February 5, 2014
A lot of people are freaking out about the winner of the Biggest Loser because she is too "skeletal" now. The winner, Rachel Frederickson, started out weighing 260 lbs and ended at 105, making her the biggest loser ever.
Now despite the fact that losing weight is such a central part of the show that it is named THE BIGGEST LOSER, apparently some people didn't really understand what they were signing up to watch. Instead of being impressed by Rachel's dramatic and record-setting transformation, they're calling her skeletal, blaming the show for encouraging it, and saying she shouldn't even be the winner. In other words, the typical reaction that occurs when you give people who hold the delusional belief that their opinions matter access to Twitter.
Let's start with her weight, because that's what people seem to care about. I personally wouldn't call her skeletal. Have you ever seen an actual anorexic person or like, a Holocaust survivor? That is fucking skeletal. Rachel is the size of a mother of three who spends a lot of time at Soul Cycle or like, Kate Middleton. [Betch 2, however, thinks she looks "scary," to which I point out and she agrees, she looks no scarier than women we regularly see on the streets of Manhattan. If she looks scary it's because it's unnatural for her, not because of the size itself.] But what a shame that she didn't lose the exact amount of weight that you, internet commenter, wanted her to lose, within the confines of what you define as normal.
If a person who was naturally thin and athletic were to have that body their whole life, no one would think twice. True, she may be slightly "underweight" at the end of a grueling competition show where weight loss becomes your life. Are you really going to attack her for that? I guarantee that if she were overweight by the amount she is underweight, and someone were to go around declaring her TOO FAT, that person would be fucking demonized.
But the most amazing part to me is how the same people who idolize airbrushed celebrities and waif-like models, and pay billions to the diet industry so they themselves can lose weight, will just turn around and start criticizing someone for achieving it. It reminds me of when Breaking Bad was ending, and Walter White became "too evil" for the fans and suddenly everyone mutually decided he had to either be arrested or die. Like really, you supported this character and wanted him to succeed as a meth dealer, but one day he crosses some imaginary moral line and everyone flips their opinions, just so they don't have to see themselves as horrible people for liking Walter White. I mean, he was great when he was a meth dealer and a murderer, but once he kidnapped his own daughter I just couldn't get behind him anymore.
The Biggest Loser is really not that different. One day everyone sees that the thing they've been rooting for (Walter White/weight loss) has gone too far, so of course they should immediately turn around and slam it rather than consider that the only reason it exists is because they encouraged it to get here. If no one watched or supported the message, it wouldn't still be on.
Now there are those who claim the show gives the contestants eating disorders. Yeah, fucking duh. You take a bunch of people who are seriously overweight, which is likely a result of existing disordered eating patterns (just not in a way that makes them thinner), and you throw them into a competitive environment where they have nothing to do but work out and eat celery for months in the hopes of looking hot and winning cash. You have producers and trainers and doctors monitoring their every move to "motivate" them. You film their every move and force them to reflect constantly on how much is invested in their weight loss journey to the point where it's literally the only thing that matters in their lives. And you're surprised that this environment breeds eating disorders? Yet you still watch it.
You stay classy, Rachel Frederickson.