Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fat Camp

One of the things I most enjoy about my leisure time are my guilty pleasures, the majority of which come in the form of TV that is far from normal or mainstream. From the Golden Girls to paternity tests on Maury, shows like these help take my mind off any lingering boredom. And for a day like today, with no class and bad weather, nothing could help clear the boredom like MTV's "Fat Camp."

Having both been fat previously and worked at a camp, in this documentary I joyfully cringe at the many awkward and ridiculous moments that these kids endure on screen. From wannabe pimps to downright lazy kids, the whole spectrum of fat, ignorant, annoying, and spoiled yankee children are documented for the 2 hour special.

I question I always ask myself when this airs is, "what purpose is this serving?" How does that documentary help promote healthier lifestyles and better attitudes for the millions of obese teenagers when all they see are teens who don't take the program seriously and have bad attitudes during the entire course of the series. Instead of focusing on the determined teens who follow the program, conduct themselves appropriately, and lose & keep the weight off, the "experts" at MTV (where they don't even show music videos anymore) decide to turn this experience into nothing more than a laugh at fat kids documentary.

So, if you really want to inspire a media-addicted society of teenagers into actually taking proactive steps towards a healthier lifestyle, don't subject them to a reality show that demeans the entire process. I would just like to know what happened to the MTV I met for the first time in 1998...

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