikki: Well, I already covered Mary Joe's rants about everything she's tired of.
Nikki: I really, really identified with that and enjoyed it.
Nikki: And again, this gets into where I was trying to carefully choose my remarks.
Nikki: So I don't step on extra sugar and I don't infringe on anything we're going to talk about there.
Nikki: But I do want to say that I really appreciated the brief conversation about big and beautiful type stores.
Nikki: I think those kind of went out of fashion at some point where they were literally called big and beautiful and they replaced them with things like Lane Bryant or Torrent.
Nikki: So I appreciated the conversation, but it led me to wonder this entire concept of stores catering toward a certain size person or a certain size clothing, I can't decide.
Nikki: Is that a good thing or a bad thing or a little bit of both?
Nikki: So, like, is that more comfortable for some women?
Nikki: So is it comfortable to know that that store is catering just to me and people like me?
Salina: You mean like separating women out from men and being like, don't worry, we gave you your own place over here.
Nikki: Separate but equal.
Salina: Yeah, there's a whole history there too.
Nikki: Yeah, but that concept yeah, and that's what I was struggling with.
Nikki: And then I wonder, is it a practical business?
Nikki: I think what confused me was for Suzanne, it felt hurtful.
Nikki: It felt like it really hurt her for them to see these unique stores and say, like, this is for you.
Nikki: But surely there are some women somewhere that find that inclusivity helpful for me if I just want to go to a regular store with everyone else, buy my clothes.
Nikki: But I must imagine these stores persist because it is helpful for some women.
Nikki: I don't know.
Nikki: I appreciated the conversation.
Nikki: I appreciated that they were willing to have it.
Nikki: It just left me with so many questions.
Salina: So first of all, in case you are holding anything back, I don't talk about clothes at all.
Salina: Extra sugar.
Salina: Actually, I did a hill turn from some of the things that we talked about.
Salina: So don't feel like you're going to step on anything there.
Salina: I think that's a really good point.
Salina: I mean, they do something similar with petites, but they don't have whole standalone stores.
Nikki: And I think the whole thing is just like, could we all just shop at the same places?
Salina: It's a weird concept, but I would.
Nikki: Love to know are there some women?
Nikki: Because what I don't want to do is, in my personal preference, take something away from someone where they're like I like the comfort of going to a store where I'm surrounded by people like me.
Salina: I think there's probably an argument that way too.
Salina: I think something that was kind of going through my head while I'm listening to you is this idea that, oh, dear God, everybody feels different.
Salina: What I don't know is, was there concept testing?
Salina: We don't know.
Salina: I mean, someone probably knows and someone had done their extra sugar on that.
Salina: They might have been able to figure that out.
Salina: They didn't.
Salina: But yeah, I think it's definitely an interesting point that that raises.
Salina: And that whole scene was a little weird for me just because it was in the guise of them trying to be helpful.
Nikki: But was it helpful?
Nikki: That was my last thing I wanted to mention that I liked.
Salina: I like the runner around Mary Joe and Julia's charitable fasting only because, like, the part where she mary Joe tries to get away with eating sugarless gum.
Salina: And she asked Julia like, does this count?
Salina: And she's like, you can't eat that gum.
Salina: And then she told her she was going to smell her breath when she got back.
Salina: And they're like, really tired from it.
Salina: And she drops her head on the desk and she's like, B****.
Nikki: I knew you would like that.
Salina: You know, it's a whole scene.
Nikki: Also, and this is what I wonder, was this part of the creative thinking behind the episode or did it miss the mark for itself?
Nikki: So, like a fast, if the whole point is that you're just trying to get to the end so you can eat ice cream, did you learn anything?
Nikki: Did you raise any awareness?
Nikki: Did you do anything that means anything?
Salina: I have thoughts on how well I think this played out versus what the idea was.
Salina: The other thing that I liked was just that whole Suzanne and Julia scene.
Salina: I think that was the best, strongest scene of the whole episode.
Salina: And I just think that Delta Burke's delivery there, it had a lot of depth.
Salina: It had so much soul.
Salina: And I also think that Julia had the right amount of the right amount of empathy and the right words in this scene, where maybe that wasn't the case in some of the other places.
