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2012 Presidential Cookie Bake-Off

Family Circle Magazine’s Presidential Cookie Bake-Off, which traditionally pits the cookie recipe of the current First Lady against that of the First Lady Hopeful, first occurred in 1992 and has now spanned six elections. What began as PR damage control for Hillary Clinton before the 1992 election (after she was accused of being out of touch with stay-at-home, cookie-baking women), has, oddly, become a rather prophetic indicator of the likely outcome of presidential elections. With the exception of Cindy McCain, every winner of the bake-off has gone on to the White House.

Not only does the outcome of the contest itself seem to (sometimes) predict that of the election, but one may even be able to predict the outcome of the bake-off itself based on one little factor: whether either recipe contains oats. According to Slate.com, trend analysis of the bake-off’s previous winning recipes has revealed that oat-containing recipes have consistently beat-out their non-oat-containing counterparts. From Cindy McCain’s oatmeal-butterscotch cookies to Laura Bush’s oatmeal chocolate chunks, this continues to ring true. So, if A+B=C, then do oats win presidential elections?

But cookie batter isn’t the only thing this contest stirs up – it also yields plenty of controversy. Many feel that the contest is outdated (and has been since its inception), and that it reduces some of the most politically powerful and influential women in the country to recipe-swapping, 1950s stereotypes. The flip side of that, of course, is that if the contest were to be canceled, it could be seen as a slap in the face to women who choose to work in the home and/or might imply that women who do have careers don’t also make time for their families. It’s pretty treacherous ground any way you slice it.

Additionally, in these health and weight-conscious times, some wonder whether promoting the baking of cookies that contain plenty of sugar and trans fats, in addition to oats, sends the wrong message. But both Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Romney make it pretty clear in their descriptions of their recipes that their cookies are used only as special treats, not daily staples. Like Cookie Monster now says, cookies are a “sometimes food.”

So, sexism and sugar aside, Will Ann Romney‘s oat-containing M&M recipe beat outMichele Obama‘s white and dark chocolate chip recipe? If it does, will Mrs. Obama pull a second upset and land in the White House anyway? Only time and voters (of both the bake-off and election varieties) will tell. If you are interested in whipping up a batch of presidential cookies, or want to vote, click here.

Happy Now? Gabby Douglas’ hair is styled.

by: kurleebelle.blogspot.com Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Gabriel “Gabby” Douglas is the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the individual all-around gymnastics competition and the first American gymnast to win the gold in a team and all-around competitions.

What more do you want from her?

It is shameful that many people in the African American community have overshadowed Gabby’s success by criticizing her hair. Yes, she was on television for the entire world to see, but people there is more to life than hair and there is definitely more to life than appearances. All this chatter around “Gabby Douglas gotta do something with this hair! These clips and this brown gel residue aint it” and “Gabby Douglas needs to tame the beady beads in the back of her hair.” is unnecessary and just highlights how shallow and superficial many of us are.

How about focusing more on fitness than hair. There are thousands of African Americans suffering from illnesses brought on my poor diets and lack of exercise. Many women are constricted by their hair refusing to swim or exercise because of the effect it may have on their hair. What were you doing when Gabby was practicing for the Olympics? Sitting on the couch eating a bag of Cheetos, while looking up the latest natural hair YouTube video? Your hair looks great, but your dying from poor lifestyle choices? You don’t want to exercise because you don’t want to sweat out your perm or wear a headscarf to the gym?Would you prefer to be in shape like Gabby Douglas or have a killer blow out or twist out?

For decades we have forgone extracurricular activities like swimming, camping and hiking because we just can’t get our hair messed up. Although many of us have joined #teamnatural, we still have a defeatist attitude where what we do is controlled by our hair. If Gabby were like the average woman she may not have won two gold metals because she would be too concerned that all that flipping, jumping and sweating may interfere with her hair. Many Olympic female athletes wear their hair in ponytails with clips. Why are we only focusing on Gabby?

We praise those crazy Basketball Wives and Love & Hip Hop reality stars because they wear Louboutins with weaves down to their backsides-paid for by laying on their back. But we criticize a woman who is magnificent and made her country proud because of her passion for a sport? Not every woman is going to be a glamour girl, we just need to accept that. It is OK to be who you are, flaws and all. Let’s stop all this negativity and give Gabby the praise and recognition she deserves.

In the words of Gabby: “What’s wrong with my hair? I’m like, ‘I just made history and people are focused on my hair?’ It can be bald or short; it doesn’t matter about [my] hair.”

Come on Ladies it’s just hair.