So, a couple of days ago, I caught wind of a new reality TV show on the Oxygen network called My Big Fat Revenge, a show that appeared to be a hybrid of The Biggest Loser and Punk’d. Intrigued, I decided to check out the show’s website to learn more about it. Apparently, the “docu-series” gives overweight women the “opportunity” to not only lose weight through Draconian measures, but also to get retribution against family members, former boyfriends, former classmates, etc., who had shamed and made these women feel humiliated about their weight in the past. To do this, the “fat shamers” are “set up on blind dates, auditions, and nightmare jobs to experience what they put their offenders through,” so that the transformed women can teach them a lesson and get an apology.
All I can say is “no.” What a horrible idea for a show! Instead of having the women embrace their bodies as-is and then confront their tormenters, this show is condoning the idea that getting thin is the best (and only suitable) revenge. In fact, by focusing solely on losing the weight, the women are actually validating their attackers’ assertions that they should have been ashamed of their weight. While the show does assert that fat-shaming is wrong, it essentially undermines this message by saying that unless you lose weight and look thin, you do not deserve respect.
As a television channel that is supposed to be providing inspiring and empowering programming for women, I find all of the above very depressing indeed.