Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Hope and Prayer: The Biggest Loser Stops its Dangerous Practices

There are ways to encourage kids to lose weight. Biggest Loser is not one of them; rapid weight loss is dangerous, according to many doctors and critics of the program.
This post was written for Valentine's Day, but it is a post that applies to every day. The values expressed are eternal and timeless. These values should be ones we all embrace, especially if we believe in putting people before money and profits and decry exploiting others' weaknesses and putting them on display so we can feel "better" about ourselves. This should be anathema, especially when children and teens are involved.

 In this post I am sharing my hope and my love with my fellow Americans, the overweight, the obese and those at the opposite side of the spectrum, the underweight and anorexic. If you are a normal BMI? I'm sharing my love with you too, because most likely you are afraid of gaining weight and have attempted to lose weight or diet at some point in your life. In many ways we have all been encouraged to become ED (eating disordered) because the standards of appearance normalcy are ridiculous. And they change depending upon the culture and professions or businesses of the individuals judging you. Regardless, though, you are judged on your appearance and unless you are the freaky Barbie Hollywood type, Victoria Secret Model, uber thin 20-year-old, chances are you've judged yourself and found yourself wanting when you look in the mirror. Even the apparently "beautiful" find flaws when they see themselves in the mirror. So all of us judged and "eating disordered" at one point in time or another need some love and well wishes. Happy Valentine's Day.
This image has been photoshopped. The story went viral because of the controversy whether this Barbie look alike was real or not.
Eating disorders run the gamut from young to old and from very obese to anorexic bone thin, males included. I consider myself an expert being obese for decades, having yo-yo dieted too many times to accurately count. Being too fat or too thin in our culture, too ugly, old, too flabby, not manly, too short, etc., creates havoc with our emotions and personalities. Much of this ugly conceptualization of image has been fostered upon us by mass media starting with middle class fashion trends before the turn of the century. Our "consumer" culture created by advertisers, et. al., profits on creating needs, promoting fears and insecurities then providing their solutions. You need to kill your bad breath? There's a ton of products for that. Meanwhile, is bad breath so terrible? Advertisers make it so, as they and the entertainment industry and weight loss industry and pharmaceutical industry and medical devices industry, have made overweight and obesity traumatic and ugly and kept anorexia secret, unless the media rivets our attention on it because a celebrity's drug habit or too thin arms or bouts of bulimia have slipped out into the public forum or someone has killed herself because of it, i.e. Margot Hemingway, Karen Carpenter.
Christina Ricci admitted to battling an eating disorder.
 So we suffer every time we put a bite in our mouths, thinking about the calories or sweat it will take to pull out fat that could accumulate. We suffer if we look at the mirror and see drooping rolls of fat or creases or cellulite dimples. We are in pain when someone brags about how much weight they lost. We are humiliated if we shop with a friend and they grab a smaller sized dress or size 2 jeans. We cringe if our child is bullied because he or she is overweight and we often make it worse by trying to get them to diet or bring them to a doctor for a weight loss program or take them to fat camp. And if a child is very thin? We may "thank our lucky stars," until we realize they may be anorexic. Anorexia is even worse because anorexics commit suicide, anorexics die of starvation, are costly to rehabilitate, are even more secretive than the obese who have nowhere to hide. The obese and overweight and anorexic are psychologically and emotionally starved. The overweight feed to feel better; the anorexic starves to feel better. Both are hard pressed to feel love and acceptance from anyone to heal.
This woman is proud of her body. She believes she is beautiful. The culture has reinforced the image of emaciation and bones sticking out as superior, righteous, cool and elite. What do you think about this? If you hate it, you are probably not in the upper classes who believe you can't be too rich or too thin.
In this painting by Peter Paul Rubens, heavy women were beautiful because they had enough food to eat. Skinny women were considered ugly. Oh My! How things have changed. Date: 1615, Venus at a Mirror.  Venus is the goddess of love.
Underneath the picture of this woman, some men commented how beautiful her body was. They loved looking at the hip Emaciation is beautiful for the media culture. Bones are IN!  What do you think?
Anorexics and the overweight and obese are alone, so very alone. So are the so-called "normal" folks, or the elite gorgeous women who one day will grow old and ugly, regardless of all the botox and plastic surgery and other enhancers. We are all alone. We have to deal with ourselves. What if it's a problem? Wow! What a wonderful environment for emotional predators to revel in and exploit. Hello corporate industrial complexes: medical, fashion, entertainment, weight loss, food, pharmaceutical! All are looking to supply us with "help" to solve our problems and sate our aloneness. Can they really help? Or are we just ruining our immune systems with their chemicals? For bad breath, drink water and brush your tongue. It's more effective anyway. I rest my case with the analogy.
It used to be that women tolerated heavy men. This trend is changing, especially if the women have money and are from the upper middle class. Attitudes about weight are definitely classist. Fat is perceived to be correlated to poverty.
We need a moratorium declared against the "culture of judging appearances." We need a ban on the necessity of accepting the thin figure as beautiful in all media everywhere. When I say a ban and a moratorium, I mean a one year period or more where skinny women appear no where on TV or in magazines, but are replaced by natural looking women of all ages and all sizes. The obese? You will see no one with an obese BMI on media! Where are the female anchors that are obese? Why is there a proliferation of ridiculing emails of ratty looking, slovenly appearing obese women always shopping at Walmart? Why is obese associated with slovenly, raggedy, impoverished? That discrimination has to stop. Thin people shop at Walmart also! And very attractive looking obese people.

