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Suzanne and Her Battles With Barbie

A wonderful caring and determined soul.

Back in the mid 90s, my sister Ann and I had a small music publishing company in Nashville. We went to a night spot called, Douglas Corner to hear a songwriter perform. Her name was Suzanne Jusst. Ann had talked with Suzanne after the show and asked her to stop by the office before she left town. Suzanne was moving back to Idaho along with her daughters, Caitlin and Beth for personal reasons.

Suzanne signed her songs to our BMI affiliate company and our journey with her began. I found out that she had been signed to a major publisher in town. I don't know exactly what went down but there was sexual harassment involved. It had to do with one of the top staff writers signed there. He had pretty much told her that she had to, "Lay to play." Suzanne, being a very strong willed woman gave him more than what for!

I spent many late night hours on the phone with Suzanne. We began working on a project concerning eating disorders. Suzanne was recovering from bulimia. She had written a song called,"Barbie Dolls." From talking with her, I could tell that she was hurt deeply by the expected and promoted image of women. She was a very pretty woman and wonderfully talented writer.

Suzanne sent me a bulk of her albums and I started sending them out to TV, radio and anyone I thought would listen. She did shows and radio interviews. A man whose daughter was suffering from Anorexia Nervosa donated a new computer to Suzanne. Suzanne stated a therapy group and had young women attending. One of the young women weighed close to 70 pounds and her esophagus was almost eaten away from stomach acids.

A picture Suzanne sent to me of herself and one her two daughters.

suzanne-and-her-battles-with-barbie

Suzanne had started the Angel Bug Help Foundation. She had posted on her website, contacts for people to get help. She had set up a toll free number and gathered massive amounts of information to get the word out and help.

We had gotten a few radio stations to play her Album and she had a few stories in news papers. Suzanne knew it was an extremely up hill battle to fight the media image of women. I remember times that I could tell she was crying from her shaking voice over the phone. The women with eating disorders seemed to gather in her heart and talk through her.

She kept hitting the brick wall of big business and many times was like a little girl trying to sweep away tears in an ocean. I always admired her courage and her persistent efforts towards making a difference. We mailed her album to The Folk Alliance but a response never came. We even contacted Oprah and Dr. Phil.

Suzanne passed away a few years ago from cancer. I can still hear her voice when I think of her. She last talked with my sister, Ann and wanted us to continue handling her publishing.

Suzanne is one of the many wonderful people I have known and worked with. I miss her.


To hear the song.

  • Barbie Dolls
    A song about a young woman's struggle to stay thin and the results of it.

Barbie Dolls

My name is Sarah Anderson, you've seen me around
I'm the girl next door in every hometown
I am only 15 years, five feet eight inches tall
And what I want the most in life's to be a Barbie Doll

I never eat my breakfast, diet soda is my lunch
Pretend to eat at dinner time so's not to cause a fuss
It's worth each bit of sacrifice, heads turn at the mall
To under eat and over-exercise, become a Barbie Doll

CHS.
A Barbie Doll, a little plastic blond bombshell
Oh, Barbie Doll, somehow I fell under your spell
Whatever disorder is eating me, is self-defeating me
I don't really care at all
What I want the most in life's to be a Barbie Doll

VS.
The beauty queens are pencil thin on fashion magazines
They're skin and bones on TV and the silver screen
It's not only me who sees, it's getting to us all
Boys only want to play with pretty Barbie Dolls

My name is Sarah Anderson, now I'm thirty-five
The battle isn't over, it's a wonder I'm alive
Too much time's been wasted, it makes me feel so small
Twenty years of dyin' to be a Barbie Doll
Twenty years of dyin', tryin' to be a Barbie Doll

Artwork I had done for Suzanne. I had sent her a few paintings to be auctioned. The TV screen in the mouth of the snake dispays the words, "Slim."

suzanne-and-her-battles-with-barbie

The Barbie image

  • The Signs And Symptoms of Eating Disorders
    As many as ten million women and one million men are fighting a life-and-death battle with anorexia or bulimia every day. One out of every four anorexics will die of complications from her disease. Yet, the amount of misinformation about eating disor
  • Books About Eating Disorders
    There are many books on eating disorders: dozens of true-life narratives, hundreds of workbooks, thousands of essays. These are my favorites, those that provided the most insight for me, and provide a cross-section of the types of literature availabl
  • Songs About Eating Disorders
    Songs about eating disorders from Filter, Silverchair, Alanis Morissette, Saves the Day, and Manic Street Preachers.

