First she was criticized for weighing too much, and now she is being criticized for weighing too little.
Many have probably seen this news-turned-controversy blow up their Facebook or Twitter feeds: Rachel Frederickson was named the winner of The Biggest Loser, going from 260 to 105 pounds.
There are two sides to the story that people seem to be arguing, the first being the fact that she now has a body mass index of 18, which is below the healthy minimum designated by the National Institutes of Health. Perhaps the show did cause her to develop some sort of eating disorder, which certainly shouldn't be supported, but no one can make that assumption certain. But the second side of the story is the fact that she changed her lifestyle and is happy with it.
I understand that some people are genuinely concerned that Frederickson may have an eating disorder and believe The Biggest Loser is terrible for ever promoting such a thing. I also understand that some people genuinely understand that Frederickson has simply changed to a healthier lifestyle. I don't have a firm opinion either way.
But I do have a firm opinion about what this incident has brought to light.
The biggest problem isn't the debate over The Biggest Loser or Frederickson; the biggest problem is that society is constantly a critic (excuse the irony that I am criticizing society for being critics). Perhaps it's human nature to criticize, but where is the line when it has gone too far? If people are criticized for weighing too much and then for weighing too little, how will anyone ever be happy with who they are?
The television show The Biggest Loser isn't necessarily to blame. The intentions of the show are to reward people for adopting a healthier lifestyle. Society is the one who turned the show into a constant criticism-fest.
And this incident is just one that happened to explode on media and evoke controversy. If anything, I'm happy this incident brought awareness to the fact that our society has taken criticism much too far -- whether people realize it or not. Every single day, incidents occur where people are criticized for their weight, their beliefs, their relationships, etc. For those who listen to society's constant criticism and decide to change who they are, how come they are still criticized? I blame society (myself included).
When will society learn that love, not criticism (other than constructive criticism), is the only satisfactory action? When will we learn that bringing people up instead of putting people down will get us so much further as a human race as a whole? When will we learn to unite as one?
Every generation needs a revolution, as the wise Thomas Jefferson claimed. Maybe our revolution needs to be love -- a revolution of love that every single one of us can be a part of. It's a revolution that's in the hands of society, and it's a revolution waiting to happen. It's a revolution that is just simply waiting for every single one of us to stand up and join.
Maybe a revolution of love is simple; maybe it just takes a simple act or a few simple words.
So this is for Rachel Frederickson and for anyone else who has been criticized based off society's standards: Despite all of the criticism you may have received, you aren't the one to blame. Society is. Society is the loser -- the biggest loser.
What do you think? Join the conversation below or tweet @AnnieSchugart.