Charles Stuart Platkin: Come “Save” My Life

Debbie says:

Miriam at Feministing calls attention to a brand-new reality TV show called (honestly) I Want to Save Your Life. Here’s a commercial for the show:

The stalker you see in the commercial is Charles Stuart Platkin, who lost some weight ten years ago and kept it off (this is so improbable that it’s the first thing the show’s web page tells you about him). So now he’s a crusader. He finds, stalks, and criticizes fat women. Personally, I’d call them mid-size women. And then he attempts to remake them in his image, or something.

Miriam’s commentary is trenchant and dead on target.

First of all, this guy is like a stalker, following her around, monitoring her. He’s creepy beyond belief. Secondly, this once again, for the millionth time perpetuates the myth that everyone who is overweight is secretly and guilty sneaking ice cream sundaes. We should know by now that weight is much more complex than that. Thirdly, this shit is just sensationalist. I want to save your life? This woman does not look like she is at risk of dying because of a few extra pounds.

I was surprised to see that Platkin does stalk and try to “save” men as well as women (and sometimes heterosexual couples, just for the variety I guess).

Me, I just have a dream. I want him to come after me. I want that plain unmarked spymobile to watch me come out in the morning for work, with no food in my hand. I want that nondescript thin-faced guy to sit next to me at a lunch counter, when I order a salad, or a root beer float. I want him to search my cupboards, and find a variety of foods of all caloric levels.

And I really, really want him to try to find out what deep-seated neurosis or unhappiness makes me fat. I’ll make a couple of bets: first, that I know more about the subject than he does; second, that I’m more articulate and better at arguing than he is; and third, that I can embarrass the fuck out of him just by saying what I think in plain, occasionally profane, English. I’d have such a good time.

Hey, Charlie! Come and get it!

(Thanks to Liz Henry for the pointer.)

4 thoughts on “Charles Stuart Platkin: Come “Save” My Life

  1. I know why he doesn’t stalk men. It’s harder to shame men into silence, especially about weight, which women are *supposed* to be ashamed off. A man is much more likely to tell him to f**k off.

  2. The people he “stalks” submitted applications to him for help in losing weight.

    The risks associated with “a few extra pounds” (and really we are not talking about someone who needs to lose 10 or 20 or even 30 pounds – we are talking about obese individuals) are real, and the choices people are making under the assumptions that those are “healthier” choices show how uninformed even the most diligent dieters can be.

    I hope you have since watched the show and realize how off-target your perception of it is. The people who have changed are not model-thin nor are they trying to be. They have transformed their lifestyles in order to transform their body type. It can and does work!

    As for “criticizing” fat women (and men), it seems to me that our society is either ridiculing obese people for their lack of willpower (which I do NOT condone), or they are so worried about offending someone that they will not accurately identify someone as being obese. If a person is obese, saying so is not a criticism, it is a statement about weight. There should be no judgment just as there should be no judgment (or envy) over a person who is slim. Weight is what it is.

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