The quote above is taken from the YouTube clip below. This documentary provides an incredibly powerful insight into adolescent, and pre-adolescent, girls and their relationship with their bodies:
Now consider the messages Australian teen girls will be receiving this week if they tune into channel 10’s The Biggest Loser. I wrote an Opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald on this show last year: The Burden of treating girls bodies as the enemy.
What do I find so concerning about this program? I am not questioning the importance of maintaining a sensible diet or a fitness regime. And it is obvious that the contestants do need help in getting their health back on track. But is public humiliation, excessive dieting and exercise, and the constant obsession with numbers (calories, kilos, carbs…) helping either the participants or the viewers long term?
One of my Facebook buddies is so incensed by this show that she has set up her own Facebook page to stimulate discussion on the real issues: Shame on you channel 10 – ‘The Biggest Loser’ should not be shown. What messages are we sending, one member of this group questions, when contestants gasp in dismay at the thought of having to consume lollies worth 80 calories as a possible ‘punishment’ for failing to get immunity?
Surely we don’t need more thinspiration. We are already bombarded with images of ultra-thin models and celebrities and surrounded by advertisements for the multi-million dollar diet industry.
What we need is more balance.
More connection to our bodies.
More celebration of diversity.