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No, *I’m* fatter…

April 23, 2007

We’ve had Louise Redknapp on ITV, Dawn Porter BBC3 and now it’s Channel 4’s turn to shock us into reaching for the cake (or retching it up depending on your psychological persuasion) with journalists Kate Spicer and Louise Burke. I’d read about last night’s Superskinny Me: The Race to size double Zero in last month’s Glamour magazine.

The feature was somewhat of an expose, detailing the lack of support the programme-makers gave to those involved. The Glamour-writer was approached by the makers and initially agreed to take part. She was slightly concerned with their helpful ‘tips’ – eating cotton wool being one of the more tame ideas – and finally told them where to go when they finally asked her if she’d ever had an eating disorder, six weeks after initially asking her to do the programme.

This insensitivity revealed itself throughout the programme, with ‘coos’ and ‘ahhs’ and celebratory toasting with Champers when one girl finally squeezed her tiny frame into jeans meant for a 12 year old. Irresponsible no? Well how’s this? Throughout the programme, we were shown exactly what to eat and what to do to lose those all important stones, from colonic irrigation to eating cress soup.

The final straw for me was when it took ONE meeting with a psychologist for them to discover that Kate Spicer had a clear issue with food and her weight that stemmed from her school days. Surely this should have been done before she agreed to take part? And surely, having found out that she has such an issue, the makers should have seen that it would be dangerous for them to let her go down this path. But no! What am I saying?! Seeing someone turn from a semi-balanced individual (aren’t all journos pretty unbalanced?!) into a bulimic is great telly! Watching Kate and her model friend argue over who is more fat is riveting. Certainly. Yes, let’s have more please. Actually, one good thing came out of this doc. I now know what to do with my tongue to avoid double chins in photos.

Hate to get on my high horse (pass me that Daily Mail – again) but this was one of the more irresponsible pieces of ‘journalism’ I’ve seen this year. Yup, even worse than Celeb Big Brother (or at least on a par). The girls claimed to be really interested in seeing what it would do to their bodies, but Louise was obviously upset having put on half a stone again on her two-week holiday after the ‘experiment’. These journos might have started thinking they were making a great method documentary, but they finished it as insecure, weight-obsessed neurotics. Makes me glad all I have to do for my job is occasionally work til 10ish over deadline…

** Oh yeah and if all that wasn’t bad enough, the programme left us with this message: both ladies had a healthy (or reasonably healthy) BMI at the end. Even though they’d eaten virtually nothing for five weeks – one had lost a stone in a week (the recommended healthy rate is two lbs a week) and one was a border-line bulimic. But hey, it’s OK – they’re still healthy at the end! Tsk tsk, Ch4…

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Badger Madge permalink
    April 23, 2007 11:35 am

    Saying that, I do think it’s rather odd that one girl lost a stone and went from a size 12 to a 2 (US00). When I lost a stone years ago, I only dropped 1-2 dress sizes (depending on the time of the month!). So… Hmmm… How did that happen eh?

  2. Clair permalink
    April 23, 2007 4:46 pm

    It also makes you wonder just what some journos will do to further their TV careers. I once saw a writer who I was told was desperate to become a TV presenter have hypnosis to enlarge her breasts on a yoof TV show.

    I didn’t watch this one – having already seen one and a half shows the same – but from your description, it did seem the most irresponsible of the three; not what you’d really expect from Channel 4.

  3. Badger Madge permalink
    April 23, 2007 4:54 pm

    Yes, the worst of the three for deffo.

    I wouldn’t mind working in TV but deffo behind the camera. I’m not (not quite anyway) self-obsessed enough to perade in front of one (although I certainly am gorgious enough. Oh yes.

  4. swineshead permalink
    April 24, 2007 9:50 am

    You’re spot on here Mrs Badger. I watched the documentary through the gaps in my fingers. I thought those responsible needed to look at their reasons for going into the ‘experiment’ in the first place.

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