Earlier in the year, we reported on ITV’s plans to cast contestants for a reality TV set in a plus size resort in the Caribbean. Unsurprisingly it was one of our most popular posts, I mean who wouldn’t want a free trip to a tropical island right? But the basis of the show was more important than just a free trip.
Body positive reality TV
Unlike some other reality TV shows that feature plus size contestants (cough cough, Biggest Loser), The 18-30 Stone Holiday did not intend to fat-shame its contestants into crash dieting and losing weight. The resort was established specifically to cater to guest that weigh between 18 to 30 stone; allowing them the freedom and to enjoy their holiday without fear of taunts or insults from other travelers.
Located on the Caribbean island of Eleuthera, The Resort features custom-built amenities that can accommodate larger guest, everything from larger beds, wide-room doorways so you don’t have to squeeze through with your luggage and bags, and safe and sturdy sunloungers. As stated, the purpose of the show and the resort is not to crash-diet on celery sticks while taking part in boot camp exercise classes; instead the guests will have the ability to relax and enjoy their holiday, and reflect on the issues that follow them surrounding their bodies and their self-image.
James King, owner of The Resort, said: “It’s a sanctuary. It’s a place where you can come and have a good holiday without any judgement whatsoever.”
8 plus size contestants
The show will feature eight plus size travelers from the UK, each with their own set of concerns and barriers they are hoping to break through.
Adam & Ami
Husband and wife Adam and Ami are going to The Resort as a second honeymoon, as they spent most of their first one arguing, and never kept any of their photos because of how they felt they looked.
Ami: “Our honeymoon was spent rowing. We rowed a lot over me not wanting to go to the pool because I could see that there were people there who looked immaculate.”
Adam: “We’re a pair, and if she’s hurting, I’m hurting. If she can’t enjoy herself, I can’t.”
Steven, 23, from Fife, weighs 37-stone, and he says: “You are constantly ridiculed, you are constantly abused, you are constantly judged because you are not the normal size…Being big you automatically try harder to be funnier. If I was skinnier or smaller I don’t think I could be as vibrant. I don’t think I would as a ‘in your face.’”
Severely overweight her entire life, and now a mum of two young children, Alice says: “Since a very young age people have been telling me that I am going to die young because of my weight. You start to believe it. You know, I probably won’t see my kids grow up. So I have actually planned my own funeral.”
Holly, 27, 20½-stone, is a plus-size model, and says: “My size has got me down and it still does sometimes. Obviously, I portray and come across as a really confidence lady, and I am 90% of the time, but just like anyone you always have your days when you feel down or you don’t like what clothes you are wearing and you just can’t leave the house.”
Dane, 27, weighs 31-stone, and after his parents divorced when he was 10-years-old he has turned to food as an emotional crutch. He says: “There’s definitely a cycle of eating comfort food. Hating myself, and eating some comfort food, then hating myself again for eating that comfort food.”
David, 28, weighs 18-stone, and is only just finding his feet in the plus sized world. He says: “I was living in Brighton, and I met my first love, and I was with him for quite a number of years. That relationship broke down and I started to eat, I lost my home and I lost my friends.”
Sandra, weighs 22½-stone, and says: “This is the biggest I’ve been in my life.” and she adds: “I’m looking for a husband.”
18 – 30 Stone Holiday will air on ITV on Tuesday 24th October at 9pm. Will you be watching? Share your thoughts and this article on Facebook if you will.