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The Biggest Loser - Winning by Losing For discussion of the NBC tv show The Biggest Loser and the book Winning by Losing, by Jillian Michaels

Is The “Biggest Loser” Ageist And Sexist?

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Old 09-20-2007, 06:19 PM   #1
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Cool Is The “Biggest Loser” Ageist And Sexist?

Please somebody, tell me I'm not the only one annoyed by the fact that since the show started the female contestants have, with one exception, been young and good-looking? And the exception doesn't really count since she was an at-home contestant and didn't get much screen time. (By the way I wonder if the reason they're not doing the at-home bit this season was on account of the animosity the returning homies received from the ranchers???) Aside from that exception the women have all been between twenty and thirty-five and, except for their weight, gorgeous. Many of them have looked like plus-sized models.

The men, on the other hand, have run the age gamut from twenties to early sixties and in appearance from ruggedly handsome to so-so.

What gives? I know this is a T.V. Show and they want ratings, but I think a lot of female viewers could identify more with female contestants who don't look like they're only a hundred pounds or so from the walkway. And if they have older men it's only fair that they should have older women. I speak from experience when I say I know women over forty have a harder time losing weight . But I'm sure the show could adjust for that, just like they adjusted during Season Two when it was women versus men.

Opinions anyone?
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:47 PM   #2
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Hey marlu,

We have a Biggest Loser Forum--and I'm going to move your post there! But don't worry, there will be a redirect from Weight Loss Support for awhile.

My opinion is that it's a TV show--and they choose who plays and what happens on the show for obvious reasons: Higher ratings, so they can sell advertising and make money. Period. I don't think they are really that interested in inspiring anyone.

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Old 09-20-2007, 07:12 PM   #3
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Maybe they are all gorgeous because thats who tries out? Even the men have been very handsome. Could it be the transformation also brings the beauty out? I dont remember any acceptions last year? The age thing could also be a health issue as well, although Jerry this year is older.

The at home thing from last year was the premise behind last years show...it was a COUNTRY competition.

Edited to add...Matt was scary looking to me when he was on, but by the end he was so handsome. Kia was the same way. Its all in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:28 PM   #4
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I guess by the replies everyone else is fine with the BL discrimination against older women.

Oh well. I kind of hoped I'd have some allies here.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:29 PM   #5
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I have to admit that I also thought Matt had (and really even after transformation still had) a weird ugly/attractive thing going on. But then again, I never did find "pretty boys" very attractive. They have to have a at least a tiny bit of odd or ugly in them or I'm not interested.

I guess even my husband fits the bill. When we met, he was a huge (6'2", 390 lb) long auburn-haired "biker-viking" of a guy complete with obnoxious t-shirts, leather jacket and a goatee and mustache. (and when I say obnoxious, I mean obnoxious. He has one that says "I love my weiner" with a picture of a dachshund on it, one that says "I'm big your small have a nice day," and another "Tell your mom to stop texting me" ... his collection is endless, and each new one more obnoxious than the last - a pink shirt that says "i'm only wearing pink because my executioner's robes are dirty"
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:32 PM   #6
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I dont think its discrimination, my belief is that either they havent gotten a good enough canditate that is older or there is a health issue. Plus, the older we women get the harder it is to lose weight because of hormones etc..that could be another reason. Why have someone go to such extremes just to get frustrated...that cant be good for her. I could be wrong, thats just how I feel about it. Last season there were older women in the 50 states group.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:39 PM   #7
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Marlu, it's definitely not reflective of the population. But if we're going to be annoyed with that, we should also be annoyed that TV and movies in general feature a range of men (age, weight, looks) and by and large beautiful, younger women. I don't think BL is doing anything different than what is shown in the rest of the entertainment industry. It is just more irritating because these are supposed to finally be people we can identify with. Sort of.
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:35 PM   #8
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What annoys me in movies and tv... is how often a person portrayed as the "ugly" person is actually a gorgeous person with glasses and braces, especially if it's a girl. Ugly men can play ugly men, but apparently ugly women can only be portrayed by women who are at least sort of pretty.

