Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fortun(ate)

In the car this morning on my drive into work, I was fiddling with my earring, which popped off and went in between the seat cushions. While at a red light, as I reached in to pull it out, a fortune-cookie fortune slip was pulled out with it as well, and it read: Your actions speak louder than most people’s words. It was then that I realized I had to write about the topic I wanted to write about today, but was feeling too dorky to actually write about: the first ever female winner won Biggest Loser last night.

Okay, I’m embarrassed that I watch the show. J makes fun of my watching it, and some of my friends do too, but you know what? I really like to see people succeed, and that’s why I think I watch it. Before the “final weigh-in,” the soon-to-be winner, Ally, announced without a shadow of a doubt that she was going to be the first ever woman to win. In the clip that they showed prior to her “reveal,” they show her on top of a mountain in Australia and her crying, realizing that what she was doing was no longer about herself – it was about more than that. It was about her inspiring other people. A woman has never won the game before, and she acknowledged that her possibly winning the game would have such a big impact on women everywhere. A woman can do it.

Now, I actually think Ally, the winner, looked like a bobble head and could have easily weighed another 20-30lbs and looked great. I’m not excited about her winning because she was able to make herself look model-thin. Let’s face it, she lost her ass. I am excited about her winning because a) she’s a woman, and b) it goes to show that a person can do anything she puts her mind to, regardless of the goal.

This game has been dominated season after season, in multiple countries, by male winners. I’ll admit that I kind of bought into the fact that “men will always win, because it’s easier for them to lose weight,” but I was proved wrong, and I’m glad. I’m a woman who certainly already has a lot of faith in womankind, but even I had that bias. Can you imagine what sheltered women who aren’t as progressive as we are may think about women’s abilities? Well, hopefully they were watching last night’s episode and were able to leave the sofa with a bit more confidence in themselves and women in general than they had when they sat down and turned on the television.

The winner might as well have been Jane Doe before she went on the show; she was a completely average woman – she blended into the woodwork, she could have been any one of us. I think that’s another reason her winning was so great. She showed viewers that anyone can succeed at their goals if they want – even someone just like the viewers themselves.

So, although this entry sounds like a promo for Biggest Loser, it’s not meant to be. Let’s face it, Biggest Loser doesn’t need my help to be successful; in the days following their finales, their website is busier than the ladies restroom outside of a Weight Watchers meeting before weigh in (I’ve been there, so I can say it – everyone wants those last drops of pee out before they step on that scale!).

I just think it’s really great to see women be positive role models for each other. Shit, that’s what our Real Bootys do for us each Friday, right? But let’s face it, we don’t have to broadcast ourselves to be role models – we don’t need a TV show or to be MVP of a bout or a blog to be role models and to inspire other women. We can do that everyday, in the way we carry ourselves, the way we treat people, and the way we stand up for what we think is right.

So, although I have no clue where that fortune I found this morning came from, I think its message is true for all of us: Your actions speak louder than most people’s words.

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