Back to the ban and moratorium! If advertisers and show producers and weight loss industry profiteers and fashion industry profiteers and models and the entertainment industry promoters etc., do not replace the skinnies with average looking and natural looking women who appear heavier? We need to boycott watching the shows that refuse to make changes. Why are we watching them anyway. They need us. We don't need them to live. They are dependent on us watching for their advertising revenue or for their cable subscriptions. We don't travel in the same circles as the media elite. They don't accept us or like us; there are so few of the average-looking on TV or in movies. If our representatives are there, they are usually the bottom of the bottom, the proles, the disgusting people, the losers, the failures. Why do we pander to to entertainment industry producers et. al., when they think "the average looking" ugly and force us to watch the beautiful people? Such "beauties" are often sick, twisted completely stressed out and messed up psychologically, emotionally and mentally. Why do I have to buy into what they are, find it acceptable and beautiful? Should I allow myself to be so brainwashed by the images? Do I not have power over my own mind? I refuse to buy into this sick obsession with uber thinness. I am officially boycotting TV programming, main channels and cable. It is a vast waste land and I have better things to do.

Photoshopped image of Pamela Anderson...can you tell which one is photoshopped? You have some help with the arrow.
Can you image if you turned off TV? If you didn't buy magazines? If you didn't read books that pandered to these skinny images or heroines of beauty and ripped heroes of masculinity? What would happen if  we all stopped buying fad diet plans that don't work and gym equipment that piles up in our basements unused. What happened if we discontinued gym memberships that we used once or twice and then gave up?  Think about it. We would save lots of money and the industrial complexes fueling all of this would lose.

