‘There’s nothing empowering about The Biggest Loser.’

No shame here! Amber Rose undertakes a glorious walk of no shame.
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No shame here! Amber Rose undertakes a...

“To co-opt an anthem of empowerment is, well, pretty offensive.”

I love Shake It Off. I love it with a deep unbridled passion.

Sure, I would struggle to pick another Taylor Swift song out of a pop top ten line up, but that says more about me than it does about Tay Tay.

I love it because it’s a sick beat that you can get down to. I love it because we dance to it in the middle of the day at work when we’re feeling a bit sluggish, it has that instant uplift factor. But mostly I love it because it’s an empowerment anthem.

You can watch the video for Shake It Off below. Post continues after video.

Video by TaylorSwiftVEVO

It says, sure there are some shit people who do shit things sometimes but you can’t let that get you down. You have to, you know, shake it off.

So, I want to say, thanks very much, to The Biggest Loser who have now officially ruined that song for me by making it their new theme song.

Fat? It’s all good. You can shake that off.

A couple of years ago, I decided to embrace the word fat. I use the word fat to describe my physical appearance. Because I am.

the biggest loser australia 2015
Alys with her daughter, Claire. Image: Supplied.

I see fat as nothing more than an adjective. In doing so, I’m trying to take out all the baggage we’ve packed into that word over the past 50 years or so; that fat people are lazy and stupid, that they lack discipline, that they don’t care about their health.

When fat is nothing more than a statement of fact, “I am fat”, it has no power. It can’t make me feel bad.

When fat is simply a physical description, it can’t make me feel unworthy. It can’t make me feel less than, or othered.

Fat is not who I am, it’s just my body shape.

Embracing the word fat has been an incredibly powerful thing to do. It’s meant that I can look in the mirror and see a person, not a shape. It means, I’m empowered because I’m an honest, decent human being. I’m a capable, determined woman. I’m not empowered because of my physical appearance.

The Biggest Loser is a show built on the false premise that fat is bad and thin is good. It features extreme weightloss. It takes vulnerable people, places them in a completely unrealistic living situation, forces them to exercise until they vomit, in some cases until they are physically injured, and it severely restricts food intake.

the biggest loser australia 2015
This year’s judges on Season 10 of The Biggest Loser. Shannan, Michelle, Tiffiny and Commando. Image via Facebook.

It shames contestants. The show depicts them as unlovable and unworthy. It places them in deeply manipulative situations with food and judges them when they take the bait producers desperately want them to take, in the name of good television.

For a show like that to take Shake it Off, to co-opt an anthem of empowerment is, well, pretty offensive. It says that people like me are the shit people that you should shake off.

Did you really have to, Biggest Loser?

Will you be watching The Biggest Loser this season? 

For more on The Biggest Loser…

The Biggest Loser contestant who got down to a tiny 47 kg describes her obsessive exercise routine.

Biggest Loser contestant Sam has made some – ahem – big changes.

This Biggest Loser winner has been called ‘sickly’ and ‘skeletal’.

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