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TLC Network Met With Swift Backlash After Announcing Reality Series About ‘Mixed-Weight’ Couples

TLC

This week, the TLC Network announced its latest show idea that’s supposed to drop in early January. But the concept was hit with backlash almost immediately. 

The show, titled Hot and Heavy is set to premiere on January 7 and is supposed to follow the lives of three of what TLC is calling “mixed weight” couples in one-hour episodes. 

The comments started rolling in right away when they dropped the new show’s trailer on Twitter. 

The TLC Network wrote: 

“For these couples, love knows no size. See the highs and lows of their mixed-weight relationships on the series premiere of #HotandHeavy.” 

The show is set to follow three couples: Joy and Chris; Kristin and Rusty; and Adrianna and Ricardo. Each couple will have their own one-hour segment. 

You can watch the trailer here: 

Most can get behind the idea of love winning above all, and loving someone “despite” their size. But there are many problems that the show may not address.

For one, every couple features a heavier female and not one heavier male. 

The show also seems to be exploiting the couples and verges on fetishism instead of body positivity. Though there are some people who are here for this idea and are ignoring the associated problems, most reactions have been resoundingly negative. 

Many got hung up on the show’s idea as soon as they saw the title of the show.

Others were more upset about the labeling of the couples as “mixed weight.”

And more were questioning the casting of the show, depicting only couples with heavier females. 

Others of course brought up the argument about “health.”

But unless the women disclose specific health issues on the program, the concept of skinny equals healthy and overweight equals a multitude of health issues has been disproven time and time again. And we have no idea why a person is overweight or thin by sight alone.

Is there a medical condition causing weight loss or weight gain?

With less than a month left until premiere day, it’s unclear if the writers of the new TLC show will attempt to address any of these concerns.

At the very least, they should attempt to do better with their marketing message. They can then make improvements for their next round of episodes, if improving the premiere episodes is out of the question and if the show last beyond the initial episodes.

Though the network is known for more controversial material, they could still be careful with how they’re contributing to society conversations, including body positivity instead of fetishism and diverse representation for both women and men.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.