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Of Hillbillies and Fat Kids

by Carla de Klerk / 31.08.2012

Most of us have a dirty little secret we don’t want anyone else to know. Some of us are having affairs. Some are shoplifting cigarette lighters from grocery stores. Hell, some even do cocaine secretly at work! I’m here to tell you, I understand. I am one of you, and it’s finally time to air and analyse those dirty panties once and for all.

I am a reality TV show addict and tired of pretending I went out clubbing on a Friday night when I actually snuggled in front of the TV with a pack of cookies watching I didn’t know I was pregnant.

Oh yes, I am dreadfully ashamed of it, but it has become my daily, cheap fix of heroine. I don’t know, but there’s just something unexplainable about watching ugly, stupid people trying to get their life under control. Ironically, it’s extremely empowering.

Oh, and the high just gets better when it’s a bunch of hillbillies hand fishing, snake hunting or looking for sasquatches. “Oh dangflabbit Lenny! I gots me a rattler!” Ah, it just never grows old.
I’m just so glad octomom wannabe “Kate plus 8” is off the air. I mean she raised eight kids on the show, in which she lost about 20 kilos, got Botox, divorced her husband and even took the kids to Hawaii. You just have to ask yourself, how screwed up do you need to be to raise eight toddlers on international TV?

Well, actually how screwed up am I to watch even when it’s ‘potty training day’?

Then of course, there are the ‘fat’ shows ranging from morbidly obese 12 year olds trying to walk up a hill to liposuctions and sponge baths (hubba-hubba). Oh and of course, I just watch those for the sake of being ‘health wise’ and not at all because I like knowing there are people with much bigger issues than I with my flabby tummy…

Is it maybe then that these poor people are actually offering themselves up as martyrs? Using their gifts of stupidity, ugliness and desperation for us normal people to have a brighter outlook on life?
Dear lord, these people could be heroes.

In fact, they are. A niche market has been discovered where the insecurities of people, like myself are being exploited, leaving them, literally, rolling to the bank.
Ruby Gettinger, a 320-kilo woman, started her show Ruby in 2008. The show marks her road to recovery and is punctuated by the now famous one-liner “I can’t remember my childhood”. Ruby is The Style Network’s highest rated show and has gone on for 4 seasons now. Through this time, she has consistently lost a few kilos just to gain them again and again. I think it has finally gotten to the point where she can’t actually lose the weight for good, as then she loses her show, the fame and easy salary as well. I call it the ‘TV fat girl syndrome’.

Maybe the new businessman isn’t one who wears American Psycho suits with neatly gelled hair, but rather a man in a snakeskin fez hunting rattlesnakes on a horse. The femme fatale beauties that use to grace the screen have turned into Abby and Brittany the conjoined twins.
Oh god. We are screwed-up.

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