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20 May 2010 @ 02:00 pm
[tv] Biggest Loser and Perpetuating Fat-Hating Culture  
So a friend of mine has a way of getting me hooked on reality tv shows. I almost never watch them on my own, but she got me watching Celebrity Apprentice (but mostly only with her, because I love our snarky comments) and now I'm watching The Biggest Loser, another show she watches and sometimes tells me about. I'm not watching it with her, so I'm not sure why I'm watching it, but I just finished my workout and am sitting down to finish an outline of a new short story.

I have some thoughts about Biggest Loser. I'm not sure I can keep watching it because of these thoughts. I'm sure other people have had these thoughts and I probably missed a lot of discussion when the show was new. Still, I have thoughts.

1) I absolutely hate all these people talking about how their loves -- particularly their love lives -- can't begin until they've lost the weight. This is bullshit, y'all. All these people talking about how they've never dated, they've never had lives, being fat has ruined their lives, etc. Yeah, I get that people who are happy being fat a) aren't going to be on the show and b) even if they are, anything positive they say will be edited out, but damn.

2) Actually, I'd like to read about more of the health issues of what this show does to contestants. I have some thoughts about it and the way it really isn't sustainable once they leave the ranch. Also, I know it's not actually about being healthier, etc., but about putting on a dramatic show. I mean, why else would they a) pretend to kick off two teams the night they get there, before they've ever even see the house? That's obviously not about "getting healthier" and "losing weight" but about getting viewers. Especially when they b) aren't really kicking them off but instead are sending them home to lose weight for a month and then come back, so they aren't really off the show. (Though I'm actually glad these two teams aren't off the show, because they're my two favorite teams so far.)

3) So I've never worked with a trainer, because hello, poor, but I'm pretty sure I don't want a trainer who is going to be snarky about my size. I am unimpressed with the trainers attitudes so far.

4) The show really wants to perpetuate the idea that if you're fat you know absolutely nothing about working out or being healthy. Because of course, you can't be fat and be working out hardcore on your own. This is also bullshit, y'all.

5) I love the getting the anger out with the boxing gloves and heavy bag thing. This is what I miss most about pre-law school life. (I've already found a boxing gym for when I move.)

Okay, I need to finish this outline, write the second draft of a proposal for one of my editors, and then do some more bar review.

ETA: seanan_mcguire talks about bra shopping and fat shaming and the Lane Bryant ad.
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
the needless antagonist: glow mushroomsnygoldfish54 on May 20th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
There are a bunch of trainers at the gym I go to, a few of whom I've met and a bunch who my mom and sister work with. Anyway, I've seen these trainers doing work, and they're never awful to the people they train, even if the person is really heavy.

My biggest gripe with reality shows is that they are not, in any way, real. No way does any trainer in the real world get away with being an asshole like that.

(I hate 'The Biggest Loser' btw, lol).
"That Anne Girl": Pussyfootabenn on May 20th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
Are you familiar with Ragen Chastain and her "Dances With Fat" blog? I think you would like it.
mseuphrates: skinnymseuphrates on May 21st, 2010 02:52 am (UTC)
Oh that's awesome!

Edited at 2010-05-21 02:53 am (UTC)
sachielle: facepalmsachielle on May 20th, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
A year or so ago, I found an article on yahoo about several of the contestants from previous seasons developing new health conditions as a result of the work out regiment on that show. And every doctor I've ever talked to has told me that loosing weight that quickly and being that active after a long period of comparative inertia is EXTREMELY unhealthy.

As for your first point, I know MANY overweight people who could go on that show who are not only dating but happily married. Weight is NOT as big an issue when it comes to romance as the media would like us to believe.
Teppy: Crankystephl on May 20th, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
I actually watched the show back in (egad) 2004, when it started, and it enraged me up one side and down the other. It encourages disordered behavior and really really REALLY unhealthy goals. Bah.
mseuphrates: skinnymseuphrates on May 21st, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
I have a love/hate relationship with Biggest Loser. Besides having a crush on Jillian (who was a fat teenager, actually), it tends to do the "You could SO do this too, and in fact you HAVE done this - losing 65 lbs at one point - so get up off the couch dummy" thing to my head. Well, except I still haven't gotten off the couch. *sigh* But yeah, whenever I see contestants that HAVE gained it all back, or gained a bunch back, I say "Yep, see...they're doing this WRONG"


Still going to watch the Finale next week though. I'm Team Daris for the final 3 (though I'm hoping Michael wins it all). LOL