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December 2, 2010 / Katie

The horror of “fitness” DVD’s

I was at Best Buy with the spouse the other night, who was purchasing a new phone, and while waiting I was perusing the DVD’s and Wii games.  I found this rather amusing:

fitness DVD's on a shelf under the heading "Horror"

Yes it’s a bit of an angle trick as what’s really going on is the Horror section is right next to the Fitness section, but this was the angle from which I approached the shelves, so it’s exactly the way I saw it.  And I had a good chuckle to myself.

I also say this as a person who has a couple of fitness DVD’s that I use from time to time and enjoy.  But what I don’t enjoy—and wish I could find a dance DVD that didn’t have this—is the weight shame.  All of them promise weight loss, “trimmer tummies,” etc.  That’s what I find so horrifying.  That we’re moving with the goal of changing that which cannot be changed; moving as a punishment for the “sin” of eating; moving to literally beat our bodies into submission.  That’s horrifying when there are so many other good and life-giving reasons to move our bodies!



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  1. vesta44 / Dec 2 2010 4:11 pm

    The fact that it’s Jillian Michaels’ DVD right there in front is just so appropriate (I wouldn’t buy anything that has her in it, on it, vouching for it, etc, that’s how much I despise what she does).

  2. CTJen / Dec 2 2010 4:31 pm

    I did a fitness DVD this morning and had the exact same thought. Why can’t the commentary focus on how fun it is to move our bodies, instead of the “fat burning” and “calorie burning” healthism rhetoric that seems to prevail? It was a good workout but I definitely had to take her comments with a grain of salt. Delicious, delicious salt.

  3. Kate / Dec 2 2010 4:44 pm

    I like the walk away the pounds dvds (I know the title sucks) but you can turn down the sound and listen to your choice of music and it’s not overly complicated or difficult. Honestly, even with the sound on, she’s not as fat shaming as a lot of other people. Wow, that’s damning with faint praise. :)

  4. Anna / Dec 2 2010 5:10 pm

    I’ve got one called “the Hot Pants Workout.” I know, I know. And at the beginning, it ALWAYS plays this little intro about this woman who went from an omg how disgusting size 14 to a size 6 and isn’t it wonderful she isn’t fat any more?

    Yeah. Vomit worthy.

    Once you get past that though, the work out is about dancing, having fun and working up a sweat. There is no more weight bigotry for the rest of DVD. I haven’t used it much since I got my Wii Fit, but once I got past the name and remembered to fast forward the intro, I really enjoyed it. But not as much as I would have enjoyed NOT HAVING THAT CRAP THERE AT ALL.

    Your picture is highly amusing and accurate. Jillian Michaels – WTF.

  5. Regina T / Dec 2 2010 7:22 pm

    TOTALLY appropriate that Jillian Michaels is filed under “Horror”….even if it IS an angle thing! It would be horrific if that woman was screaming at me 2 inches from my face telling me what a useless disgusting loser I was. Not that I would let that happen either. Every time I see a snippet of her tirades I get pissed off.

    And you’re right…..exercise videos would be oh so much more fun if the titles were things like “Movin’ your Ass in a Silly way!” or “Playtime for grownups!”

    I’m glad you posted this….I love photos like this :)

  6. Amy / Dec 2 2010 10:55 pm

    For some reason I netflixed the Jillian DVD to just look at it. Anyway, you should check out fitness DVDs by WorldDance New York. They have a wide variety of bellydance, hip hop, yoga, burlesque, samba, salsa, etc DVDs that are not all about weight loss.

  7. Rachel / Dec 4 2010 7:56 pm

    That IS real true horror!!!! Not knocking those who use workout DVDs/on-demand things, but weight-shaming BS is why I don’t attend exercise classes or watch exercise vids. It was always the same shaming crap with the only purpose being changing your body; not to get stronger or feel good. With my back and foot pain plus having really huge boobs, I also can’t do a lot of those exercises without being in a ton of pain. I prefer to just find Youtube vids to find strength exercises I can do, then crank up my own music :)

    You didn’t find that in the horror section for nothing :)

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