Have you guys seen the new reality show on TLC’s network, “Big Sexy?” It’s based on New York City, where 5 plus-sized women in the fashion industry (plus-sized models, makeup artist, swim suit designer, retail saleswoman) are taking on the day-to-day challenges of living large in a size-obsessed culture. The girls come together to put on a plus-size fashion show, proving that you don’t have to be a stick-figure to work the runway. The show also follows each of them as they have their individual adventures finding love in the Big Apple, looking for great guys that appreciate and love the way these girls look and for who they are.
While I do admire the girls’ sense of self-confidence and charisma, I still have mixed feelings about the show. I do feel like it goes to extremes to tell the opposite side of the fashion world, “screw you! I love being fat!”
Weight and clothing sizes aside, what ever happened to health? To preventing chronic disease; to find middle ground and a healthy weight for YOUR body (height and bone structure) and maintaining, even flaunting that? Where’s the show about us average beautiful girls, sizes 4-10 that still have boobs, do eat dessert (occassionally) and exercise on a regular basis?
No less than 2 episodes in, one of the cast members, Tiffany, a plus-sized model, goes in to see an endocrinologist and have blood work done. She finds out that because of her weight, she’s now been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Her contracting manager is urging her (more like forcing her) to lose 7-10 pounds so she will fit beautifully into the size 16-18 category.
Body-confidence, self-acceptance, and self-worth aside, in a culture today where we’re dealing with 68% overweight/obese, I feel TLC is sending wrong messages with this show. YES, you should learn to love who you are, but part of LOVING who you are is learning how to take care of yourself properly: that means eating well and being active; it means maintaining a healthy body weight to prevent things like diabetes, heart disease, thyroid issues, and so on. Self-acceptance lately has seemed to turn into fat-acceptance. People are forgetting that pride doesn’t keep you alive, no matter how “curvy” or “thin” you are.
In a self-obsessed culture, the audience is the one I’m most concerned about. Big Sexy put a bad taste in my mouth.