Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Prime time problems

The TV droned on in the background of our cooking and chatting about the day. I wandered into the living room just in time to see a commercial for an upcoming program about an obese woman who lost some weight. A lot of weight.

Later, The Biggest Loser came on. I flipped channels, and every time I passed this show, I thought, "Shit, when did weight loss become a goddamn game show? Where's the healthy spin on that?" There were weigh-ins and disgusting plates of high-calorie temptations, insults and recriminations, but no details on body mass index, blood pressure, or emotional wellbeing.

Perusing Discovery Health, there were at least three programs about an obesity clinic, a group of doctors who do bariatric surgeries, and a story on Entertainment Tonight about Valerie Bertinelli's weight loss and the book that was just published about it. Is that really a book worth publishing? Aren't there more valuable wayas to use a printing press?

When America became a nation of overweight slugs, it was, initially, considered a health crisis. Now it's considered a sport, a medical drama, entertainment. What have we become as a culture? Seriously. Fat is prime-time entertainment both on network television and on cable, but nowhere has anyone metioned the underlying psychological causes of the problem, nor have they shown any compassion for those who are the subjects of these programs. Compassion is conspicuously absent.

I have a lot of fat clinging to my frame, yet I can't imagine my fat being the subject of a magazine article, book, sitcom, documentary, talk show, or reality TV. I prefer to be known for my brain capacity not my high circumference, but even if I were brilliant, I am still nobody and nobody gets press coverage for that.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.


Sophie in the Moonlight said...

Yup, I'm with you. I'd rather have the mind of a poet, than the body of a stripper.

Michael said...

Well said. Good on you. I hate "fat TV shows".