Remember that ridiculous “scandal” wherein Biggest Loser fans got all upset because the woman they cheered on through eating disorder-encouraging behavior may have developed an eating disorder? Obviously, we have no idea whether or not Rachel Frederickson actually has or had any type of ED; all we know is that a bunch of hypocrites had a freakout when their winner didn’t conform to what they believed she should look like because she lost “too much” weight, despite the name of the game literally being The Biggest Loser. Now, Frederickson is speaking out about the controversy.
In an interview with Today today (ha! I am easily amused), the 24-year-old former contestant discussed the criticism and critiques she faced after losing 155 pounds. (Again, the show is called The Biggest Loser and she won it by losing that much weight.) By the way, E! declares in their coverage of the interview that Frederickson “[looked] healthier than she did” when she won, because you can totally determine health by simply looking at somebody.
Anyway, upon being asked about the controversy, Frederickson said this:
“I did work so hard for the finale and for finding myself again. I felt amazing on the stage. I felt like I shined in my dress. I got off the stage and Twitter was all abuzz. There was just so much chatter about it.”
“Abuzz” is an understatement: the Twittersphere was positively freaking out at how much weight she lost, calling her names like “disgusting,” “anorexic,” “sickly,” and “unhealthy” despite having actively supported the idea that a weight loss competition is a positive thing.
“I felt so proud of everything I had accomplished. My journey was my own. I loved it. I lived it. I felt really proud of what I did.”
Frederickson also noted that she “[appreciates] all the concern” and understands where it is coming from, but that she lost the weight in an “absolutely healthy” manner.
The funny thing about people who watch shows like The Biggest Loser is that they seemingly have an impossibly difficult time realizing that the humans in these programs are, indeed, humans. They may be getting compensated, they may be getting handpicked for them, but they are real human beings who are often going through real human experiences. This means that they will not necessarily follow the narrative these viewers desire to see–in this case, that narrative includes an obese person who’s sad getting a sparkly new lease on life after lots of sweat, tears, vomit and confessionals. When the story diverges from that path, those who are comfortable with it simply cannot handle it. But doesn’t Frederickson deserve to pick her own ending?