TLC has easily become a household name for its reality television shows. I mean, who doesn’t love Say Yes To The Dress and Cake Boss? However, has this channel taken things too far with its newest endeavor Hot and Heavy?
In case you missed it, a trailer for TLC’s newest reality series dropped last week.
Essentially, the show focuses on three couples facing various challenges. The plot twist? All of the women are significantly overweight while the men appear thin and fairly attractive.
While I’m all for body positivity, I can’t even express the problems this series poses.
For starters, the title shows potential viewers the exact purpose of the series — to imply that plus-sized women aren’t attractive. As a hefty girl myself, I’m fully aware of exactly how our society views my body. I definitely don’t need a television show to remind me of that, especially one which casts women like me side-by-side with athletic men who are “easy on the eyes.”
I’m not saying that beautiful people can only date beautiful people. However, I feel like TLC handpicked these couples to accentuate the series’ title and purposely cast extreme opposites for attention. I get that the channel doesn’t shy away from diverse representation, but this isn’t the same as Little People, Big World. This is type casting larger women in a nasty way.
If that’s not enough, then let’s look at TLC’s description of the show: “For these couples, love knows no size.” Then channel goes so far as to label these relationships with a fancy label: mixed-weight relationships. Are we saying that plus-size women don’t deserve the same love as anyone else? Or that loving a plus-size woman earns men some sort of gold star? I think not.
However, that’s not the point TLC implies within the nearly two-minute trailer. When the trailer focuses on Joy and Chris, Chris says, “I love every inch of Joy,” then adds “There’s a lot of inches to love.” While Joy takes the comment in stride, I can’t imagine how often Chris makes jokes at Joy’s expense and how she must feel. Then we hear the comment from Chris’ friend: “He could get any girl he wants and ends up being with Joy.” Seriously?
Finally, this show oozes with sexism and fat-shaming. Why are there only fat women? Why does all of the negativity about the relationships come from friends and family members of the men? The show literally turns love stories into circus spectacles, all at the expense of an already highly-attacked, highly vulnerable part of society.
So, if you’re ready for more fat phobia and body shaming, then chances are you’ll be in front of the television set and watching Hot and Heavy this January. As for me? I’ll flip to Lifetime and check out the newest season of Married at First Sight or Supernanny.
Hot and Heavy premieres Tuesday, January 7, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on TLC.