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Education & Attractiveness Survey

I was watching this CNN News clip of author and raw food educator, Jackie Graff, and it got me thinking:

How much does attractiveness and good looks effect the way we accept or reject an educators information? With the raw food lifestyle gaining massive press and attention over the last few years, how important is it that spokespersons look healthy and attractive?

We've talked about this before, but I thought I'd take this as an opportunity to have an instant reader survey. Feel free to leave additional thoughts in the comments section.

View the results of this survery at any time by clicking here

Before you start sending hate mail, I'm not saying Jackie Graff isn't healthy looking. In fact, I think she looks great for her age, (her bio mentions that she's "worked for 33 years" as a health educator), I'm just asking an honest question that I'm sure we've all thought about.

Note: To me looking good and looking healthy has nothing to do with age. There are great examples raw foodies who are older and look extreamly health and attractive.



Elvis Ripley

Jackie Graff was the first time that I thought about that too. All other raw foodists look great and seem to be examples of super fitness. If Jackie is only eating those meals she shows in this clip then that is probably a good reason why. I am not sure attractive is the right word for this survey. Fit or healthy would probably be better but fit/healthy people are usually attractive. Especially here this seems like an insult but she looks like she eats a SAD diet. She probably needs a raw food intervention.


you are such a schmuck. i mean really, hmmm, you know beauty is from within, and well, look at amma,anyway, this is so sad, need i mention botox. pleeeeeeeeeeeeese! jesus you guys are just asking for it.


well, in my experience raw food people are often some of the most unhealthy people I've ever met and I think this is specifically because a lot people get into raw foods because they're very sick in the first place. I think raw food tends to attract sick and unhealthy people generally looking for a solution.



Our survey wasn't about people in general. It was specifically about raw food educators. People that are promoting raw food as a healthy way of living.

Amma, E. Tolle, the Dalai Lama, Gandhi and Mother Teresa are all individuals who most people wouldn't consider to be "attractive" in the tradition sense, but are amazing, influential and radiant people. Which is far more important than surface beauty.

But again, the question was about following health advice, raw food advice, from people who don't look healthy. Are you or aren't you less likely?

p.s. Your insides must be Gorgeous with a capital 'G'! Why else would you calling people a schmuck! ;)


I would not follow the health advice of someone unhealthy looking. I worked at a healthfood store and some girls would come in asking me about weight loss products, not because they wanted it but just to be mean bitches. I know this side of the beauty coin and even though I wasn't obese, I always felt self conscious about not 'looking the part' the way people want. Yet, my advice helped a lot of people and no one complained. The caveat is that I was dealing with a working class clientele that aren't upperclass and white. IOW, no time to worry about whether the person that was serving them is leading the perfect healthy lifestyle. It still didn't make me any less self conscious about my appearance.

I looked at the clip and it looks to me like she lost a lot of weight and she shrank too fast and her skin doesn't fit. Not everyone has to look like Sarma or Dave Wolfe. Demi Moore DOES NOT count because she's had six figure plastic surgery. Not everyone should HAVE to look like them I should say but unfortunately, this society is what it is and they're more likely to pay attention to someone who looks like a babe than matronly like this lady. I DO think that a person who tries to make themselves look like the perfect rawfoodie will give up faster and in the end, I think folks like Graff have a place.


BTW, I'm not trying to insult or put down anyone's attractive appearance. I know Sarma posts in this blog and I hope she doesn't get offended. It's not my intention for anyone who possesses above average looks to feel insulted. I'm just pointing out who is more likely to get attention from the media and what sells more. It's a fact that being attractive has its privileges. I read Tonya Zavasta's book Beautiful on Raw and I came away with idea that I have my own individual beauty that can be fully realised and enhanced by raw doods. I minimise the impact that the beauty obsessed ad industry has on my life by turning off the television. If we got back to nature and read books then we'd all be happier with ourselves instead of dying to be thin or perfect.


By the way, folks like Norman Walker or Ann Wigmore weren't attractive BUT they were healthy!

Steve Prussack

I don't think we can deny that it is human nature that when someone is offering advice on
optimal health and fitness, we have to judge
them superficially by their appearance...In
the CNN clip, you can clearly see the newscaster looking at Jackie and you can just about read her mind...it seems pretty obvious. But then again, look at Andrew Weil and yet millions follow his unhealthy protocol for diet. Yet, is he the epitome of health?
Just my two cents.