Salina: Let's talk about what we didn't like.
Nikki: So I have two things, but they're sort of interrelated.
Nikki: So in general, I didn't like the way the women approached Suzanne about her weight gain.
Nikki: I appreciated where it was coming from, them not wanting her to get her feelings hurt.
Nikki: But it was just insensitive.
Nikki: And to put a finer point on that is my second point, which is Mary Joe's comments about the dresses.
Nikki: When she showed them all the dresses, she was retelling this story from Big and Beautiful magazine.
Nikki: Like a terrible name, if you ask me personally.
Nikki: But she calls the woman a great big woman and then tells a whole story about a bigger woman versus a skinnier woman in the context of like, you'd like that, Suzanne, like the great big woman comes out on top over the skinny woman or something.
Nikki: And she's like, you would get that, right?
Nikki: So it's like the presumption being one.
Nikki: Of course, that the base of it is like a competition between women.
Nikki: But then two, pointing to Susanna as the great big woman and coming from someone as petite and tiny as Mary.
Salina: Joe, sometimes it's better just to shut your mouth.
Nikki: Don't comment on people's bodies.
Salina: Yeah, just shut it up.
Nikki: Don't say anything.
Nikki: That whole everything about it.
Nikki: As someone who has struggled with weight, whether self perceived or just better health wise, it's been a struggle for me through my life, and it's been a struggle just the women around me.
Nikki: And so every single thing that was said by those two women, those two women being Mary Joe and Julia, hit my ear in such an uncomfortable way.
Nikki: And if I put myself in Suzanne's shoes, nothing they were saying made me feel better about myself.
Salina: So I agree.
Salina: I don't think it came off right.
Salina: There's a couple of things I wonder, when LVT wrote this, did she want it to come off insensitive, or was this her, like, was she genuinely trying to write them as sensitive?
Salina: That's what I can't tell right there's no way to know, really, unless she wants to tell us.
Salina: I think the other thing that struck me as I was watching this one is, okay, so Julia is, on the face of it, trying to help and prepare Suzanne.
Salina: Like, these people haven't seen you in a long time.
Salina: I don't want you to get your feelings hurt.
Salina: When Suzanne I wouldn't say she doesn't blow her off.
Salina: She's just like, I'll dress around it.
Salina: It's fine.
Salina: It's not that big of a deal.
Salina: It felt like Julia switched from caring to just wanting to be right after she says that she'll dress around it, she says, well, you've gained weight in your face, too.
Salina: What are you doing?
Salina: This is not a place where you need to be mean, correct?
Salina: This is a place where maybe you could be a little sensitive.
Salina: So it just came off really badly.
Salina: So I think it's fair to say that this scene did not strike a good chord with either one of us.
Nikki: I would so much rather other people hurt your feelings than me hurt your feelings by trying to save your feelings from other people.
Nikki: Do you know what I mean?
Nikki: And so as a person, I was just like, I would have just probably tried to do everything I could to get her to not go, because it just seems like it's probably not going to be a great situation.
Nikki: But I probably almost never would have even said anything about her weight.
Nikki: That would never have even occurred to me to bring up or just, like.
Salina: Absolutely steer her towards the very best outfit.
Salina: Really concentrate on it from and just be honest about whether or not something looked good or not, which I think it started there, and then it just kind of went downhill.
Salina: So I think my last dislike is that I just didn't not necessarily love these two plotlines together.
Salina: That is what Suzanne is going through.
Salina: Paired with the world hunger part, I think I get what they're aiming for, which is a way to maybe jolt Suzanne out of her first world problems by exposing her to a quote unquote real problem.
Salina: And I think the idea behind it is admirable, but I also think it's misguided because the thing is famine and death, these are things that are beyond tragic and devastating.
Salina: There's not even the right words to describe how terrible that is.
Salina: But put up against each other and what Suzanne's going through, it makes Suzanne's issues seem comparably frivolous, and I don't think that's what they were really intending.
Salina: And if it was, then it's just a total misfire for me because there's two different issues, especially when you take into account the things that were going on in real life.
Salina: Did you have anything else in this category?
