A 100 Word Analysis (The Biggest Loser)

The Biggest Loser and the various discourses evident in the series.

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I would argue that The Biggest Loser is lifestyle television at its worst. It’s dominant discourse tells the viewer that morbid obesity is the fault of the individual and doesn’t put any emphasis on social influence. From one episode, it is obvious to see that the show strives on body shaming, sensationalism to keep the viewers emotionally attached, and extreme methods in regards to weight loss. According to Oullette and Hay, shows such as the Biggest Loser invite the viewer to ‘stage their own lifestyle intervention’ and, in return, participates in shifting the concept of a political government intervention to a ‘government of the self.’ Other discourses in this show include the idea that it is impossible to be happy if you are overweight. I find this to be an outrageously generalised claim and wouldn’t be surprised if it causes more cultural harm than good. Product placement is also extremely evident in The Biggest Loser. Products are clearly displayed throughout an episode’s duration and this works to fuel the economic culture of the show.

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