The Biggest Loser: do you respond to being shouted at?
I have sat watching the new season of The Biggest Loser this week with tears flowing down my cheeks.
I wasn’t crying for the contestants’ weight. I was crying for the way that the producers of this show portray the contestants as being somehow less than human for being the size that they are.
That these people could not possibly be happy unless they entered the “house” to be subjected to shouting, taunting and humiliation.
THAT made me cry.
I know, I know. Why am I even watching? (As it turns out … fewer of us are watching this year.)
I really don’t know why I watch.
Whatever the reason, I’m watching no longer.
The producers seemed to have forgotten that these contestants are people. Real people. With real lives and real feelings.
To have the trainers shout at each of them as they start hard core training is just abuse and certainly not a way to engender any long-term positive lifestyle change.
I just don’t understand it. Why, if these contestants have done little or no exercise before entering the show, should they be subjected from day one to the kind of training program that normally would be reserved for an experienced athlete?
Why should there be challenges where they are made to feel tempted to eat the very foods they’re told not to eat?
And why should they be shouted at like naughty children?
I’ll tell you why.
The producers WANT the contestants to vomit in a bucket, collapse on the gravel ground and throw a steel bar over the head of a trainer … because it makes GOOD television.
Please! If this is GOOD television, give me the bad stuff any day.
Really, are we still judging people’s self worth on the way that they look? Really?
Exercise physiologist Liz Nelson summed it up beautifully on her blog this week:
Promoting weight loss as a path to finding the love of others is just nonsensical and doesn’t really address the real issue as to why or how people find themselves overweight. Or get to the heart of self love and self acceptance.
For example, I believe you’re in a much better place to lose weight (if that is your choice) when you can say to yourself, “I like and accept myself for who I am today. I am overweight and not thrilled by it, but I don’t have to lose weight to be a better person or to be worthwhile. I can choose to lose weight because it will likely help me to feel better, have more energy, look better and be generally healthier”.
As opposed to, “I’m fat, worthless and unloveable – how could anyone like me because I’m so big? Because I don’t have a partner, I’m hopeless and worthless!”
Liz, what we need is more of you. More reasoned, empathetic and helpful trainers.
People who will help others lose weight – should they want to – without making them feel like less of a person in doing so.
It’s the same when I work with personal styling clients. No matter what size, shape, age or stage, I want each and every one of the women I work with to feel the best they can about themselves. Right. Now.
We DO deserve to feel this way. Without any shouty, shouty behaviour or public weigh-ins.
What do you think? Do you respond to being shouted at? Do you think another person’s self worth should be based on the way they look? Do you even watch The Biggest Loser?