Parental blame on a whole new level
THE audience seemed deranged, but I imagine they had low blood sugar. Channel 10 couldn’t exactly invite 3000 people to the opening night of The Biggest Loser and then hand out treats. Besides, they wanted delirium. It comes across great on camera.
As it turned out, there was screaming anyway. Screaming and tears. These contestants inspire it: it’s parents and their kids — guilty parents and their kids who they’ve made fat. Sob.
This isn’t like last year’s The Biggest Loser, where, I seem to recall, I wasn’t ‘‘ invested’’ in the characters because I didn’t ‘‘ like’’ some of them very much. It’s early days for this new season, but if it hasn’t hooked you by now you’re unhookable.
Children though. It could’ve been tricky — like, Department of Family Services tricky. But the statute of limitations on the word children isn’t what it was. In my day, it was 12. You learned to drive at six, assuming you grew up in the country. Now you could be 42 and still living with your parents and nobody would think there was anything wrong with you.
So you can see why these Biggest Loser mothers and fathers blame themselves. Too much contact with over-eating parents. Although genes are genes and I have to say, those Biggest Loser T-shirts must be adding a good 5kg.
Generation after generation, obesity has been passed down through Australian families, Hayley Lewis tells us as she stands on the steps of the Biggest Loser house. It’s an enormous house, and apt. Years ago you never saw houses like that in Australia. And you didn’t see obesity, despite what Hayley says. It wasn’t passed down, generation after generation.
Now, almost 20 per cent of Australia’s adult population is obese and we arrived at that figure in 20 years. Obesity was rare 30 years ago. Now we’re heading towards having an adult male population where 70 per cent is overweight or obese.
So I trust those terrifying figures have assuaged any qualms you have about child exploitation? And we’ve decided these aren’t children anyway? Oh, they’re someone’s child, just not technically a child. Yes, one is 15. Todd. But look, if this was Utah he could get married.
Clearly he’s entitled to lose weight on national television if he wants to.
Most of us who watch television probably have moved well past the stage where we get upset about exploitation. I was thinking about this as the camera hovered over Brett’s bosoms. The only reason I knew they weren’t his mother’s was the proximity of the shot. Humiliating for Brett? Probably not. He’s probably used to people looking at him.