‘What Being Racist All Ya Life Will Do to Ya’: Paula Deen’s Drastic Transformation a Decade After She Admitted to Using the N-word Goes Viral, Leaving Social Media Shocked at Her Appearance

Eleven years after being dropped by the Food Network for using racial slurs, Paula Deen is back in the spotlight, and it’s not for her cooking.

Photos of the 77-year-old chef have gone viral, showing a dramatic change in her appearance.

paula deen n-word
Paula Deen goes viral for her shocking appearance nearly a decade after she apologized for saying the n-word.(Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

A TikTok video Deen posted on May 1 of herself cooking “Spicy Garlic Broccolini” resurfaced on June 17 and fans quickly commented on her older and slimmer look.

Someone in her comment section remarked, “Ain’t no way this is Paula Deen?!”

Another social media user took hold of the video and screenshot a still, juxtaposing it to one of Deen’s professionally done headshots for her book covers. They zeroed in on how different she looks without her glam squad and teased her about her aged looks.

One person tweeted, “This is what being racist all ya life will do to ya.”

“I should NOT be laughing like this but baby I bet she wish she had our melanin now!” another X user joked. As someone else blasted, “She aged harder than a prune. I am cackling!”

A fourth comment read, “This is what happens when all that hate within has nowhere to go and it eats you from the inside out. #GOOT.”

Not everyone teased Deen about her shocking transformation. One person rationalized that nature has taken its course with the disgraced cook, tweeting, “She’s 77 how do you expect her to look?”

In addition to being a septuagenarian, Deen has type 2 diabetes. She announced that she had the disease in 2012 but revealed she was diagnosed in 2009.

CBS reported she was using Victoza to manage her diabetes over a decade ago. This drug isn’t intended for weight loss, but weight loss can occur. It’s unclear if she still uses Victoza or another drug like Ozempic, as some TikTok commenters have suggested.

Shortly after revealing she had diabetes; her life came crashing down.

In a bombshell announcement on June 21, 2013, the Food Network declared it would not renew Paula Deen’s contract following her admission to using racial slurs, revealed during a court deposition.

In an effort to mitigate the fallout, she issued a video apology for her past remarks. Despite her apology and an appearance on “Today,” where she emphatically stated she wasn’t racist, the repercussions were immediate.

Major retailers and partners, including Walmart, Target, Home Depot, QVC, Sears, JCPenney, Caesars Entertainment, Smithfield Foods, and Ballantine Books, swiftly severed ties with the Southern cook.

The controversies didn’t end there. In 2015, Deen faced backlash once more when an image surfaced on her social media. The photo depicted Deen dressed as Lucy from “I Love Lucy” alongside her son Bobby, who appeared in dark makeup as Ricky. Her representative quickly apologized, attributing the post to a social media manager’s error.

Despite these setbacks, the Albany, Georgia, native persevered.

In 2014, she launched a national tour titled “Paula Deen Live!” and established the Paula Deen Network on her website, acquiring rights to her Food Network shows.

According to The Sandford Herald, by 2015, Deen expanded her brand further with a podcast, “What’s Cooking with Paula Deen,” a radio show, “Get Cooking with Paula Deen,” and a mobile game, “Paula Deen’s Recipe Quest.” She even returned to television on “Dancing With the Stars,” finishing in ninth place.

Deen continued to diversify her ventures in 2016 with two new shows: “Positively Paula,” a syndicated cooking series, and “Sweet Home Savannah,” available on EVINE. Her presence on Fox Nation’s “At Home With Paula Deen,” appearances on Fox & Friends, and a guest-judging stint on “MasterChef” further solidified her comeback.

In addition to her multimedia endeavors, Deen remains a prolific author and publisher. She continues to publish “Cooking With Paula Deen” magazine and has added several cookbooks to her repertoire, including “Paula Deen Cuts the Fat” and “Paula Deen’s Southern Baking.”

Her culinary empire also includes multiple restaurants across various states, although some have closed over time.

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