Have a Moment for the Goddess; Remembering Female Singer, Karen Carpenter

It has recently been reported that Claire Dela Fuente has been recently been sentenced to a lengthy prison term for tax evasion, but that is not what this post is about. She was often compared to Karen Carpenter, and this has prompted me to write about the real Karen Carpenter.

Once again I am showing my age, but I love Karen Carpenter and she had a truly memorable singing voice. She was something special so no wonder people look for her in other artists. So once again it is time to take a moment to remember an extraordinary woman you touched the lives of many people and inspired young girls to want to sing like angels, let’s get started…

While she was also a solo artist Karen first gained fame as part of a duo with her brother called the, “Carpenters”. If you are younger you may not know the group but will recognize some of their music because it has been featured on television shows like “The Simpsons”, commercials, and remakes by other artists. Their music is timeless, and here is one of my favorite Carpenters songs that was remade by Luther Vandross and Usher.

The song is called ,”Superstar” and there is a reason it has been remade and re-sung so many times. It’s the story of a groupie who is waiting for the superstar to return after a one night affair, did you know that? The vulnerability of the words hit you when you put the lyrics into context and the desperation becomes clear. “Don’t you remember you told me you loved me baby? You said you’d be coming back this way again baby….” This is a touching ballad.

(Posted on You Tube by Carpenters)

One of the reasons Karen Carpenter could get emotion in her fans was her ability to be vulnerable in her music and her beautiful music eluded to her being an immensely emotional being and that made her someone many people could connect with especially young women. Karen Carpenter was dealing with a painful and dangerous secret. She was battling anorexia nervosa.

What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia is an eating disorder; some may even argue it is a mental disorder or psychological imbalance because its victims often view themselves as being overweight despite being painfully thin. It is a deadly disorder that can kill its victims without intervention because they literally starve themselves to death or die from related issues from being chronically under nourished.

The reason many view it as a mental disorder is due to the way it must be treated. Often the most effective treatments come from intervening psychologically. No matter how thin a person gets, the disease convinces them they need to lose more weight and this can frustrate the bystanders and the victim because they just don’t see how small they are or don’t care that they are emaciated. The disorder thrives in countries where food is plentiful but the victim is exposed to body shaming from the community they belong to.

Look at Ms. Carpenter in this clip:

(Posted on You Tube by Sara Angely)

She is shockingly thin and only two short years later she would be dead.

The Struggle

Karen first started dieting in high school and was able to stay small as a teenager. She never was a large young lady, according to many who knew her but that didn’t make her satisfied wither size. Although she was approximately 120 pounds as a teenager, when she rose to fame in the 70’s this size was unacceptable for her the more famous she became and was in the public eye more. She would see photographs of herself and become increasingly obsessed with how she appeared convinced that she was overweight. She would diet, exercise and deny herself food in an effort to become the size she was convinced was unattainable, because it was. It didn’t help that her life was full of the regular ups and downs of her career and a turbulent love life which just exasperated her problems as she became depressed.

On February 4, 1983 the beautiful and talented Karen Carpenter collapsed and died due to her losing battle with anorexia. Her family, friends and fans were devastated ans she was only thirty two years old. There. I have spoken about the negative and now on to the positive…..

Her Legacy Karen Carpenter is more than a tragic cautionary tale she brought attention to anorexia when little was known about the disorder making her in many people’s eyes a hero. Because of her many people were able to recognize the illness and seek treatment.

Her voice inspired millions and she is named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the best singers of all time and I would agree. Although at some point being in a group with men, she stood out for the powerful woman she was even if she didn’t recognize it. It is the reason she is still influencing music today in artists such as, Claire Dela Fuente.

I want to thank you Ms. Carpenter for being such a phenomenal talent because when I hear your music I am stilled moved by it. May your soul rest in peace as you finally get the rest you deserve, you are missed.

What are your thoughts?

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References:

https://www.philstar.com/entertainment/2020/07/16/2028462/philippines-karen-carpenter-claire-dela-fuente-gets-7-years-prison-tax-evasion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Carpenter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorexia_nervosa

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