April 29, 2013

Cheers and Jeers: April 29, 2013


---- — CHEERS to high-school clubs, advisers and members who perform community-service projects and volunteer work. A couple of weeks ago, we cheered area college students, many of whom aren’t even from this area, for the often-overlooked service projects they take on. We would like to extend that tip of the hat to local high-school students — and even some elementary-grade kids — who reach out to help their neighbors. In recent weeks, we have heard about students in National Honor Society, Key Club and other civic-minded school groups raising money to help important charities. They’ve held bake sales, collected bottles for deposits, sponsored scrapbooking get-togethers, held performances, organized blood drives and arranged sporting events. Many athletes also take part in community service as a way for teams to thank fans and taxpayers for their support. The work these students do is valued by local charitable agencies, who are often strapped for volunteers. The money that is raised helps power local programs. Their visits to nursing homes and hospitals enliven the atmosphere and brighten the day for residents. And the lessons that teens learn from doing community service are just as important as anything they get from their books in school. Caring children turn into conscientious adults. In the future, they will be the ones who step up for events like this past Saturday’s third-annual Day of Caring, which saw 475 individuals, businesspeople and service-group members take on more than 75 area projects in a massive outreach effort coordinated by United Way of the Adirondacks and its partners. CHEERS to those generous volunteers, as well.

CHEERS to retailers who are featuring plus-size models in their advertisements. Most people are aware of the intense pressure that many females feel to meet often unrealistic standards of beauty. Think about the women you see in TV and movies: almost all are stunning, slim, busty, beautifully made up. Think about the women in fashion magazines, commercials and advertisements: tall, slender, young, perfect. That is not reality. In real life, women come in all shapes and sizes and in varying degrees of comeliness — just like men, who don’t get the same media treatment. But there are signs that retailers are recognizing the effects of these unattainable presentations, which can lead to feelings of low self-esteem and, even worse, eating disorders. Plus-size models are starting to show up in some catalogs and magazines. A recent mailing from Maurices, a national chain with a store at Champlain Centre mall in Plattsburgh, featured three lovely women, one of whom was more generously proportioned than normally seen in ads. The mailing noted that Maurices carries sizes 1 to 24. So do many stores, but few feature plus-size models in their promotions. The retailers who do are exhibiting sensitive — and smart — marketing. 

— If you have a Cheers and Jeers suggestion that you want the Editorial Board to consider, email it to Editor Lois Clermont at