The Biggest Loser: Being the Right Weight Makes You Better Looking
If there's one takeaway I got from watching the Biggest Loser finale last night, it's that being the right weight makes you better looking.
Note that I wrote being the right weight. Not being thin per se.
One thing that happens sometimes on the Biggest Loser is that contestants go way overboard sometimes in an effort to win the big prize. Contestants may dehydrate or starve themselves to the point of looking emaciated, not healthy. We saw a little bit of this last year when Helen won, looking more scarecrow-like than healthy.
This latest season fortunately did not reward someone who looked skeletal - Danny, the winner, looked like the right weight for his height. And he looked fabulous! His face had changed so much he said people didn't recognize him. He looked 10-20 years younger.
Another contestant, Tracey, on the other hand, looks like she's gone too far. She seemed poised to win the at-home contest not due to reaching a healthy weight but apparently starving herself to the point where not only did her ribs protrude from her shirt, but she seemed to have lost her breasts. Her face was pinched and she looked a lot older than she did with her weight on.
Fortunately, Rebecca surpassed Tracey's percentage of weight-loss, because unlike Tracey, she seemed glowing and healthy (despite the fact that her blond pixie hairdo made her look a lot older than her 26 years).
I say this not to pick on Tracey (though, with her dog-eat-dog attitude on the ranch, it was hard to like her). The point is, reaching a healthy weight - not thin to the point of anorexic - makes you better looking.
I don't think this is because people are inherently shallow. Instead, I think it's because biologically or intuitively, we find health to be more attractive than disease. Too much or too little weight sets of warning bells in our minds - "this is wrong!" - which is why, I'm sorry to say, fat is not beautiful. We viscerally find it less attractive because we see the disease.
So, without that fat, some of the contestants on this season's Biggest Loser literally transformed from chump to hunk. Danny, Rudy, Julio and Antoine went from sad sacks to handsome hunks seemingly overnight.
The women did not have as dramatic a transformation in my mind, but I think that's in part due to the fact that women are designed by nature to carry a little more fat than men, and we can carry it better. That said, Abby and Amanda looked beautiful - though we all knew Amanda was going to look good, she always had a pretty face even when heavy.
So should this inspire you to get off the couch and into the gym? I hope so. I don't have a problem with the "shallow" reason of losing weight so you look more attractive. Actually, to me it's not about looking more attractive. It's about uncovering the best version of you that's already programmed into your DNA.
Now, of course, I suspect the Biggest Loser casting director has gotten a good eye as to who is going to transform into a major hottie once thin. Not everyone is going to lose weight and suddenly look like a movie star. But you will look better, and more importantly, feel better.
I've known overweight people who try to justify their weight by saying that people should love them the way they are. Of course, this is true. But I'm sorry, don't expect people to find you physically attractive for your overweight. Clinging to this notion that fat is somehow equivalent to a healthy weight only serves to enable the disease of overeating.
As the doctor from the Biggest Loser reminded contestants last night, losing weight can add years if not decades to your life.
But it is true that "attractiveness" shouldn't be just about a pretty face or nice body. There's one more thing you can do to make yourself more attractive: Be a nicer person. Danny looked great, but it doesn't hurt that Danny is a kind man, and his kindness definitely enhances his attractiveness.
Tracey, on the other hand, was not very nice on the show. Her selfishness makes her unattractive, and it's perhaps not surprising that this negative energy manifested in her over-reaching with her body...that thin, she doesn't look good, because her spirit isn't right. Hopefully, once out of the competitive spotlight, she can find some balance within herself.
So lose that weight! It will make you prettier! Just not too much.
Looking forward to the next season.