Reality TV in general is full of drama and crying especially my guilty pleasure the bachelor. Although reality TV is amongst the trashiest of TV, I still get sucked in by the manufactured stories. That being said, one reality show that I watch brings a bit more to the table, The Biggest Loser.
At first glance it seems like it’s a way to shame fat people by making them work out for endless hours and screaming in their faces. Which admittedly is why it took me until the 10th season to give it a go. In reality, overeating is a form of self -destruction. These contestants go through grueling physical work-outs and mental revelations as well. Like any kind of behavior modification, the show helps expose their underpinnings to the behavior and then gives them tools to improve upon them.
There are bloggers and people who believe the show is forcing starvation and dehydration, which I don’t believe. I’m sure a lot of things aren’t shown on the aired episodes, which Jillian Michaels addresses on her podcast. Since it is TV, many of the “healthy eating” segments are a bit like commercials. And the beeping as they weigh in seriously drives me a bit nuts.
I enjoy watching the show because it’s about overcoming a large psychological obstacle to become a better person. Not only do they feel better about themselves mentally but also they have the tools to become healthier, and share that with their families. Our country is in need of this type of change since about 2/3 of people are overweight.
The season introduces a challenge for kids to get healthy. Impressively, the show so far has been able to do this in a manner that is constructive to the children.
In the end, The Biggest Loser is a reality show, which means it doesn’t really show reality, but it provides the message that you can overcome your mental obstacles and be a better version of you.