A couple of weeks ago, the popular NBC show The Biggest Loser unveiled it’s latest “loser” and America was shocked at the transformation. I do not watch the show, nor have I ever watched it. But this season and the final result piqued my interest. The winner, Rachel Frederickson lost an astonishing 155 pounds, from 260 down to 105, a size 0-2. The general public opinion after the big reveal was that she was too skinny, had lost too much weight. Therein lies my problem with this entire situation.
Why did Rachel go on The Biggest Loser in the first place? Likely because her health was suffering at her heaviest. But I would imagine that at 24 years old she had had enough of the shaming that our society does to those overweight. Sick of the judgmental looks at the grocery store, at restaurants, people who think that being overweight is a personal choice that every individual makes. I have to admit, I am guilty of this judgment sometimes too. I can’t even fathom what it’s like – rarely do I stop to walk a mile in their shoes. At my darkest moments with my weight and self image struggles, it is almost always me vs. me. What others see rarely factors into my neuroses. But that’s because I am not overweight. People see me as a regular sized, even slim, person. So again, I can’t imagine what Rachel and others in her situation go through in public. So Rachel made a choice, she got on the Biggest Loser to change her life. And she did in a huge way. She lost over half of her body weight. You can see it in her face during her interviews and in photos that she feels amazing.
But society still hates her. Now they are shaming her again – but this time for being too thin. Because no matter what we do as people to better ourselves, it’s never right. She was a negative role model before for not taking care of herself. And now because she is thin, she is a negative role model for not taking care of herself. Can we ever really win? Rachel did what she was supposed to do. Who is to determine whether or not she is healthy now? Certainly not the American public – more likely her, her family and her doctors. Again, I can’t imagine what she is going through.
What’s my point here? I don’t have all [ahem, any] of the answers. I just know that shaming others for our successes and failures doesn’t make us feel better. Anytime I’ve judged an overweight person in the grocery store whose cart is filled with oreos and doritos [I wish that was in my cart] it only fills me with darkness. We should fill our lives with light, not darkness, as much as we can.
What are your thoughts on the topic?