It was all over the media the last few days; criticism flew all over the internet, on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. People questioned: Why and how and is there a chance help can be found for this person so many individuals were concerned about?
I am referring to the controversy surrounding the latest winner of the reality television show The Biggest Loser, Rachel Frederickson. The current female winner has lost the most body fat in the history of the show and was criticized by people on Twitter and Facebook for being too thin.
In a world where a woman’s value is placed squarely on her body and its appearance, I have to wonder how far is too far when it comes to the weight-loss game.
Women are constantly bombarded with media imagery dictating to us how much we should weigh, what we should wear, and whether or not we should try the newest diet craze. We are informed that wanting to be thin is the status quo, even if there is proof that being thin doesn’t necessarily mean being healthy, and if we don’t want to be thin then we are wrong, weird, or freaks of nature.
I am not saying that there is anything wrong with being thin; I think all women are beautiful and fierce. Yet as I followed the reactions regarding Rachel Frederickson’s weight loss, especially the reactions of women, I came to realize the importance of acknowledging the damage shows like this can cause to a viewer’s own sense of self-esteem and body image.
Shows like this are giving viewers the wrong information regarding weight loss and continuing to give people the idea that what we look like is more important than the person we are.
Having grown up in a society that allowed a stranger to deem my five-year-old body “too large” to take part in a ballet class, I think of how this outcome of a contestant taking their weight loss to the limit is a sign that shows like The Biggest Loser never really have winners—instead, they continue to have the rest of us feeling that we are…well, losers.
What do you think about this controversy regarding The Biggest Loser? How do you combat the issues that all of the weight loss media brings up?
Brenda Molina is a blogger, poet/spoken word performer, and feminist. She is also an advocate on education regarding female relational aggression and the correlation between FRA, social media, and reality television; check her work out at theblackcatpoet.wordpress.com!