Yeah, we all knew it was coming. I have to write about this a little bit.
I was really annoyed when I first started seeing the commercials for this reality show. If you don't know what it is, FOX is doing a show similar to "The Bachelor", but instead they're featuring "The Fatchelor" along with 20 overweight women. As far as I was concerned, they might as well have called the show "More Cushion for the Pushin'."
I didn't remember the show was starting last night, so I'll be honest and say I didn't watch the whole thing. I caught it about 2/3 the way through. From what I've read in various recaps of the show, I am not really sure this show is a good thing.
My first issue comes with the fact that they're advertising this show as: "Finally! A show with REAL women." Okay. ALL women are "real" women. Skinny, medium, fat, hairy, blonde, tall, whatever. They're all real.
The second issue I have is the fact that every time they show an interview segment with one of the women, they post their HEIGHT AND WEIGHT. What the fuck? Seriously. WHY? We already know these are "BIG girls." That's the point of the show, right? So why the hell do you need to put their heights and weights out there for the entire country to see? So the rest of us fatties can look and compare ourselves? 'Cause that's exactly what I did. Want to see the woman whose stats are closest to mine?
Christina, 23, retail, 5'6, 206 lbs
Mandy, 25, fitness trainer, 5'7, 180 lbs
Now, I'm 5'6.5 and I weigh roughly 202 pounds. So, Christina is me a few pounds ago. Mandy is what I "should" look like when I lose another 20 pounds.
Apparently, I don't only compare myself to teeny tiny skinny girls on the reality shows, I compare myself to the big girls too. And even in more excruciating detail. Body composition plays a huge part. Firstly, I don't know if these women actually had a weigh in or if they're just posting the weights and heights these ladies wrote down on some application they filled out for the show, but I have a hard time believing some of the stats.
Add to all of this the fact that the "Fatchelor" seems creepy, particularly after reading about his manipulation of the women ALREADY, and the fact that a lot of the women's interviews have been edited together to show a ton of crying and sadness... I don't know if I'm gonna be able to keep watching it. Or maybe I will. It's like a freaking train wreck, and I don't know if I have the power to turn away. Or turn it off. Or change the channel.
Nevertheless, I'd love to know what you guys think if you caught the show.
I don't think I'll be able to watch the show for a while (at least until DVDs come out or if they sell the rights to overseas) but so far it sounds like a pretty disturbing show ><
I agree that the guy is kind of creepy!!! On one hand, I don't like that they show the women's weight. On the other hand, I do like it because it really made me feel like numbers don't mean a thing (and I would hope that it would do the same for other people) because one women who weighs 200 looked like she would weight more. And another who weighed like 280 looked like she would totally weight less. I'm trying to hope for the best and that maybe someone somewhere will get some sort of positive body image message out of it. I guess time will tell...
I'm pretty torn on this issue. I do think the guy's a boob...but I hate this type of show in general. And the weight thing bugs the shit outta me. As does the "real woman" BS.
It just disturbs me to see the women treated like a sideshow. Which all of those shows do, but this one seems worse somehow...Is any exposure of chubby gals good? Is this a step in the right direction? I'm not sure.
Here's my take. Mind you, I've watched plenty in my life, like most of my generation, but regardless, this is my take:
The majority of reality programming is garbage. It's manipulative, it's not that "real", it exploits people with a myriad of issues in damaging ways, and it plays to the audiences baser instincts. It's a long run of used people baring their varied issues through crying, binge drinking, cheating, being dishonest, being fake & disingenuous, and, of course, FIGHTING. Yelling, screaming, begging, pleading, throwing things, "talking sh*t". It's all that depressingly overused simplified term: "drama", and it's really all just really horrible.
THAT I feel is the truth about reality TV in general, and most of the shows fall into some variety of all the areas I talked about above, if not all of them. And we as the audience always talk about different shows and in truth, all most of us ever do is talk about the more superficial elements of the show. "Is it wrong to have a dating show about fat people?" Here's the thing, that's not the point; it's wrong at the core. It's bad for the people who participate, and it's bad for the people who watch. The core of the issue, again, is that is incredibly exploitive, and usually full of messed up people being encouraged to do things that are wrong(not that I don't have compassion for the people, but this is still largely true).
I just wish people would call a spade a spade and recognize that reality TV is a "guilty pleasure" because it makes us feel guilty to watch it. And why? Because we know that it, (again, not all of it, but MOST of it), is bad. It's not healthy.
I swear I’ve never written anything so "soap box" about television in any way ever, and I don't believe I'm some morality police. That being said, I think we all could do with less justification and moral relativism in our lives, and the mainstream acceptance of reality TV certainly is that.
Anyway, thanks for the prompt to think that through a little and discuss it.
Wow...I had never heard of this show! Hmm...I will look it up though...suddenly there seems to be a wave of shows showing "real" people...isn't there a new dance show coming out where the contestants dance to lose weight?
I can't believe the women signed up to have their weight posted in a dating show! I really feel like this perpetuates all of the fat stereotypes and that sucks the most.
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