Salina: You want to rate this one?
Nikki: I do.
Salina: I feel like I'm going to talk up here.
Salina: I'm going to bring it back up.
Nikki: Well, I do.
Nikki: I don't have a rating scale this week.
Nikki: I'm realizing right now I have one.
Salina: I think you're going to have to bleep me, though.
Nikki: Oh, no, I don't have a bleep button.
Salina: I'll bleep myself.
Salina: Okay, so I'll just go ahead and just I'll give you the whole no.
Nikki: I want to bleep you, but I don't know if I'll be able to predict it.
Salina: All right.
Salina: So I gave it four and a half out of five blank that peaked in high school.
Salina: So don't worry about the thing about the rating skill.
Salina: Just tell us what worked for you or what didn't or what your score was.
Nikki: I can tell you my score yeah.
Nikki: I can tell you my score is.
Nikki: 4.25 is what I'm going to give it.
Nikki: I changed it.
Nikki: This episode was really challenging for me because I wanted to love it.
Nikki: I really wanted this to be, like, a game changer for me because of what you said sort of toward the top of the episode about just like how on it Delta Burke was, how her delivery but by the time we got to that point.
Nikki: I had so many cards stacked against me on this episode that it was really hard to watch that and be like, in it and really appreciating it because Julia and Mary Joe had been such aholes to her, in my opinion, to that point.
Nikki: And then they showed up to support her.
Nikki: But really, in my head, all I could think is that they're sitting there thinking about how much weight she's gained since high school and how lucky she is to have supportive friends like them who support her no matter how much weight she's gained.
Nikki: And that was really hard for me to watch.
Nikki: And then the world hunger plotline felt very the more, you know, in a way the show doesn't usually do, and they usually present things in such a beautiful way that I like that I walk away from it thinking, god, I just learned so much and I didn't even realize it.
Nikki: And this felt so, like, tacked in.
Salina: And whatever can I raise that maybe where she shined the most is with women's issues.
Nikki: That's a good point.
Salina: Although I think, like, if we go back to the HIV episode, that was another shiner, but it also correlated to something that happened to her, super personal to her in real life.
Nikki: So she just never dealt with weight issues.
Salina: Well, I mean, and I'm thinking about the world hunger issue too.
Salina: That was the most the more you know, and I just wonder if that's just like one of those things like you care and you know, it's a big deal, but you don't have any real understanding of it.
Salina: I know for sure I don't have real understanding of starvation, you know?
Nikki: So well, apparently just passed for 24 hours and then, you'll know 48.
Salina: I think I gave this one a four and a half just because I think Delta's performance is so good in those really shining moments.
Salina: And I've already talked about what doesn't work for this one for me.
Salina: Want to talk about some 80s or other dated references?
Nikki: I feel like I should have something here, but I don't.
Salina: Just the b plot of this episode was very eighty s to me.
Salina: And I did also want to note something.
Salina: I didn't note my sidebar because it felt like we're talking about global hunger, but the kid who comes in is from Ethiopia.
Salina: And I do think this is just very of that time.
Salina: It was something that was a current event that was going on.
Salina: Now this is a couple of years later.
Salina: So I don't know if there was like that's also why, I'm not sure.
Salina: I just imagine the aftermath of a really bad famine stuck around for a long time.
Salina: But the famine that struck Ethiopia was there's been several, but the one that was like the real game changer was from 83 to 85.
Salina: It was the worst famine to hit the country in a century, affecting almost 8 million people.
Salina: Somewhere between 300,001.2 million died and 2.5 million people were displaced.
Salina: There were 400,000 refugees that left the country and almost 200,000 children were orphaned.
Salina: This was just like the whole world gained consciousness about these issues, like at the same time, because people hadn't seen it.
Salina: And in 84, I think the BBC goes and captures some of it on the news and then it's like all at once, everywhere on the world, they're confronted with it in a way they have not been confronted with it before.
Salina: So I do think it was like a real seminal moment.
Salina: Southern things.
Nikki: The only thing I had was Lennox Square Mall, which was the recommendation for Mary Joe to Suzanne for finding a dress, and that's a mall in the Buckhead area of Atlanta.
