The Biggest Loser– a reality (debatable), contest-show aimed at awarding a contestant with the title of losing the most amount weight. Where during a period of intense “training” (take note of the quotation marks), and a strict diet, obese people lose weight, get fitter and become healthier. However some may view The Biggest Loser as a TV show where a bunch of ‘losers’ are presented jumping around, up on stage in underwear, crying and looking silly – all in order to entertain the public, in a spectacle manner. Some episodes even rely purely on this entertainment and spectacle element where the producers create games, “relationships” between people, and mini complications to amuse and cause debate within the public sphere – whilst ultimately brushing over real issues.
Many may argue that the TV show The biggest Loser almost commercialises the idea of obesity, in order to create an entertainment aspect for the public. There are five accounts according the McKee, and to commercialise and to rely too much on spectacle are just two of the points I agree can be associated with The Biggest Loser. In a sense I agree the show includes aspect of manipulation of real-life disorders – this is wrong! Take a look at this next pic; is it ‘humorous’ that the producers of this show depict real people as objects of spectacle, or is it wrong? This woman is photographed in a ‘silly’ expression, in hardly any clothes, undertaking clearly weird and over-the-top ‘exercises’. Is this just a coincidental shot? Or was this woman situated in a position where she would most definitely look odd?
On the other hand, I do also agree that the show offers parts which focus on aspects of generating “healthier” people, and allowing individuals with the opportunity to turn their wellbeing and, ultimately, life around. Chosen contestants are offered a variety of self-help mediums including trainers, nutritional information, motivational assistance and a constant push to revolute their way of living. However I believe more of the show SHOULD be focusing on these real issues and allowing for even the viewers at home to become motivated and see just how serious obesity is. Of course to create entertainment, humour and some spectacle may be required – but is The Biggest Loser going over the top? Have your say!
McKee, A, 2005, ‘Introduction: the public sphere : an introduction’ in Public Sphere: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp1-31.