When Ragen Chastain learned that Michelle Obama was appearing on The Biggest Loser to promote the show’s contestants as role models, she felt she had to do something. ” I e-mailed my friend Darryl Roberts, filmmaker of America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments. We wrote a well-researched article pointing out the problems with Mrs. Obama endorsing the contestants as role models,” she says on her blog, Dances With Fat. She continues:
It wasn’t meant for this blog, but it’s now been turned down by three major media outlets. Not because they disagreed with us, in fact all three said that they agreed with the article. It was denied in all three cases because the White House wouldn’t like it, they were worried about damaging their working relationship with the White House, and it it made the First Lady look bad and out of touch.
Since Chastain and Roberts’ article, which mainly discusses the health issues that come with extreme weight loss (the type promoted by The Biggest Loser) and the fallacies of focusing on the numbers on the scale instead of the bigger picture, was censored by major media outlets because the White House might not like it, Chastain has published the full piece on her blog and is asking that Michelle Obama meet her for lunch. (Obama, you should do it!) Here’s an excerpt:
Many people do not have access to safe movement options that they enjoy, or to affordable evidence-based health care. But as long as we focus on little Johnny’s BMI, we don’t have to address the real problems here and we can just keep shaming and blaming fat kids and adults and misinforming them and everyone else about the odds of becoming permanently thin.
Michelle Obama did in fact appear on The Biggest Loser, and tips from her workout session on the show appear on the front page of the letsmove.gov website. Something for she and Chastain to discuss over lunch, perhaps?
Michelle, you’re awesome but The Biggest Loser really isn’t.
The mass media may not want to publish this article, but hey, this is the digital age! We can access this “controversial” information anyway. Read the article here and pass it on!
If you’re new to the concept of fat acceptance, check out Fat Acceptance and You by Tasha Fierce.