Or perhaps you've never been a fan of The Biggest Loser's tendency to embarrass its own contestants. But the issues with the messaging about body image on those shows pale in comparison to this surreal-sounding show from Holland. This new game show takes body-shaming to a whole new level — and adds a hefty amount of misogyny to the mix.
Neem Je Zwemspullen Mee (translation: Bring Your Bathing Suit) is a new Dutch reality show that premiered on Sunday. And, as far as we can tell, it seems to involve having women strip down to their bikinis, stand on a platform, and be ridiculed by contestants trying to guess the "truth" about the women's bodies. As first reported by Buzzfeed, the show held a disgusting segment titled "Fat or Pregnant?" in which teams of people guess whether the woman in question is pregnant or not.
People are calling out the show and network on Twitter for treating women like meat. "For everyone thinking The Netherlands is great. We reached a new low yesterday night. National TV game show: 'is she pregnant or just fat?'" tweeted one critic. Someone else wrote, "Welcome to the Netherlands, where we apparently have a tv show where men guess if a woman's fat or pregnant. I fucking can't." Another tweet, translated from Dutch using Twitter's translation feature, reads: "A woman on a block and the question ' thick or pregnant? '. WTF." And another post originally in Dutch: "you are going to be ashamed! What is this public meat inspection? Kro-NCRV: get [Bring Your Bathing Suit] off the tube! There's also a similarly gross segment where the teams must guess whether a women's breasts are natural or implants, per the English translation of this tweet.
Making the situation even more unbelievable, though, is the crucial fact that this show airs on a publicly funded channel, KRO-NCRV. "Your taxdollars at work," joked one fed-up Netherlands resident. A translation of this online petition launched to take the show off the air reads: "KRO-NCRV decided that the budget of public broadcasting can be best spent to be downgraded to a game involving women as pieces of meat... In the game Fat or Pregnant, part of [Bring Your Bathing Suit] is a woman who can not open her mouth, placed on a rotating platform. Then they subject her body to the look of smug four males, the studio audience and TV viewers. The program is thus suggesting that it is okay to shamelessly to assess a person's body." It concludes, "So here is the call KRO-NCRV to retrieve this sexist television program as soon as possible!"
That's a call to action we can get behind. Seriously, this show needs to come off the air ASAP. It's sexist, body-shaming, and cruel. Trashy American reality TV is started to look practically quaint all of the sudden.