Not obesity. Not reality television. Not television in the first place. Nope, the show that helps fat people get thin, while encouraging others to do the same, is diabolical. It’s a travesty worthy of a boycott.
Is This Real Life?
No, it’s better than real life. It’s reality television.
Apparently, earlier this week the most recent season of the Biggest Loser came to a close. I say apparently because I had no clue this show was still on. I don’t watch television. I don’t even have one. Which, is a novel idea. Especially if you find yourself getting worked up over or sucked into a television show. More on that later.
First, the controversy. The internet is up in arms over the “reveal.” Rachel Frederickson was named the winner, or loser. The Biggest Loser in fact. What does Ms. Frederickson have to show for all of her hard work? How about a smaller waistline and bigger bank account. She lost 155 pounds and won $250,000. Get it girl!
I think that deserves a standing ovation. Let’s give her a round of applause.
What, and miss a perfectly good opportunity to say really hurtful things on Twitter. I think not. #Merica
Haters Gonna Hate
That’s exactly what happened. The internet and social media practically exploded, erupting with rude and offensive comments. Which is exactly what the internet and social media are for after all.
It’s how I found about this controversy in the first place. After receiving a few dozen emails and Facebook messages I had to see what all the fuss was about.
Here’s what I learned – Rachel lost a bunch of weight. Some people think she overdid it. According to a flawed BMI calculation, she’s underweight. Other people think she looks great. They would kill to look as good as her. Exercise, out of the question. Way too much work. Murder, way easier. Totally acceptable.
Now, these two groups of people are fighting it out online and in the media. Didn’t see that coming.
Now it’s time for my reveal. Which side am I taking? Will it be Team Too Thin or Team You Go Girl.
Plot twist. I’ve opted to write in a new team on my ballot. Team Mind Your Own Business.
I’m siding with all the people who, if they didn’t have anything nice to say, didn’t say anything at all. The ones who watched the finale, thought to themselves, she looks great or she looks terrible. Or the ones who didn’t think anything at all. The show was over. They simply turned the television off. They had a real life to get back to. Better still I’m siding with the people never turned their television on in the first place.
This group was exercising instead of watching other people exercise. They were busy working on their own stuff, instead of judging people who are trying to work out their own stuff on national television.
The Issue at Hand
Did you catch that last part – on national television. This show is a spectacle of epic proportions. Every year hundreds of thousands of people apply to be a contestant. Millions more watch.
Listen, I hear everyone hating on Rachael. Blasting the premise of the Biggest Loser in the first place. No, I don’t agree with the training methods. Starvation diets. Extreme weight loss. I’m not a fan of Jillian Michaels either. I know that people who go on the show gain some of the weight back. Heck, so do most people who lose weight dieting.
If you hate this show stop watching it. Stop talking about it. It’s a simple solution to a simple problem.
But there’s a much bigger issue that needs to be addresses. One that does not have a simple solution. Why do hundreds of thousands of overweight or obese people feel totally helpless? They are so helpless in fact that they are willing to go on national television, air out all of their dirty laundry, risk being fat shamed or skinny shamed or worked to exhaustion. All because they are unwilling or unable to lose weight on their own.
We have to do something about THAT. No hype. No marketing tactics. No empty promises. Let’s start by offering solution instead of pointing out problems. Build people up, instead of tearing them down for how much they weigh or how much weight they’ve lost.
That’s the REAL issue at hand. One that I’m trying to address. I’ll be busy trying to do that while everyone else sits on the sideline, watches television and talks shit.
Joe is a writer, trainer and fitness entrepreneur who co-founded Hybrid Athlete LLC, Kettlebell Cardio™ and Race Day Domination. Currently building @fittinsider, a platform for founders, executives, & investors redefining fitness/wellness. Investing in health/fitness companies