NO, SAM Armytage, don't do it!
These were the words I uttered to myself as I saw an ad flash up on TV (which, according to a new study can shorten your lifestpan), for a new Channel 7 TV series to be hosted by Sam called Bringing Sexy Back which is set to grace our screens sometime this year.
Long story short, the show takes a bunch of Aussies who have seen better days and restores them to looking fresh and fantastic with the help of a team of weight loss, health, style and fitness experts.
Yes, I may be jumping the gun given I've only read the premise of the show and watched the ad, but here are five reasons I see the concept of this show as a fail:
1. It's making looking hot the focus of healthy living
The title of this show says enough... Bringing Sexy Back.
Physical appearance shouldn't be the sole focus of anything other than a beauty pageant.
And health is not a beauty pageant - it's about feeling good and feeling well.
You'll probably end up looking good just because you're living healthily, but it shouldn't be the goal of weight loss.
Focusing on looks makes it far too easy to say "well, you know what, I'll never be that pretty" and give up.
2. Reality TV is just... worn out.
Let's bring fiction back. Please.
3. Watching a bunch of people get to look fantastic with the help of a team of experts isn't helping the viewer at home.
In fact, it's probably making people feel fitness is even further out of their reach.
What message is this show communicating to viewers?
It's saying with the help of a whole bunch of experts you too can look fit and amazing.
Leaving the average viewer to think to themselves... "well, I don't have a team of experts, so what hope do I have".
4. Fat shaming isn't helpful.
In the TV ad for this show, people show their flabby bellies and bits while showing photos of themselves when they were buff, skinny, hot or whatever else.
Contestants mention how good they looked and lament their current state.
Of course we all like to look our best, of course we have an obesity epidemic in Australia, but fat shaming, instead of focusing on health, fosters a sense of hopelessness in people who are already stressed enough as they battle with the bulge.
It also fails to address the issue of skinny people who eat poorly and don't exercise.
But that's okay apparently, because they're hot, right?
5. It's just going to encourage the fitspo thing.
Fitspo... images of super skinny, super hot, super toned people with captions saying things like "it's totally okay to puke all over yourself as long as you end up with washboard abs like these ones in the photo".
My wording might be slightly off, but not by much.
Fitspo images are all over the internet (and regrettably, at one stage graced the walls of my local gym) and give people messages which are meant to be inspirational but usually end up being more about how blood, sweat, vomit and pain is okay because your ultimate goal is to look like the most buff person alive.
If you want to look like the king or queen of buff then power to you, but for many, it's setting an unrealistic goal, or at the very least, a goal that will take a lot more work than people are prepared for.
What we should see instead:
A general health show showing delicious recipes with wholesome ingreidents, tips on gardening, getting active when busy and latest findings on nutrition and wellness... with not a single mention of the word "sexy" please.
Crystal Jones is the online editor of the Bundaberg NewsMail.