Fat Camp

This week’s Media Monday comes to us from our volunteer contributor, Halie Langanki

baby daddy abc

Lately I’ve been enjoying watching Baby Daddy, an ABC Family comedy series about a single man who raises a baby with help from his friends and family. All in all I have found it entertaining enough, but there is one aspect to the show that makes me a bit concerned.

One character in the show, Riley Perrin (played by Chelsea Kane), is a sweet, loyal, well liked, attractive and thin woman. But according to the show, she wasn’t always that way. It seems that her positive attribute only turned up once she lost a lot of weight a couple of years ago at “fat camp”. The show alludes to the fact that before she lost the weight she wasn’t such a catch- she would sit on her friends’ faces, couldn’t get a date, and was the manly star baseball player. I am only on episode six and so far the fact that she went to “fat camp” has been mockingly mentioned in the majority of the episodes.

Now that Riley is more slender she doesn’t “do the sports thing anymore.” She says (regarding her heavier self) that “it just feels like a different life.” She seems to be very happy, excels in law school, has plenty of suitors, and now that I think of it, doesn’t have many faults or trials. Riley’s life before and after her weight loss are so drastically different that I’m wondering if her parents picked up the wrong Riley from camp… But joking aside, is she really as different now as she’s portrayed?

Pairing weight loss with such a drastic life improvement is a dangerous thing to do. It is easy to believe the lie that weight loss is a more effective way to tackle problems than addressing the root issues of what actually is going on. On this earth, there is not a “quick fix”- whether it be “fat camp” or thinness in general. Extra pounds or not, our soul stays the same.

Let’s create an environment where we don’t shame other for who they were “before” or even now. Instead, let’s create an environment where we see, relate to, and love the person, without our judgement of size getting in the way.

Well, I must admit that I’m going to continue my guilty pleasure watching this show. I just really hope I don’t hear any more about Riley’s weight.  Let the poor girl be who she is, weight not included. I’ll keep you all posted.

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