How would we get our news? ONLINE! We select what we want. If it smacks of the egregious skinny, wannabe images that are uber dangerous? We select something else. If the programs encourage us with fear and devastation to lose weight in an unhealthy way? We move on to something that is healthier. We also do not pander to those who pander to such wannabe skinny elite images. We do know the difference, do we not? We do know who buys into the lies and who is real, do we not?
Demi Moore, photoshopped image; soooo perfect.
 Can you imagine if NO ONE IS WATCHING BECAUSE WE ARE BOYCOTTING PROGRAMS THAT REPRESENT NOXIOUS CONCEPTS ABOUT IMAGE AND APPEARANCE AND THEY KNOW WHY WE ARE BOYCOTTING THEM?  IF NO ONE IS WATCHING, HOW CAN THEY FUNCTION? How can they make profits or earn revenue? They can't. They would have to bend to our will, our wishes, our desires. They could no longer tell us what we want and need. We would tell them what we demand and if they don't give us natural looking people of all ages on media programs, in magazines, in movies, then we won't watch them or patronize their channels and products. We are the watchers. Not them. They have told us what we want for too long and we know they are attempting to brainwash us. Enough is enough.
Demi Moore, not so perfect.
 We are the ones who are important. We don't have to give audience to their sickness, their fear, their greed for profits, putting money above people, their arrogance, their elitism, their unreal beauty standards, their lies, their brainwashing, and their rejection of us for decades, the rejection of the little people. Well, WE REJECT THEM AND THE STANDARDS THEY'VE SHOVED DOWN OUR THROATS, STANDARDS WHICH ARE AN IMPOSSIBLE AND DANGEROUS FICTION TO MAINTAIN.
These teenage girls fought Seventeen Magazine's use of photoshopped images with an online petition on They won a pledge from the magazine to use natural images of teen girls. Did they keep their word?
But I can't do without my programs, you say? Sure you can. Find something else...take up an active hobby or sport that might be fun, involving others. Surf the web and go to sites that will uplift you, not ones that reinforce feelings of false envy or superiority. (You know the "those people are worse than me" reality shows which are so unreal and edited that it hurts.) We need to begin to love ourselves and say, "I am better than that." I will not buy into all this fake, unnatural TV content they are showing me and selling me. Enough with the unreal images.

I have the perfect place to begin. The Biggest Loser. I have never watched the show because I know it is a fraud, it is unhealthy, it promotes dangerous weight loss, not slow, slow measured weight loss which is more likely to be sustained and kept off. How have the producers gotten away with it for so long? Secrecy. Well, a whistleblower has come forward. You can read her testimony here. Kai Hibbard was a contestant and finalist and she has come forward to tell you the truth about The Biggest Loser.

Did you know that the producers of the Biggest Loser, in their hunt for more profit have "raised the bar?" It isn't enough to brainwash adults to lose weight in an egregious unhealthy manner, but now they are pushing their dangerous weight loss on kids? No comfort and encouragement and security for these kids. Instead, we get to gawk at these subhuman fatso kids (what is being subliminally promoted) tormented, shamed and bullied into weight loss by "weight loss experts!" Pleeeeaase.
 Well, I for one am boycotting The Biggest Loser especially the programs which include the kids. I don't support their noxious, ineffective (for maintenance) weight loss program. I have my own which works (kept 120 pounds off for 2 1/2 years). I don't support how they are tormenting kids to lose weight when the complexity of the kids' overweight is something far beyond what these inexpert experts have gauged. For example, the kids' eating patterns may have been caused by many variables, including terrible food allergies which neither parents nor kids know about and which can come back once they are off the show and resuming some of the old eating habits.  I don't support that fat is ugly. I don't support that fat and obesity is disgusting. I don't support that being fat makes one inferior and dumb and able to be easily victimized. I don't support that being fat gives others the right to ridicule them with voyeuristic fervor. I don't support the parents who have allowed their kids to be on this show. I don't support that everyone has to be thin and ripped. It is up to the person and if one intends to lose weight, one should not go into the process lightly. Yo-yoing is much worse. For those reasons I am boycotting The Biggest Loser and boycotting TV AND CABLE.  LET THE NORMALCY OF IMAGES BEGIN.

And so should you!  If you are not able to wean yourself off of some of the programs or concepts, at least think about it and ask yourself why you are drawn to the stuff that self-hate is made of. Maybe this post will help! 

Secondly, if you would like to do something of good use, then take a look at this petition and sign it. It's boycotting The Biggest Loser. That's a beginning.

Read the comments by people who have watched the show and find it fraudulent and unhealthy.

May God bless you and help you to feel loved and secure, regardless of your appearance, your bank account, your heritage.