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Why are the Biggest Loser makeovers so damn good to watch?

There have been some excellent moments in this season of The Biggest Loser Families. There was the moment Jodie Pestell became the unexpected hero of the fat acceptance movement, by refusing to train when Shannan told her to.

Girlfriend, you are my spirit animal.

There was the moment Cliff attempted to have a comprehensive argument with the other contestants, while covered in mud.

“1) I’ve got mud in my shoes, 2) This mud is compromising the integrity of my argument…”

And now we’ve seen the makeovers.

Last night, the contestants, some who have lost upwards of 40kg in the 10 weeks since the show started, were almost unrecognisable. While I have my grievances with The Biggest Loser, seeing Daniel Jofre hold back swear words while looking at his reflection got me right in the feels.

Daniel Jofre before The Biggest Loser. Image courtesy of Channel 10.
Daniel Jofre after 10 weeks on The Biggest Loser. Image courtesy of Channel 10.

See Daniel’s makeover reveal here:

Video via TenPlay

Daniel Jofre, you are a serious babe.

Rob Jofre’s makeover was also jawdropping. The 42-year-old father of one has lost 45kg in the competition so far, and literally looks like a completely different person.

Rob Jofre before The Biggest Loser. Image courtesy of Channel 10.
Rob Jofre after 10 weeks on The Biggest Loser. Image courtesy of Channel 10.

There’s no denying the makeovers were impressive. These people have just lost so much weight that it boggles the mind. They were also wearing fashionable, well-fitting clothes (compared to the ‘uniforms’ they wear in the house), they were covered in fake tan, they’d had their makeup done and their hair styled. Thanks to all this, many contestants looked as though they’ve never carried any extra weight, and like they had a “health halo”, as Michelle Bridges described.

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Why are makeovers so damn good to watch? Are we so used to people feeling bad about themselves, that it’s extremely moving when they completely change?

Self-discipline and hard work are admirable qualities, and the contestants deserve to feel proud. But weight and appearance are not perfect proxies for health, happiness, or value as a human being. Some of the most profound changes we can make to ourselves cannot be seen.

As a viewer, the makeovers were amazing to watch but I don’t view the contestants as different people because of their weight loss. We love Jodie because she started planning her wedding before her boyfriend proposed, which can teach us all a little about how to live our lives. We love Pablo because he is so kind to Mel and he taught her to dance and they flirt and they need to hook up or my life will be over.

See Mel and Pablo’s flirting here:

We love the entire Jofre family because they have more self-discipline and drive than most of Australia’s population combined. Seriously, they should be running our country. They just get shit done.

So, yes, a good makeover always gets me in the feels. Maybe because there are lots of things I’d like to change about myself. But it’s important to remember that when we change, we bring ourselves with us. Jodie Pestell at 150kg is not a different person to Jodie Pestell at 130kg. Regardless of her size, she is, and always will be, my spirit animal.

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