You must have seen the commercial by now for the new season of The Biggest Loser. You know, the one where we can't help but notice that this time around there are three teenagers on board. Yup, meet Lindsay Bravo (13), Noah "Biingo" Gray (13), and Sanjana "Sunny" Chandrasekar (16) -- three teens that literally stopped me in my tracks the other night as I saw their faces span across my TV.
I get it. NBC wants to touch on the overarching problem of child obesity in our nation. Trainer Jillian Michaels told People that their involvement on the show is "about reeducating them and working on their goals." She also said that the show will serve as an "introduction to an active lifestyle and helping them feel better about themselves."
Yes, it's great that these kids are getting a handle on their weight. I think it takes a REALLY brave kid to do it on national television. I just can't help but wonder, though, would you want this for your teen? For me, I'm not so sure.
The stories behind these three teens are heartwrenching. Being bullied at school, constantly moving, feeling alone all the time -- they've been through a lot at their age.
I think what concerns me the most about these kids is the backlash that may come out online and in the media. While being bullied at school is hard and difficult no matter your shape or size, imagine how difficult it could be when forums are created to talk about the contestants on message boards, or Facebook pages even. I cringe thinking about the horrible things that some people might say.
I don't personally know anyone who would have the heart to talk down to these inspiring teens knowing that they're trying to better their lives; however, there are those horrible people out there. Those judgemental people. Those bullies that don't want to face their own problems so they pick on others. Unfortunately, being involved in such a major competition opens these kids up to those critics.
If I were a parent, knowing that kind of thing can happen and still allowing their kids on the show, I just don't know if I could handle it. Maybe I'm being too close-minded. For me, though, I just don't know if the benefits outweigh the risks. I'd try to think of every other possible thing I could do to help my child get fit before putting them out for all of America to see. You mean to tell me there's no gym they can join, trainer they can hire, or books that they could read together to inspire a positive change at home? I just don't believe it.
One thing's for sure, though. These three teens are three brave individuals. I'll be tuning in, definitely.
What do you think about these three teens being on The Biggest Loser? Would you allow your child to do the same thing?
Image via NBC