First, I must confess that watching The Biggest Loser is one of my guilty pleasures. It motivates me to work out, and I usually have it on in the background while I do other things. I know that it's a terrible show that does terrible things to its contestants, but I've managed to indulge in cognitive dissonance regarding the show.
Until now. This is a quote from one of the current contestants, who is a former Olympic weight lifter.
Before I came to the Biggest Loser, I loved the fact that I was big, and that was who I was. And I had succeeded at being big, so I never felt like I had to change it. Through working with Bob, and through stuff at the Biggest Loser, I made that mental shift that just because I have always been big, doesn't mean that I have to stay big.
Wow. This woman, an Olympian, had been happy with her weight before the Biggest Loser. She didn't want to change until the Biggest Loser (possibly North American culture in general?) convinced her that her body - which had taken her to the fucking Olympics - was wrong. I can't even.
By including this clip, the Biggest Loser is not only targeting people who already feel bad about their bodies, which is horrible in itself, but is also telling people who are happy with their bodies that their attitude is wrong and needs to change. "You're happy with your 'overweight' body? You shouldn't be."
I know that people are told this all the time in more and less subtle ways, but I was shocked to see it stated so blatantly. It was one of those moments that pierces the little bubble I live in in order not to be constantly overwhelmed by the awfulness of things. Ugh.