A preoccupation with fat

Better to focus on the strength and beauty of the human spirit.

I loathe and detest television producers’ and programmers’ current preoccupation with fat.

For example, reality fat shows where excessively overweight people are pitted against each other in a bid to lose the most kilos; or a British family of four – all of whom are morbidly obese – trying to change a lifetime of bad habits; and now a sitcom about a large (fat) family brim full of fat jokes.

I know the first two scenarios are examples of programming on a budget. They cost little to make. The chosen candidates give the impression of enjoying being the centre of attention for a change and are probably doing so for little or no payment – their 15 minutes of fame. It’s pathetic.

In the case of all candidates selected (of the shows we get to see), fat equals stupid equals ridicule.

The programs reek of voyeurism – like a circus sideshow featuring the world’s fattest person.

I remember an extremely smart girl in my class throughout our teenage years. Her German-born mother was a petite and very neatly dressed, very precise. I can’t recollect the context of the discussion we were having in class, but I do remember Alison saying, “intelligent people don’t get fat.” (I could hear her mother in the background on this one.) I didn’t agree with her then…and I don’t agree with her now. The answer is not that simple, there are so many other factors at work.

Reality shows don’t focus on intelligent people. Intelligent people don’t put themselves up for derision.

I prefer programmes focusing and aspiration and genuine achievement, of people succeeding when odds are stacked against them, stories that bring tears to your eyes and applaud the strength of the human spirit.

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