This week I am going to write about the only Reality show I watch: The Biggest Loser. My office mate watches it, as well, and every Wednesday we talk about the night before. We have two huge issues with the show, but continue to be sucked in by it. The show has some underlying sexism that needs to be explored.
First off, last night, the black team had low weight loss. All but two of the contestants on the black team are women. My husband turns to me and says “They’re all having their period.” I said he was probably right. Then he says “don’t women get on the same cycle when they live together?” Why he is asking this is beyond me as we had a roommate for over a year who was a woman and she and I were most definitely in sync. What interests me most about this topic is that the show NEVER addresses it. They never say that women tend to fluctuate water weight throughout the month based on their menstrual cycle. In fact, statistics show that women can fluctuate as much as 2-4 lbs during their period. This might not seem a lot, but when you’re on The Biggest Loser, a four pound gain can mean you are going home. For me, this is more about addressing all the reasons that people gain weight and if they are going to ignore a natural bodily process because it is too controversial or “dirty,” I probably should stop watching it.
The other sexist thing that occurs on this show is what people wear. Early on, the women have to wear sports bras while the men get to wear t-shirts. And the men get to take off their t-shirts for the weigh-ins, but the women have to keep theirs on. Why would anyone make obese people show off their stomachs on national television? My suggestion is to keep them all in tank tops. It’s not fair to the women to have to wear sports bras and also not fair that the men get to take off their shirts.
So that’s my rant for the week. February is a crazy month for me with birthdays and V-Week, so my brain is not in its normal Feminist Critic mode. I promise to get it there for next week’s posting.