Another artwork I'd done for Suzanne.

suzanne-and-her-battles-with-barbie

Comments

Beth on July 19, 2012:

I remember when you would call. She was always happy when we'd tell her it was you on the phone. My email is bribuns.bs@gmail.com.

Tom Cornett (author) from Ohio on July 18, 2012:

Thank you Beth. Yes...she was an incredible woman. We spent many, many hours talking on the phone. I miss talking to her. I will always think of her and smile. I still try to promote her music when I get the chance. Can you send me some contact information? Just in case. My email is tomcor55@yahoo.com

So good to hear from you.

Tom

Beth Sluder on July 18, 2012:

Suzanne was my mother, and an incredible woman. It's comforting to know other people still think of her. Great article Tom.

Tom Cornett (author) from Ohio on April 15, 2010:

sheila......thanks so much.

ladyjane.....very true...society is responsible...I've always thought that voluptuous women were more attractive and definitely look healthier. Thanks.

ladyjane1 from Texas on April 15, 2010:

Very touching story, Im sorry about your friend. Society as a whole I believe is responsible for how woman sometimes feel about themselves. They pound it in the heads of young girls that they need to look like movie stars and fashion models. What they should know is most of these fashion models are fighting with bulimia and anorexia. Some look like a live skeletons with a lovely dress on. Also all those pictures in magazines are all touched up and no one really looks like that and I don't know why anyone would want to. Thats my two cents for what its worth. cheers.

sheila b. on April 14, 2010:

This was a very touching story, and I enjoyed the song.

Tom Cornett (author) from Ohio on April 14, 2010:

Janny...LOL..Plumpy Barbie....thanks. :)

JannyC on April 14, 2010:

Great hub with great message. I loved barbie...I used to stuff tissues under her clothes to make her more plump go figure.

Tom Cornett (author) from Ohio on April 14, 2010:

Hi Candie...thanks...there is a good side to all things. My sister, Velvet had Barbies too. I think she must have had a "Hell Raising Barbie." Big hug! :)

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on April 13, 2010:

You know, to me she is like a pebble dropped in a pond.. the ripples out from her will change a lot of lives, thank you for furthering her cause!

I had a lot of Barbies, and I didn't know I didn't look like her. What my Barbies had that I didn't was courage and personal strength - I could say anything I felt, discuss things I was going thru.. if it were Barbie saying it. Never me.

Tom Cornett (author) from Ohio on April 13, 2010:

Thanks Tom....It is tough to listen to at times. She was a dear friend and fellow songwriter.

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on April 13, 2010:

Tom,

The song and her performance is very good. It's tough to listen to knowing the back story and I imagine it's tougher for you.

Tom Cornett (author) from Ohio on April 13, 2010:

Thanks Pop....it is effecting some young men too. There are a lot of great hubs about eating disorders right here on Hubpages.

breakfastpop on April 13, 2010:

Terrific hub about a very sad battle that many young women and some young men face. Her song is very moving and important.

Tom Cornett (author) from Ohio on April 13, 2010:

Thanks Tom...one of those days huh....grins....good cluck! :)

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on April 13, 2010:

Tom,

Great hub and a very touching story. I will listen to her music later. I'm running around like a headless chicken.

Tom Cornett (author) from Ohio on April 13, 2010:

greatAmerican....cool story....yes...beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Thanks. :)

greatAmerican on April 13, 2010:

Maybe we put too much into our definition of beauty,

let me explain with this story from my past.

it was 1978 and I was visiting Roswell NM, it was a great

moonlit night and I went for a ride in the desert, Lo and Behold I was stopped by a flying saucer, it was not voluntary, the car just stopped dead and I was beamed up to the strange craft.. Well we were getting acquainted and for some reason these aliens spoke perfect English, I decided to share a photo of my wife from the past, she was a looker, and I could detect a frown from the faces of these

rather ugly green men, at least that is what I thought, so

I asked how they could frown on such a lovely creature and they laughed, it only made me angry so I said OK, show me

what your women look like!! They laughed again and proceeded to point to themselves! Well these ugly green

things only proved, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder!

Tom Cornett (author) from Ohio on April 13, 2010:

singlemom....thank you....Suzanne use to say,"I wish they would have an inner beauty pageant...just once."

singlmomat52 on April 13, 2010:

Excellent Hub and a subject not touched on often enough. I myself have been overweight for many years but have lost 65 pounds in the last 15 months. I have lost it in a healthy way. I will never look like Barbie but many strive for this fantasy look. It is a very sad disease affecting many more than we know. Thank you for sharing. Very sorry about the loss of your dear friend.

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