Live and let eat!

What’s wrong with British tv lately? Every time I switch it on I find at least one show about fat people.

“The biggest loser”, “Obese:a year to save my life”, “45 stone virgin”, “Fat families”, “Downsize me”, “Half ton teen”, “Supersize and superskinny”, “Supersize kid”, “Fat and proud”… these are only a few examples popping into my head. I could mention many many more.

Old, young, black, white, men, women, teenagers and grannies.. No matter what time of the day it is, there’s always at least one channel showing a fat person crying their eye sockets off whilst trying to loose weight.

The premise is always the same: ridiculously huge people who suddenly realise they’ve become larger than their front door and must loose weight. Skinny bitchy doctor arrives, puts them through the same dietary regime as Gwyneth Paltrow, humiliating them publicly on prime time tv (as if the poor souls weren’t unpopular enough BEFORE going on tv!!) Fat person cries; looses hopes, bitchy doctor gives big motivational speech, fat person hugs doc and swears to change life forever and only eat raw carrots and quinoa grains… Two weeks later they go on a scale and discover they lost about half a kilo, which makes them jump up and down in sheer delight, wobble wobble.Nobody can tell the difference, they look as fat as before, but hey, their mindset has changed and that’s what matters. Hurray!

Now, let’s make it clear: I have nothing against very fat people. On the contrary. I think their constant public humiliation on tv should stop. Leave them alone! Live and let eat.

Really, what’s the fascination with obesity? Why do we need to see another humongous 17 years old so big he can’t do up his shoe laces?

I suspect most people watch these shows to feel good about themselves: let’s be honest, most of us look like Chanel’s models in comparison to the sad creatures featured in Supersize.

But perhaps there’s something even darker going on. It’s the elephant man syndrome, that sick fascination for people who don’t look totally human. And what these series do is showing them exactly like that: alien creatures, followed by night cameras like animals in the jungle, always under the most unflattering light, wearing the most horrid clothes, covered in sweat, surrounded by mountains of greasy food. Anything to provoke disgust. And to make the final redemption even more grandiose. “Edgy” tv they think… Predictable and manipulative, I feel…

Can’t British tv come up with something ELSE? Of course any alternative show involving different kinds of crying people has already been explored. You out there, living outside Britain, might be under the false impression that Uk tv only shows period dramas and gardening competitions… On the contrary, in the past few years we’ve been offered the biggest breasts, the tiniest penises, the oddest vaginas, 7 dwarves in the big brother house, black people turning white, white people turning orange, paraplegics running the marathon, pushy mothers and sloppy daughters… Today at 9pm on BBC 3 there was a show on “how sex works” in which a woman was asked to masturbate in front of the camera whilst given an MRI scan of her brain…
But still, despite everything, no matter what, after a few weeks of such adventurous subjects, all tv channels return to the fatties. They can’t stay off them longer than a month…

Perhaps obese people on a diet have gone from “edgy” to “safe ground” like “Coronation Street” or a repeat of “Friends”…
“Oh dear, Paul, we went too far with that sex program…”
“Oh well, never mind, let’s take it off air and show “Are you fatter than this five year old?” instead..”

What shall we do? Go out more for once… Get Skyplus and only watch HBO series… Or have a pizza and feel good about our waistlines.


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