Salina: And I will go ahead and plug your extra sugar from that episode where you talked about malls.
Salina: That's in season three, episode 13, even more beautiful and braille you guys think we planned this, but we didn't.
Salina: And I just want to say that in an episode, this one that's been very heavy.
Salina: If you would like something a little lighter, go and learn about Orange Julius.
Nikki: Thanks, Liam.
Salina: What else did you have?
Salina: Okay, you probably already said that, and I'm so sorry.
Salina: So that outside shot at the reunion, I was wondering if that's a real place in Atlanta.
Salina: Do you remember what it looked like or not?
Salina: All right, well, I was thinking maybe it's a Georgian terrace, but I'm not sure.
Salina: My very last reference is one that I would like to go ahead and allot an extra sugar for in the future.
Salina: They mention a place called Jellies.
Salina: I don't know if you looked into Jellies or not.
Salina: This is when they're done with their fast.
Salina: And they're like, oh, I did.
Nikki: I didn't find anything.
Salina: I did.
Salina: It is a real place, which I think was kind of a big moment for you and me, whether you know it or not, because so many of the restaurant references that we get are fake.
Salina: They're like, not real places.
Nikki: I probably took like 2 seconds to look for it, didn't find it.
Nikki: I was like another fake one.
Salina: I don't know why I was being so stubborn.
Salina: I guess I do it's me.
Salina: But this one, it's big and juicy, like the ribs that they apparently served and so juicy, so much tea.
Salina: It really has to have its own extra sugar.
Salina: That's all I'll say.
Salina: It is an incredible story.
Salina: I'm super excited.
Nikki: Oh, gosh.
Salina: So I'll tell you about it off Mike.
Salina: And the rest of you will just have to come back.
Nikki: We're never going to have another opportunity.
Salina: What do you mean?
Salina: We absolutely will.
Salina: We will make the time.
Salina: Might even be its own episode.
Salina: I don't know.
Salina: So references that we need to talk about.
Nikki: Kind of largely unhelpful this week.
Salina: You are so helpful.
Salina: Every week I'll just say Liz Taylor gets a mention.
Salina: You guys know who Elizabeth Taylor is and all that.
Salina: The reason I'm bringing up is it also feels like it's a nice like we're starting to transition into the extra sugar.
Salina: So in the middle of the fourth season, the season that we're in right now, burke was at one of her lowest points, and she was really getting like she was having bad panic attacks.
Salina: There was a lot going on.
Salina: She got a handwritten note, and it was this and this is a quote.
Salina: This beautiful lavender colored stationery was hand delivered to Delta.
Salina: And it was this wonderful personal note from Liz Taylor saying, I know what you're going through.
Salina: Hang in there.
Salina: I think you're gorgeous.
Salina: And I think it was Gene Smart that actually told this story in an article at some point.
Salina: And she went on to say, gene, are you sure you're not Southern?
Salina: She went on to say, Delta was just tickled to death and I just can only picture her saying it in a Southern accent even though she's from, like, Oregon.
Salina: So that was my last reference and my only reference.
Nikki: Okay, so next episode, season four, episode twelve, you got to have friends.
Nikki: We'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage Instagram and Facebook at sweettv.
Nikki: Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and our website is www.sweettv.com.
Nikki: There are also several ways to support the show.
Nikki: You can tell your family and friends about us, rate in or review the podcast wherever you listen.
Nikki: And then we have additional ways to support the show on our website from the Support US page.
Nikki: So, extra sugar this week.
Salina: What are we going to do?
Nikki: Because it's not anything I thought it.
Salina: Was going to be.
Salina: Well, we're still going to be in the vein of what we had discussed, so we're going to talk about fat shaming, body shaming, and ways to combat it, as well as what was going on behind the scenes that led to this episode in the first place.
Salina: And if anybody has like a good name for that, let me know.
Nikki: Fat shaming, et cetera.
Salina: Body blah.
Nikki: All the shame.
Salina: Yeah, you'll love it.
Salina: All right.
Salina: And you know what that means?
Salina: Nikki what does it mean?
Salina: Salina it means that somebody better come up with a name for this and we'll see you around the bend.