I agree Steve. I don't quite understand the popularity of Andrew Weil either!


I don't see why judging someone by their appearance when they're giving you health advice should at all be considered superficial.

Raw Vegan Momma

I've had her book, Raw Foods, for a few years. I had no idea what the person looked like that wrote it until I saw this clip.

I think she looks great. I'm always happy to see diversity like Renee mentioned not everyone should have to look like ____.

The fact is most people will judge by appearance. It's a shame but it's true.

That's fabulous that you were able to assist others with reclaiming their health. I'm starting a non-profit organization which will focus on reclaiming health & empowering people. My focus will be on lower income families mainly within the inner-city. Although I don't live in the inner city I know many of the things I can take for granted aren't available too many in lower income communities. I think about this often when I read some magazines and books that deal with vegan/raw foods lifestyle.


IMHO, the raw food movement often promotes itself based on the attractiveness of its practitioners. Before & after-type photos are common -- so are comments about how much improved one's life is, including one's appearance. And unfortunately, the general model seems to involve to some extent hawking supplements, charging for expertise, and otherwise treating the raw diet like a commodity, which the average person won't necessarily distinguish from any other health scheme which is relatively unknown -- Atkins, South Beach, the blood type diet, Pritikin, etc.

So, it's not surprising that a less attractive/visibly fit/young practitioner would be at somewhat of a disadvantage.

Personally, I think it's important to note that weight and the normal aging process are just two of a number of factors which play into health. We tend to think that the "optimal" figure as defined by society is optimally healthy -- but that's not necessarily the case. I think Jackie Graff looks great, too. She looks like a person of her age, but she looks happy and healthy and able. And if you see her in person, you'll find that she is insightful, intelligent, and altogether a master of her craft -- which is a measure of health that isn't incidental.


Hey RawVeganMomma that's great. I do think rawfood has great potential to change consciousness and mitigate many problems within the inner cities. There are a lot of stereotypes about being vegetarian, nevermind rawfoods,etc. many issues with food and using all kinds of chemicals in these areas. There are more healthfood stores opening up in them though. It's more of a class issue and people with more money tend to demand services and goods that give them the edge. There's more I could say about this but it's not my blog. Here's my rawfood myspace page though where I do plan to talk about this more in depth!

One last point about the attractiveness issue... I do think that one should look their very best, their personal best. I do think that exercising and eating raw/living foods brings a person's inner beauty to match the outside.

Raw Vegan Momma

This was what initally turned me off when I wanted to learn more about raw foods (that was about two years ago.) I had eaten a high amount of raw for several years before making the transition. I wanted to learn more about the nutritional aspects. It was frustrating almost every single website that I found had very little information on the nutritional but they sure were willing to sell me products. A number of the websites placed a heavy emphasis on weight loss, which is wonderful, if done correctly. The weight loss angle was not a selling point for me since I'm slim and healthy.

I finally found books that talked about the nutritional aspects of raw foods cuisine, my favorite being The Science and Fine Art of Food and Nutrition by Herbert Shelton and Conscious Eating by Dr. Gabriel Cousens. My favorite raw food magazine is Living Nutrition a lot of raw food information without all the fluff.

I have a lot of respect for Dr. Schulze and I agree with a lot of his nutritional advice. He's not slim however judging by some of the things he did on a DVD I purchased by him he does appear to be "fit and healthy". I try not to judge based on appearance only.

I agree with you on all points In regards to the magazines I'm just thinking of the one's I subscribe to. :-) The non-profit organzation won't be just about raw foods. I think that will be the end result. I would rather see people eating healthy whatever eating lifestyle they choose but I'll be temtping people with fabulous raw food dishes. ;-) I'll definitely stop by your MySpace page and send you a message.

Great discussion!


After reading the comments on this page, here are my two cents: Initially, the photos of people who advocate the raw lifestyle were definitely a major part of my interest in going raw. Before and Afters and such do make a major visual impact. However, what keeps me going raw (and going back if I get off raw) is how great I felt eating raw. There is really nothing else like it. So while photos and testimonials from gorgeous people may bring more interest, it's the body's response that makes raw 'stick'.


She is not pretty (not that it matters), she is older, she is overweight (100% raw diet 100% of the time is doubtful), and has sagging skin around her neck (sun damage, childbirth, menopause). But she is obviously healthy, her book is great, and that is ok with me.

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