It's also the superman syndrome. No one can recognize that a beautiful girl is beautiful if she's wearing glasses. Huh?
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hun.e.B View Post
I dont think its discrimination, my belief is that either they havent gotten a good enough canditate that is older or there is a health issue. Plus, the older we women get the harder it is to lose weight because of hormones etc..that could be another reason. Why have someone go to such extremes just to get frustrated...that cant be good for her. I could be wrong, thats just how I feel about it. Last season there were older women in the 50 states group.

I think there are sound, medical reasons why older contestants are not typically chosen. Someone who has been overweight for 30 has a lot more damage to their bodies than someone who only has for 10 years. Contestants have to go through some very rigorous testing to get on the show, otherwise, they are a liability. Far less likely for a 32-year old person with obesity to have a heart attack at the gym than a 52 year-old. As hard as they work in the gym, they need to already have some level of fat-but-fit.

I also would wager that fewer older women would try out. For the most part, women are more vain about their appearance. Someone else posted about the stretch marks on the women from the show. I had two enormous babies. While I am proud of my stretch marks, not everyone else may be. And that is not to say that when other things start looking different, I may not want to be on national TV in shorts and a jog bra. I saw a line of wanna-bes in Chicago a few weeks ago. I did not see older people of either gender.

As for the appearance, it is like most things in life. The attractive people will get chosen. Since they are going for dramatic effect, they can turn women into total package-beauty if there is a good foundation. If they have to clear up her skin, fix her nose, spend hours in the make up chair, then it is too hard to create a knock-out at the end of the season.
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
I have to admit that I also thought Matt had (and really even after transformation still had) a weird ugly/attractive thing going on. But then again, I never did find "pretty boys" very attractive. They have to have a at least a tiny bit of odd or ugly in them or I'm not interested.
I have to agree with you COMPLETELY here!!! Pretty boy, model type boys never have caught my attention. Every guy I have ever liked has been considered "nerdy" (but not "geeky")... but, I also like the big football type guys too..... broad shoulders, big build..... I guess I equate that with someone who can "protect" me. Luckily DH is that type. AND, he has the T-shirts... one that says "I love hot moms" and "stop staring at my bass" (on the back of it.... it has a fish on it).

I agree with what Onthetee said .... that the older women would definitely be more vain then the older men. I haven't thought twice that the women and men they have are drop-dead gorgeous in the end.... I think that comes with the weight loss. Inner beauty starts popping out as the weight comes off (and their confidence comes up).
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:45 PM   #11
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Beauty is certainly all in the eye of the beholder! My idea of "gorgeous" may be "odd" or unusual" to another and what most people consider "attractive" or "beautiful" I consider bland and uninteresting. Besides, as cliche as it sounds, personality makes or breaks the level of perceived attraction for me.

Also, in reality, the average "plus sized" model tends to be between a size 10 and 14 and is near or over 6 feet tall. Ridiculous, isn't it?
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Old 09-20-2007, 11:00 PM   #12
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I'm having trouble believing that not one 40-year-old otherwise-healthy woman has applied to the show. One season could be chance but after four seasons' casts, I don't buy it.

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Old 09-21-2007, 07:14 AM   #13
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Yeah, I don't buy it either. They definitely cast the show with certain criteria in mind.

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Old 09-21-2007, 09:50 AM   #14
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There were over 40 year olds in the 50 states last year. They got picked to represent their state so I really dont think its discrimination. There just havent been good enough candidates to make the show. I'm curious why so many watch the show if its so awful....discriminatory, deceitful?? Dont bother answering I know we arent allowed to debate that, just me thinking in print. I love the show regardless.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
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There just havent been good enough candidates to make the show.
This statement got me thinking. Have you ever been to a casting call? I was really surprised at the volume and variety of people who showed up! There were some VERY large people of all ages and some really average sized people as well, of all ages, with great style, funky style, no style, and in every package you can imagine. I wonder how many of them were disqualified due to things that had nothing to do with age, appearance or schedule conflict. (Hmmmm, scratches head).




Quote:
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I'm curious why so many watch the show if its so awful....discriminatory, deceitful?? Dont bother answering I know we arent allowed to debate that, just me thinking in print. I love the show regardless.
What? No discussion/debate allowed? Isn't this a discussion forum/board? Why ask a question we aren't "allowed to answer"? I am puzzled.
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