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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
It seems like quite a lot of us have had bad experiences with people who simply don't take our allergies seriously. Part of the problem, I think, is that allergies are associated with neurosis. It's a stereotype that is just accepted without reflection like all other stereotypes tend to be (of race, class, gender, etc.)

I'd be interested in hearing what you make of any positive or negative representations of people with allergies in movies, television, books, etc.


Last edited by Helen on Sat Nov 05, 2005 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 11:06 pm 
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Location: Canada
I do have one example. Niles Crane's allergies on the show "Frasier" are associated with his many neuroses. Among other things, Niles has a phobia of insects and germs. He overreacts to practically everything and is quite finicky.

I seem to vaguely remember an episode of "Leave it to Beaver" which involved a kid with allergies--but I don't recall what it was about.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:08 am 
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Location: Montreal, Canada
Ross in Friends had an allergic reaction to Kiwi and Monica listed all the things he was allergic too. However, she emphasized that he needed to go to the hospital to get immediate treatment.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 10:03 am 
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Location: Halifax
Have any of you folks seen Safe? What did you think of it?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 11:49 am 
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Location: Canada
A couple of other examples of allergies in the media----I saw a rerun of Friends in which Ross has to show two professors new to his university around town. He isn't enthusiastic about it, but changes his mind when he finds out that the one professor is young, female, and beautiful. The other professor is probably in his late 50s-early 60s and is a bore. At dinner, the older professor talks about his allergies to some types of nuts and to shellfish, and his allergies seem to be a part of his general nerdiness. Ross and the younger professor end up taking off on their older colleague (they run away when he leaves the table to use the washroom).

In the episode of ** in the City, an individual with vague environmental allergies is mentioned in passing. The theme is "freaks" that people have dated (Carrie ends up acting like a "freak" herself by the end of the program) and Miranda when thinking of "freaks" she has dated says something to the effect of--- "I once dated a man who was allergic to his house. He had to move." (I can't remember for sure, but I think his reaction involved his face swelling)

These two shows are infuriating---but I think they are reflective of commonly-held stereotypes about allergies. It's good to be aware of the way in which allergic people are stereotyped so we know what we face.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 6:42 pm 
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I saw a recent CSI (Las Vegasin which the murder weapon was peanut butter in a bowl of chili.
The murderer was shown as callous, I don't recall how the vicim was shown. They kill them off early in the show.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:17 pm
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario
My husband and I also get frustrated by the way TV shows display allergies. In one episode of King of Queens, the nerdy friend of the main character is allergic to peanuts. At the end of the show, the final laugh is supposed to be this friend babysitting kids that bushwack him with peanut butter. The laugh track comes in as the picture fades to black and you can hear the character beginning to choke. Infuriated, my husband e-mailed the show and the network. We received no answer. We have not watched that show since. Even my non-allergic child will pass by it if she's looking for something to watch.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:55 am 
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Location: Montreal, Canada
Yeah, I remember that episode. That's pretty lame but they don't care.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:16 am 
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Location: Canada
Anyone seen Desperate Housewives this past weekend? Bree suffers from psychosomatic rashes and hives. If that is actually possible, I wouldn't have a problem with it, but I don't think that it is. I asked my doctor (not my allergist) whether hives that I was getting could be psychosomatic and she said no--hives aren't psychosomatic. I do know that stress releases histamine so *maybe* stress could trigger hives if people are sensitive to histamine---but I don't think that a major reaction like the kind Bree had would be possible. I could be wrong on this, though. Any thoughts on this?


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 Post subject: desperate housewives
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:36 pm 
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Location: saskatchewan, canada
I also saw this and was ticked off. In the first season, Rex ate an onion that he was allergic to and ended up going to the hospital by ambulance. I liked that better. As for Bree, I first wondered if she was allergic to Georges cologne, or something he ate. That could have caused the hives.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:41 pm 
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Location: Toronto
Lisa, I don't watch that show, but, here's my thoughts on your post.

I don't know about the term *psychosomatic* being appropriate, but there are a lot of reasons a person can get hives.

When I first developed hives one of the many *diagnoses* I received was *it's all in your head*. I actually did believe it when I was told it was stress related.

My sil suddenly developed hives after her second child was born. The baby was under three pounds and being kept in ICU. The mom was totally stressed out. As the baby's health improved, the hives went away. Her first few hive reactions were all over her body and lasted over a day. I don't know what kind of major reaction Bree had on the show.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:01 pm 
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Maybe hives can be triggered by stress, then. In this episode, Bree starts breaking out in hives when she and George try to get cosy. It all happens fairly rapidly---at first she complains about major itching and then her neck and back are covered in a rash and she's scratching like mad. Her psychiatrist says that she subconsciously feels like she is cheating on her husband even though he is dead (she doesn't know it yet, but George killed him).

saskmommy, I forgot about Rex's onion allergy--I missed that episode you're talking about.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:48 am 
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Location: Edmonton
On the topic of allergies on the media. . .Are any of you familiar with the short-lived show "Freaks & Geeks?" Well, there's one episode where one of the geeks, Bill, goes into anaphylactic shock because someone didn't believe that he was really allergic to peanuts and put some in his sandwich at school! The guy ended up apologizing in the end, but yet again someone with allergies was protrayed as a nerd with high riding pants, suspenders, bad teeth, thick glasses, and an obsession with Star Wars (not that that's bad.)
About the psycosomatic hives and itching . . .on another episode of ** and the City, Carrie was trying on a wedding dress (she was engaged to Aidan) and she got a panick attack and her back was all red and rashy! not to say that it can really happen, she could just have been reacting to the fabric. but it makes good tv!

Caroline

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Anaphylaxis to fish, nut, peanuts, soy, birch, and grass.
OAS


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:54 pm 
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I just caught the tail-end of a preview for The Simpson's next episode to air this Sunday September 24. I think it was Homer who was yelling "eat shrimp and die" as he was pointing a shrimp at someone - ? I did a search and copied this from a website describing the episode:
Quote:
...Meanwhile, Bart finds out that peanuts are no longer allowed at Springfield Elementary because someone suffers from an allergy. But this loss becomes his treasure when he finds out that the allergy belongs to his nemesis, the one and only Principal Skinner. Before long, both Bart and Homer are in over their heads and it's up to Marge to nail things back together.

I can only imagine how they are going to portray individuals with allergies / make light of life threatening allergies...? It's not a show I watch but will try and catch it to see...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
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Location: Winnipeg
Seriously! That kind of representation is just the last thing we need out there.
I was really annoyed watching The View the other day, not a show I usually watch but I happened to catch a couple of minutes during which a mom turned author was showing some lunchtime ideas. She mentionned something in reference to how many schools are peanut-free these days, and Rosie O'Donnel rolled her eyes and made a comment about how you'd think peanuts were anthrax. I can't quote it exactly, because I only caught a brief moment but the gist was what a BIG deal silly people make over peanuts. :x Just not fair!

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1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


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