Monday, November 10, 2008

My issues with "Ruby"

Let me say that I would not have known about, nor watched, this show without hearing about it from someone I know and trust who is both a journalist and has weight issues.

The Style channel is running a "reality" show following a woman named Ruby. Ruby started out at 700 lbs. and when the series starts, she is down to around 500. It is planned to be an 8-week series, but I don't know how much time will be compressed into that timeframe -- months, I assume.

While I was appalled that Ruby's friends said "oh, we don't want her to die because she's so fat" and then let her sit reclining in a chair while they served her and fed her every fattening thing on earth, what really disturbed me -- well, two things.

1: They showed her and her skinny, super-fit friend (blonde and cute, of course) taking a walk in the park. Ruby brought her dog. In a stroller-type thingy.

Honey, if you don't even let your damn DOG walk, do you wonder how you got here? I mean, I can't really be judgmental -- although I am nowhere near 500 lbs., and I've been losing, I probably still have 50 to go, and I don't exercise as much as my doctors would like. But honest to god, isn't part of the point of having a dog to make you take it out for walks? Does the dog pee in the stroller?

I understand the movement and flexibility issues that come with overweight. I know it's got to be horrible for someone that size. My point is that her whole life seems to be permeated by people who claim to care, but then sabotage her instead, and then she turns around and does the same to a critter.

2: They taped and showed part of her session with her shrink.

Now. I assume both of them signed every release known to man to allow that to happen. But as a therapy veteran, I gotta tell you, there is no way in hell I would let anyone tape my session for broadcast on national TV. For their own use in supervision, sure -- my current T does that; former one audiotaped. Fine with both. But does it make you a masochist, a narcissist, or both to allow it to go out to an entire country?

Ruby says she is doing this to bring awareness and help people. That's admirable, if true. But I have to wonder if it is. Maybe somehow she's avoided the shame that is at the core of most morbidly obese people (speaking as one, at least until I get my BMI down another point). Believe me when I tell you there is shame in sitting on a chair and breaking not being able to get a seatbelt around sneak-eating in the car and then throwing the trash in a dumpster somewhere so no one you live with sees the rude remarks people don't think twice about making, assuming, I guess, that you don't have functioning ears. I have been there, done that, and got the Tshirt. If she's managed to avoid having a complete lack of self-esteem because of it, I applaud her. But I'm not convinced.

More info: Ruby


Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

This would be why:

a) I do NOT have a television set.
b) I do NOT live in the US, where shows like this exist.

I am an ostrich and proud of it, baby!


CAC said...

Basically, I have a TV and cable for ESPN and Fox Sports North (for Brewers games). I'd rather read, myself, although I do have a couple "guilty pleasure" shows and watch a fair bit of PBS.

Being an ostrich is a great reaction to crap like this!