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MEDIA MIX

A Frank and Funny Lesson on Accepting Ourselves

June 08, 1998|ROCHELLE O'GORMAN FLYNN

"Delta Style"

By Delta Burke, with Alexis Lipsitz

SoundeluxAudio

Abridged nonfiction

Two cassettes

Length: 3 hours

$17.95

Read by the author

Available in bookstores or call (800) 227-2020

This is about big hair and crystal meth. It is also about being able to accept oneself, no matter your size.

Burke, a former beauty queen and current actress/clothing designer, went through a much-publicized weight gain and nervous breakdown during her tenure with the TV series "Designing Women." She frankly discusses these problems and the outrageous personal attacks she withstood regarding her appearance.

Her manner is humorous and friendly, although her writing is rather cliched and her soft Southern style sometimes a bit rushed. However, during the biography revealed in the first cassette, Burke has much to say about self-acceptance and the dangerous self-deprivation she and other women have suffered to maintain ridiculous weight standards. It really should inspire women to accept themselves and ignore the absurd standards set by advertising agents and fashion designers.

Without the printed book and its pictures of Burke, however, you lose the impact and insanity of a society that told this gorgeous young starlet she was too fat when she was a size 8.

Less intriguing is the second cassette, which focuses on how to look good as a big woman, rather than how to feel well. All fashion and makeup tips, it is both limited in scope and shallow. However, if you need a workout, listen to Burke describe her make-up routine. It promises to tire you.

"Healing Yoga"

By Kelly Piper

Original audio material

Dove Audio

One cassette

Length: 1 hour

$13

Read by the author

Available in bookstores

This sounds like a parody of health tapes. Kelly Piper begins with a guided relaxation meditation before leading the listener through yoga exercises and affirmations. Cloying music and chirping birds do not enhance the experience. The exercises are clearly explained and geared toward helping people overcome emotional and physical problems.

Unfortunately, Piper has an overly exaggerated, calming voice. She comes off as condescending, although that was undoubtedly not her intention. This tape may have useful information, but Piper's forced cheerfulness, affectations and abuse of an echo machine means you'll need a relaxation tape to get over her.

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