Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More to Love Episode 1- "I have a huge heart and I want to make someone happy."

Fox has rolled out the latest in a line of new reality shows that focus on the overweight and their trials and tribulations called "More to Love"- or as I have taken to calling it, "Fat Bachelor". On the "Fat Bachelor", a larger bachelor chooses larger lady contestants in the quest for love.

Bachelor Luke is 26, 6'3" and a whopping 330 lbs., claiming that life is too short to count calories. In the opening montage, we see Luke running shirtless on the beach, tummy jiggling and love handles exposed, eating a big meaty sandwich, having a cookout with nary a vegetable to be found. What we don't see Luke doing is anything healthy. He is happy being of large stature, and wants to find a big lady to share his life with. He wants a larger lady because he has been hurt in love in the past because of his size and because he knows the hurt of being overweight, he thinks that finding a woman with similar baggage will make a more complete relationship.

The 20 ladies are all different shapes and sizes of overweight- from voluptuous breasts and bottoms, to chubbier tummies and arms. What they all share (except for Malissa, the chesty blonde waitress who likes her figure and has never considered herself fat or Kristian who claims she loves being fat and having junk in the trunk) is a universal disdain for their appearance, claiming that this television show and Luke could be their last chance to find love. All of the women are under the age of 40, most of them in their 20's. Some of them have never had a boyfriend, have never been on a date, or have been single for a long time. They all say that their weight plays a part in their lack of a love life.

The show has the usual meet and greet intro, where we the viewer get to size up (no pun intended) the competition. We see who is nice and not so nice. It has a similar feel to usual dating programs- the girls sipping glasses of champagne and wine, getting tipsy and making not as great choices like jumping into the pool and kissing him upon meeting him to make a good first impression. There are more meat skewers present than what I am used to- I've never watched a reality dating show that is catered and I wonder if the producers did that on purpose to show that larger girls need to eat.

The difference on Fat Bachelor is all the girls are worried that he won't like them because THEY are larger. No consideration at all for his size. Like he is perfect. This is worrisome. It would be nice if this was a TRUE dating competition that just happened to have larger people on it. The fact they have chosen to focus on the women's insecurities is exploitative of the overweight.

I also don't like that these women have given up on being thinner, and therefore healthier. They don't have to be "skinny bitches" (a phrase these larger women use often), but the empasis put on their love of food and anger that they should have to change their appearance in order to find love seems to go against everything that we as a weight concious Western society has been trying to work towards. We know that being fat is unhealthy. We know that it taxes our body, mind, and spirit. The amount of tears shed on this show because women are LONELY, begging for attention that they can't receive because they are overweight and don't know what to do to change people's minds about it is heartbreaking.

It would be great if Fox would parlay all that sadness into something more proactive than pinning your hopes on one man that happens to like plus size ladies. A program that teaches self worth by taking charge of your size would do so much more for the American tv watcher. I don't feel the goose bumps like when I watch "The Biggest Loser" and see people believe in themselves because they have learned to take control.

A person who is confident, regardless of their size, is ultimately more beautiful than someone who wants you because they are heavy, too.

I'll continue to watch and see what happens!