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Breakfast Television’s Amazingly Preferential Magic Scale

March 13, 2012

In the grand scheme of things, petty annoyances are just that — random, irritating events that temporarily invade our minds and quickly dissipate from memory due to their trifling nature. However, one petty annoyance I experienced recently has stuck in my mind. I don’t think about it all the time, but every once in awhile I’ve found it involuntarily replaying in my mind, and it makes me grit my teeth all over again.

What happened was this…

It was a normal weekday morning and I was going about my routine, waking my daughter up for school, making coffee, getting her lunch ready. I always have a morning show on in the living room while I do this, so in between random tasks I can catch the news and weather and watch whatever fluffy, little interview or performance is going on.

One of the personalities on this morning show is an extremely perky, bubbly co-host whose job it is to visit a different location every morning. Sometimes she’s out of town at a tourist attraction, or she could be visiting a local brewery or bakery explaining the daily routine there. Basically, they’re just innocuous little visits to various places.

On this particular morning, she was at some kind of science fair and they had this giant weight scale that (for whatever reason) increased the weight of something about threefold or even more. Naturally, the chipper little co-host had to get on the scale to demonstrate how it worked for the viewing audience.

When it hit 300 pounds (she couldn’t weigh more than 130 pounds) she made this good-natured, perky sound of dismay and announced, “Okay, that’s enough, I’m getting off!” She then jumped off the scale as quick as she could, laughing with relief. Then it cut back to the newsroom where the anchor was sitting there grinning, and he said, “Yeah, good idea! Get off that thing!”

The two amazingly chipper Breakfast Television personalities, Kevin Frankish and Jennifer Valentyne.

This 20- or 30-second segment annoyed the hell out of me. How insensitive, I thought. Yet it was exactly the kind of thoughtless thing that thin people do all the time. I wonder if it even occurred to them how offensive it was. The whole purpose of that morning show is to give viewers a relaxing, entertaining, stress-free start to their day, but it had just accomplished the complete opposite for a segment of their viewing audience.

I’ll bet more than a few 300-pound people were watching that show that morning… and probably even people who weighed a lot more than 300 pounds. Do you think that little segment inspired a great start to their day? Or did their shoulders slump as they were reminded of the constant hurdles they will face as they walk out the door? I’ll bet I wasn’t the only one who took offense at her joyous smile of relief (and the male anchor’s amused grin) long after she jumped off that scale.

I’ll bet the other large viewers were thinking (as I was) that it sure would be nice if they could just jump off their scales and leave that number behind as if it never existed. But no, they can’t do that. They have to live the reality of being that size. Life isn’t quite as simple for them as someone whose most pressing concern is probably what tooth whitener is most effective.

Stupid fucking morning shows.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. LittleBigGirl permalink
    March 13, 2012 10:27 am

    I think the segment you described just reinforces how limited most people’s worldview is. I live in Seattle near the Pacific Science Center, which I have been going to since I was a kid. They have a scale that shows what you weigh on all the different planets to show the difference in gravity. I actually find it funny that even though I am considered fat and overweight on this planet, on other planets I would either be even heavier or way lighter. So weight is even more subjective and non-universal than we FAs know it to be. The fact that I could weigh thousands of lbs on one world and only a few on another helps remind me that my weight really doesn’t matter. Helps me keep my feet on the ground, literally and figuratively! 😉

    • March 13, 2012 10:40 am

      LittleBigGirl, thank you for your comment! Yeah … on the moon, I would be a toothpick! lol That is funny. Maybe I should move there. What’s the rent on craters like these days? Is the dark side of the moon cheaper?

  2. vesta44 permalink
    March 13, 2012 10:36 am

    And things like that are the main reason I don’t watch regular TV anymore. I stick to channels like DIY and HGTV for the Holmes on Homes, Holmes Inspection, and renovation programs, with maybe a side foray off to the channels that carry Auction Hunters (love Ton Jones, his enthusiasm is contagious), or Cops. At least those shows aren’t fat-phobic, and most of the commercials don’t have anything to do with dieting or exercising to get that “perfect” body, etc.

    • March 13, 2012 10:43 am

      I try to avoid most regular tv as well, but in the mornings, I like to put on the news and catch up on what’s going on. So annoying. One of these days I’m going to sit down with a notebook on my lap and systematically track every single fatphobic reference I see for a two or three-hour period, and see what numbers I come up with. This would include commercials, commentary, plots on tv shows, characters, etc. Coming soon!

    • March 13, 2012 2:07 pm

      i ❤ holmes on anything…ooo and those ______ crashers shows where they stalk strangers in the home improvement store and then redo their kitchen/bathroom/backyard/house. i also love british anything..and i LOVE "supersizers go". everybody says "back in teh day everyone ate so much HEALTHIER" well, supersizers go back and live a week eating what people ate in each era. people think our 2200 calorie diet is bad. you should see what they ate in say the roman era, or Elizabethan times /ugh. good times….

  3. Jackie permalink
    March 14, 2012 12:46 am

    You think that was bad. Hoda and Kathie Lee once started their morning show talking about, “Would your rather be…than fat.” Seriously, like cliqueish high schoolers. They were saying, stuff like “Would being blind be better than being fat?” I haven’t watched The Today Show or Hoda & Kathy since. It was beyond insensitive, if they replaced the word fat with Black or Muslim, they wouldn’t have been able to make those statements on the air.

    • March 14, 2012 5:57 pm

      Absolutely. But fat prejudice is the only socially acceptable prejudice in our society. We are the only group of people it is considered okay to ridicule, demean, harass, denigrate …. the list goes on.

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