I’m a total channel surfer, so I can’t say that I’ve ever been a die-hard fan of any reality show, but I’ve watched enough of many of them to be familiar with The Biggest Loser. My husband and I have even talked about this show, the transformations and the incredible inspiration that these participants bring to anyone who struggles with weight. Today, my Facebook feed was full of images of the latest winner, Rachel, and her dramatic weight loss, not because she is an inspiration to them, but because of how far she went to win.
No stranger to the struggles of weight loss, and after losing 30lbs on Weight Watchers, I wonder if the $250,000 prize would be the right motivation to have me lose the remaining 30lbs? Would you do whatever it took to win the prize? Would you sacrifice your health for money? I love this perspective of my friend Kelli, who thinks that yes, she would do exactly what Rachel did. Go for it at any cost and eat later. You have to admit that any “reality show” that puts money up for the prize will have contestants doing whatever they need to, whether it’s eating scorpions on Survivor or going to weight loss extremes on The Biggest Loser, in order to win. I love this article on the pros and cons of participating on The Biggest Loser. Refinery 29 even reported that this is not the first Biggest Loser contestant or winner to stir up controversy. You just have to read former season 3 winner’s tweet to know that there is a bigger issue going on.
Even though The Today Show just couldn’t ask the more relevant questions and continually told Rachel that she “looks amazing” “looks fabulous”, I still hope that this story opens up the dialogue about the struggle to be thin in our society, the existence of competitions on tv that perpetuate unrealistic goals of weight loss and maybe even how we value what people look like. I hope that The Biggest Loser producers evaluate their role in this woman’s health and the health of everyone put in their care on the show- did they monitor her, get her expert advice she needed after the show or did they push her too far? I hope that Rachel finds a healthy weight that she can maintain, spends some of the money for some great advice on nutrition and that she is left alone by the media eyes who will inevitably be watching and critiquing as she gains every little pound after her win.