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Another Biggest Loser season over, another new controversy

February 14, 2014

Diet TalkDickweedFat NewsEating DisordersExerciseFat HealthWeight Loss

Trigger warning: Images of extreme weight loss and discussion of said weight loss.

The negative reaction to the latest winner of The Biggest Loser, Rachel Fredrickson, might finally be the moment where the majority of viewers who thought this show was inspirational is actually just another piece of garbage in the increasingly growing landfill that is reality TV.

Rachel was 260 pounds and a size 20 when she joined TBL. In just over four months, she lost 155 pounds, bringing her down to  a weight of 105. Her appearance was so shocking that even professional fat-shamers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels were startled:

After the live finale, social media exploded with comments from people saying she took it too far and looks terrible. Rachel, of course, is in the honeymoon phase of her weight loss, saying, “I have this brand new life ahead of me. I’m probably going to shop a little bit for some new clothes, but then save it and use it for something really special. It’s gonna be a great life.”

But will it continue to be a great life if she regains back the weight she lost? Will she resort to those feelings of being so ashamed of her body that she hid from other people, as she has stated? We won’t know if Rachel will be successful maintaining her new body, and it’s really not our business. But maybe this sudden backlash over The Biggest Loser will finally start to hammer the nails in the coffin of this horrible program. And maybe Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels, and everyone involved in the creation of TBL will move on to other projects besides the exploitation and ridicule of fat people and putting them in extremely risky conditions just so they will have a socially acceptable body.
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8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2014 3:56 pm

    Reblogged this on The Cheese Whines and commented:
    I’m a huge cynic and have to say that I think Bob and Jillian will continue their horrible behavior regardless of whether The Biggest Dickweed continues or not. It would be nice to think that they would have an epiphany, but the proverbial leopard generally does not change its hateful spots.
    I honestly do not foresee a good future for the latest “winner” of this travesty. Losing that much weight that quickly is unhealthy to say the least. I have had to go on an extremely restrictive diet due to my recent health diagnosis and often have trouble eating enough. I have still only lost three pounds in a month. Granted, I have a really messed up endocrine system. Nonetheless, losing 155 pounds in four months can’t be good. This sort of thing tends to happen to people with life-threatening illnesses, i.e. cancer, not healthy adults.
    I don’t have anything against Rachel. I understand where she’s coming from. I understand her desperation. But I don’t see how she can maintain that kind of weight loss without resorting to severely dysfunctional eating habits.

  2. Amber permalink
    February 15, 2014 6:21 am

    It strikes me that the “before” image is even more outrageous because they scaled it up. At the finale, she’s wearing high heals, and yet her before image is at least an inch taller. This makes for an even more skewed comparison because scaling up makes her fat self look fatter.

    • February 15, 2014 3:48 pm

      But wait–maybe the Biggest Dickweed is so successful that they can even shrink your unwanted height too! 😉

    • Mich permalink
      February 17, 2014 1:33 am

      Perhaps it’s part of trying to make her seem smaller and less threatening, by being a small, docile, “little” woman. With the high heels removed she’s probably 5 inches shorter in the after “picture”. A much better view of women.

      The other thing that bugs me is that these shows get fat women to dress in bikinis, so that you can “see them rolls”.

  3. Jen permalink
    February 15, 2014 12:53 pm

    I frankly don’t see what’s so outrageous about the before image. It looks like a pretty average body type if you ask me. This makes me wonder if there’s a sexism component to the show. You get 444 pound men but the women seem to have fairly common body types. A size 20 as outrageous, please What gives?

    • February 16, 2014 2:42 pm

      Simple. Men always have more latitude when it comes to having a socially-acceptable body. Or face, or voice, etc. Especially in the entertainment biz. (And let’s face it: this is all about entertainment, not [cough] reality.)

      • Jen permalink
        February 16, 2014 5:33 pm

        I’ve never watched the show. I think it’s criminal that it should be allowed to continue. So when Shannon posted that picture I saw the before as a very normal, very common body type of a smaller fat. And my gender bias bells were swinging back and forth so fast they almost fell off the belfry. The show is problematic on every level, but when I see a woman’s before, being 30 pounds lighter than some men’s after (which they’re lauded for by the way), yeah, it just adds another level of slime to a show that’s already swimming in it.

        • February 17, 2014 10:30 am

          Oh, you won’t get any argument from me on any of that. Believe me, I was only trying to offer up a possible explanation, not a legitimate excuse for this kind of blatantly manipulative b.s.

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