Hello Beautiful Bloggers!
I wanted to share with you a recent controversy that has sparked the attention of many people who are fans of the show, The Biggest Loser. The winner of the show, Rachel Frederickson, is 24 years old and now weighs 105 pounds. The transformation brought her from 260 pounds and a loss of 59.62% of her body weight. Her body mass index is 17.5 which is considered by the National Institutes of Health to be underweight. The difference between her body and face before and after the show is shocking.
In fact, this story has blown up all over the web and people are saying Rachel is entirely too thin. One woman writes that “Rachel looks anorexic! She has gone from one extreme to the other!” CNN covers this story and talks about the controversy around the amount of praise Rachel is getting. Another recent comment states that “I’m saddened that my 13-year-old daughter watched as you were rewarded for doing that to your body.”
As I read through the story and the different comments people made, I contemplated which side I should choose. On the one hand, Rachel put in a lot of work to lose the weight that she gained after a horrible break up with her boyfriend. I can absolutely relate to her pain following a break up and how it could have caused her to lose herself. I want to cheer for her and say “Way to go!” as she loses the pounds she gained that caused her self-esteem to plummet. However, I also feel sad for her and think she has gone to the extreme. Do you really have to weigh 105 pounds to feel good about yourself? And that is when I realized the real question. Why does weight have so much to do with self-esteem? The arguments shouldn’t be about whether she is too thin or too fat, but rather why does society put so much pressure on women to be a certain weight?
The fact that she is underweight creates a lot of possible health issues and that should be cause for concern. However, why is everyone so obsessed with weight? There are so many shows that revolve around losing weight and being perfect. Women (and men) starve themselves to match what they see in the media. Perhaps if the ideal body image for women wasn’t so unrealistic then Rachel wouldn’t have even been on this show in the first place. She might have gained some weight from her break up but realized that it wasn’t the end of the world and she could lose it if she had a healthy lifestyle. It shouldn’t be about weight but about health. I don’t know if I should think Rachel is too thin or not but I do know people should stop focusing on how she looks and instead maybe ask how she feels. Does she have her confidence back? And if she does, is it because she now fits the ideal body image for women? If so, this issue is a societal one and not a Rachel one.
What do you all think? Is Rachel too thin? Does this raise other questions for how we as a society view weight? Or is there nothing to be said here at all?