Tuesday, September 29, 2009

State Department snafu, just in time for Halloween

Photo that the State Department released against the wishes of the Spanish government

Facebook pages have sprung up in support of the two teen-age daughters of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the president of Spain.
Some people began ridiculing the teen-agers, calling them fat and making fun of their goth clothing, after the State Department released a photo of them with their parents, and Barack and Michelle Obama.
The Spanish government had been shielding Laura, 15, and Alba, 13, from public view to protect them and had prohibited any photos of them from being released. But then the State Department published the family photo on its Flickr site, letting the cat, well, the daughters, out of the bag.
U.S. officials quickly removed the photo, but it already been copied and it now circulates freely on the Internet. Some people have altered the photo, adding their Addams Family touches.
Expect to see some people dressed up as Laura and Alba for Halloween.

One of the many altered versions of the photo now circulating on the Internet

I can see some humor in the whole episode, but I feel sorry for the daughters, who are now being exposed to needless ridicule.
I agree with WHYashamed, who left this comment on digg.com:
this is the one and only picture ever taken of Zapatero president daughters, whose parents always have protected them from the cruel wildness of the Spanish yellow press
On the radio and tv, on newspapers, on the internet, you can hear adults calling them: “ugly” “fat” “monsters” “they should have been aborted” and many other worse things...
These girls are guilty of being honest, guilty of ignoring the slavery of official beauty standards/elegance protocols...
Their parents just like them the way they are and dont make them wear "fashionable" clothes they would feel uncomfortable in.
Why must we dress "for the occasion" if we don't want to be bullied?
And most importantly, should we allow the public media to mock, demean and insult our children?
A photo illustration found on a Facebook page

I haven't seen any statements from the girls' parents. According to one biography:
Zapatero's wife, Sonsoles Espinosa, maintains a low profile and rarely appears by his side. She is a voice teacher and shuns the political spotlight.
One of the daughters' supporters said they wanted their picture taken with Barack Obama because they admire him.
The Spanish president gets along with Obama, but was not a Bush supporter. Complaining about the Spanish government in 2004, he said:
This government doesn't serve Spaniards anymore, it only serves the interests of Bush.

No comments:

Post a Comment