TV shows skew reality
ISWEAR that some TV shows need to come with severe warnings besides the tired “this show contains scenes of nudity, parental guidance is advised”.
Shows like TLC’s My 600-lbs Life should carry a warning like: “This show will leave you with a warped mind, unable to recognise what is normal and what is not.” Had this warning come on screen the first time I watched My 600-lbs Life, I would have switched channels, but no, I had to insert myself into the lives of morbidly obese people going about their lives, dealing with their food addiction and trying to lose weight.
There is some morbid fascination about watching people so huge that some parts of their bodies start having lives of their own and just keep expanding.
Watching their enormous and grotesque forms wobble about as they move, watching their fat fingers, big as sausages, tuck into food, shove it into their mouths and not as much chew it, but just swallow the whole thing and scoop some more.
I thought I had seen it all until I saw someone so big that she could not fit through a bathroom door and had to be hosed like an animal on the veranda every day.
I realised that this show damaged my mind and altered my reality when a friend told me about her formerly fat friend, who had lost weight, and we argued about what I considered fat.
My friend looked at me and said: “Botho, watching those very fat people has messed up your mind and skewed your reality. You no longer know what normal fat people look like anymore.”