First of all, no one should be “slamming” the winner of this cycle of The Biggest Loser for being too thin, as this EW headline suggests. Whether you’re on television or not, and whether there’s an overriding incentive besides one’s health to lose 155 pounds, contestant Rachel should be applauded for managing a feat this difficult, even with assistance most overweight people aren’t afforded.
The 105 pounds that she dropped, to, however, that’s not on Rachel. That’s on NBC. That’s on The Biggest Loser. That’s on the fact that she’s involved in a competition to see who can lose the most weight. That’s on the pressure that a nationally televised audience can exert on someone trying to win, trying to meet expectations, and trying not to let anyone down, and maybe overdoing it, and maybe not knowing where to stop.
Addiction is addiction, and an addiction to losing weight, or an addiction to exercise — both usually positive things — can work against someone if its taken to unhealthy extremes. Is 105 pounds for a 5’4 woman unhealthy? I dunno. It does fall under the healthy range of BMIs for someone her height. Yet, what I do know is that for some people, a reality-show culture that rewards extreme weight loss can certainly be unhealthy.
What I know most of all, however, after writing for Pajiba for nearly a decade, and reading enough comments on the subject, is that — underweight or overweight — no one should be “slammed” for their body size.
Here is the before hologram standing next to the present Rachel.