Earlier today, we received a press release about E!s new eating disorder show, the charmingly-titled What's Eating You? The show's producers claim that the six-part series is going to shed light on eating disorders. But I have my doubts.
What's Eating You isn't the first eating disorder reality show, mind you; back in May, the Oprah Winfrey Network announced that they'd be shooting a series within a major ED treatment center, and at the time I expressed my concerns over the fact that all illness-as-entertainment shows, whether they're about hoarders or addicts or anorexics, are based on a mix of exploitation and feel-good editing. We are presented with a freak show-esque view of serious mental illnesses, a quick intervention of sorts, and then, typically, a happy ending. It's a very neat way of presenting a very, very messy subject, a feel-good view of some pretty terrible moments in people's lives.