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 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.
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
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
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."
The Barbie image
Do you think that the Barbie Doll image effects girls in a negative way?
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