Post # 1
Let me count the ways this bothers me…
Is it just me or do these “weight loss shows” totally and completely rip every ounce of pride, confidence or respect that an obese person might have? I personally don’t think its “entertainment” to watch a very obese person get yelled and screamed at for not running faster or losing enough weight. This goes for shows such as Biggest loser too.
Although these people choose to be on these shows, I can’t help but to want to save them from exploiting themselves to the humiliation these shows force apon them.
I’m all for losing weight for ones own personal health. Slow and steady wins the race. Everyone should be respected for who they are no matter what shape or size. You don’t ever find shows on anorexia where contestants or being screamed at to eat. Why is there such a racists stigma against the over weight Americans?
Post # 3
I don’t know…like you said, they choose to be on those shows. They have to know that they will be made to act in ways that may be embarassing or humiliating, in order to provide “entertainment” to the viewers. I don’t feel bad for them for being on the show at all. I’m way more embarassed for people like the Jersey Shore cast–they’re going to look back in like 10 years and want to die. Or who knows, maybe they won’t! 🙂
Also just a note–it’s not a “racist stigma” against overweight/obese people, since it doesn’t have to do with race. You can call it sizeism.
Post # 4
@hilsy85: SO true about the Jersey shore cast! It is true that they choose to be on the shows. So it does make you not feel sorry for them in a way. I just can’t get passed the fact that they would allow themselves to look that way infront of millions.
Thanks for the racist correction! That does make sense!
Post # 5
I personally like the show. It gives these people on the show the motivation that they so badly need to lose the weight. At the end of the show, I am proud of them. They shouldn’t feel humiliated. Of course, you know all the yelling is just for TV right?
Post # 6
They totally choose to be on these shows. I wouldn’t call it humiliation–have you ever worked out with a tough trainer? They often tell you to keep going, don’t stop, run faster, that kind of stuff. Coaches do this with sports, also. In fact, the gym instructors at my gym tell us “remember the cake you had at Christmas! work harder!” and it sorta lights a fire under my butt because i think “yes, i had too much cake! i can work harder!”. The pilates instructor tell us to keep doing the thigh thingies because it’ll get rid of our muffin tops. Maybe those people are embarassed they got that overweight anyways so the show is a great option. They know they’ll work hard and get yelled at–but they’ll also see results. If Jillian Michaels wanted to yell me into shape, I’d totally let her. The people are on that show are unhappy with themselves–that’s WHY they’re on that show!
Speaking of the jersey shore thing–my turbo kick class has a “fist pump” part to it and it is SO embarassing to be doing it. I am mortified that every time that part comes around, the instructor tells us to fist pump it jersey shore style.
Post # 7
I feel the same way about these contestents as I do for the stars of Bridezillas. They are intentionally humiliated so I feel kind of bad for them, but it was their choice to put it all out there like that, probably for some kind of monetary reward or just the thought of being ‘famous’. As long as we keep watching these shows will continue to pop up..
And like EJS said, sometimes it does take a little humiliation to motivate a person to lose weight. It’s something only the actual overweight person can control, it all depends on how hard they work at it. So a trainer has the goal of making you lose weight and will push whatever buttons he/she sees fit to do that. I don’t think it’s wrong. I know firsthand how easy it can be to convince yourself you’re fine, an average size, when in reality you are overweight and unhealthy. A little tough love can be necessary..
Post # 8
I havent seen this show, but I do agree that they choose to be on there so I dont really feel much pity for them. Alot of reality shows humiliate their participants, I personall even feel that ABC’s The Bachelor is very humiliating to have all these guys/girls fighting for “love” on national tv. Having said that I do like one weight loss show which is The biggest loser
Post # 9
I heard a bit about IUTBF but don’t have all the deets. Is it a biggest loser for pre-college kids?
Post # 10
I think the show is pretty awesome. These people acknowledge their terrible habits and poor diet/exercise routine. They want the change and yes they need to be pushed. The one episode the girl kept complaining b/c she didn’t want to do it but the trainer pushed her to keep going w/o him she would have stopped, she wanted to be thinner but didn’t want to work at it and she WOULD have stopped if he had not kept on her.
Post # 11
I totally disagree with the OP. Like a PP said, the way the trainers are on these shows is very similar to the way a tough trainer acts when they’re training you. It’s HARD to push yourself past what your body is comfortable with, sometimes you NEED to be yelled at.
I find the Biggest Loser show to be increadibly inspirational. They have little segments showing how people are forming groups in their local communities because they’re so inspired by the show. I can’t see how anyone could consider that a negative thing.
Being obese is unhealthy. It shouldn’t be glamorized or encouraged. I think it’s extremely important to show people how hard (yet totally possible) it is to lose a good amount of weight. The more people see the contestants on those shows suffer, the more they realize they too are going to have to suffer to achieve their goals.
I think you would be hard pressed to find any contestant from one of those shows say that they regret going on it. And I don’t think any of these people are being humiliated, I don’t know where you’re getting that from. They’re not doing anything that anyone else their size wouldn’t be doing to lose weight, on or off camera.
Post # 12
I like all those shows because I like the happy endings. Most shows seem so depressing or overdramatic but at least those shows show someone who worked hard to meet their goals. I also like the fact that its not quick fixes but people really working to meet their goals.
Post # 13
@lezlers: <– I’m with her.
Post # 14
I am not a “sizeist” (is that the right word?) but I do understand that obesity leads to a lot of health issues and have watched my mom struggle with healthy problems associated with obesity for years. I work to be healthy not to be thin.
I find The Biggest Loser to be very encouraging. Working out is not glamorous. You get sweaty and gross and it HURTS- but I like that they show what real people go through in order to lead healthier lifestyles.
Post # 15
If you’ve watched the show you’ll see that the trainers are actually really supportive. I’ll admitt that the part where he made the one girl yell, “Whale! Fatass!” was a little over the top, but for the most part this show seems to be changing lives. These individuals choose to be on TV so I really don’t think anyone is exploiting them. They are all consenting young adults. The one girl, Marcia or Marney?, went from being 250lbs to 180lbs. You need some rough and tough support to loose that much weight in 3 months. This girl has a whole new life ahead of her now that she is at a healthier weight. She cried and cried in the beginning because she didn’t have the motivation to work out or diet. Now that she had this amazingly agressive trainer behind her she has finally fulfilled her life long goal of loosing weight and getting healthy. I think that is a good thing.
Post # 16
What I personally don’t get is the obsession lately (over the last few years) with obesity and weight loss shows. I just saw a preview in the movie theater for a new A&E series focused on obese people–I believe it’s called “Heavy”. That, The biggest loser, I used to be fat, that show “Dance your Ass off”..and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more that I”m forgetting. While I don’t think it’s embarassing for people to be on these shows, it’s interesting to be that viewers are so fascinated by this kind of struggle.