"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." -Lou Reed

Monday, August 17, 2009

Meet Ruby

I could write an entire post about how much I hate reality shows. But it would probably contain a lot of foul language, and I would then have to mention the offensive shows by name—thereby highlighting them in some way. It seems a new one is on television all the time with each premise more ridiculous than the last.

But, the Style Network of all places has managed to produce one that I think is worth watching. The name of the show is Ruby, and follows the journey of Ruby Gettinger, a Savannah, GA woman who, when the show began, weighed nearly 500 pounds. It had become a do or die situation, literally, and she begins to change her life to save it.

The most appealing thing about this show is Ruby herself. She is funny, charming, and so incredibly authentic that she draws you in. But the best aspect of the show is the lessons it teaches--not about weight loss-- but about judging and being judged, and realizing that identity is definitely more than skin deep. We all know this already, right? Well, I consider myself a pretty enlightened and compassionate person, but I have learned a thing or two from watching Ruby.

I have grown to like this woman, she is definitely someone I could see myself being friends with. (and yes I know this sounds crazy, as this is indeed a reality show) But, caring for her has made the struggles she faces so much more real and impactful. In an early episode, Ruby was taunted and mocked by a table full of people at a restaurant that appeared to be my age. MY AGE. I was floored. Teenagers doing this I can understand, not condone, but adults—over the age of 30?? It made me realize what every day was like for her and for other adults struggling with this battle. I quickly realized how much harder this would make it for anyone dealing with this large of a weight loss goal to get the courage to start going out into the world to exercise, when the world can be such a cruel place. An incident like that would make me want to go home and draw the shades and give up. In so many ways that episode accomplished something that a lot of other shows, articles, and books cannot. It really brought home to me that no matter how far we have come, we still, all of us, sometimes forget the beautiful person that can exist behind any face, any body, any image.

Though there are sad moments in some of the episodes, there are many more inspirational ones to see. All of this is a credit to Ruby, who is just enjoyable to watch, and easy to cheer for. With many of the other reality shows out there highlighting the ridiculous, it is nice to see one at least attempting to educate and inspire. There are few shows out there that I set my DVR to tape anymore, but Ruby is on the short list.

Check out the website for the show here.


Andi Smith I live in August 18, 2009 at 12:05 AM  

Omg first comment lol!
I personally find her annoying but shes chill at the same time. btw I love your blog...Not meaning to sound creepy but your writing is lovely!


RealTalk W/Deon August 18, 2009 at 1:20 AM  

I love this show, Ruby is an awsome lady with an awsome spirit, she is an inspiration to a lot of people. An I love your page too!

Commchick August 18, 2009 at 4:37 AM  

It is very difficult being overweight in our society. I have struggled with my weight all of my life, and low self-esteem did not make it any easier. Unfortunately, alot of people judge others by what they look like on the outside instead of what is on the inside. I try to not be that way. I recently found your blog and really enjoy it. Thank you for the insightful writing you did on this subject. I would gladly call you a friend.

jen August 18, 2009 at 5:55 AM  

I'll try to watch this show...maybe I will be inspired more to loose weight, i'm not an obese but I gained weight when I started to take my medicines for asthma and I agree with you that loosing weight is really a battle.
Anyway, I'm jen...just new to your follower and your blogs really inspires me. I see myself on some of your posts (especially the SUITCASE)

Claire Scherzinger August 18, 2009 at 9:07 AM  

I saw a few episodes of the show and I saw Ruby on Oprah as well. I think Ruby's story was truly inspiring. I am recently lost 20 pounds just by changing the way I eat, exercise--basically live. Even though this is reality tv, it sends out a message to North Americans that there are other options as how to live. The show and many other reality shows are powerful media tools to try and create a paradigm shift in the way we all live as well. That is probably the reason why I have a considerable amount of respect for Ruby and some other powerful reality figures.

mysterg August 18, 2009 at 10:08 AM  

I'm not a fan of reality shows in the slightest, but one similar to the one you describe that I saw was Britain's Missing Top Model - about disabled girls trying to win a modelling contract. It could of been in bad taste but it was actually very enlightening.

Andromeda August 18, 2009 at 10:12 AM  

It sounds like a show worth watching. I don't even own a TV (which says pretty much everything about how much I like the whole thing) but I'll see if I can find it online.

I absolutely LOVED your post on your dog by the way!

Pat August 18, 2009 at 11:02 AM  

I don't watch reality tv much, (I like some talent competition shows), but I haven't seen Ruby yet. I did hear good reviews about it. I just might have to tune in.

I enjoy your blog.

Anonymous,  August 18, 2009 at 11:44 AM  

I agree with you about most reality tv. But I have watched Ruby from day one, and like you have been surprised, and happy with it. Ruby is a great lady, proving we can do what we put our minds to, and attitude really does make a difference. GO RUBY!

Christina August 18, 2009 at 12:01 PM  

The only reality show that I watch is Dancing with the Stars and have occasionally watched the Bachelor and/or the Bachelorette. I havent watched Ruby but by your critique, I think I just might. There but for the grace of God, goes me - perhaps if adults would look at Ruby that way, they would not have laughed. People can be so MEAN!

I really enjoy your blog!

Danielle August 18, 2009 at 12:21 PM  

Once again, a beautifully written post. I will be tuning into Ruby.

kelly August 18, 2009 at 1:56 PM  

Great post Kim... I tend to watch reality shows more and more ..some not all. I like the fact that they follow real people with real problems. It is so hard in this society to "fit in" anyway...c'mon people we all can't be Barbie and Ken... lol. sad but true, people are so fast to judge you on how you look instead of what's on the inside..

iBria August 18, 2009 at 2:01 PM  

Great post. This is a show to see. I wrote something about people like her too so check it out.

Anonymous,  August 18, 2009 at 2:51 PM  

the thing about being over weight is that it doesn't matter how over weight you are, there is always someone who is whispering or laughing with someone else. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it just pure insecure paranoia.

Shelby, The Script Activist August 18, 2009 at 4:12 PM  

Yes, Ruby is one of those likeable people who's friendship would be like warm butter. I'm glad you mentioned her and her journey. For some reason lately, I've been really into reality TV. My fave is Dating in the Dark and Wife Swap. I suppose because these shows allow people to try out another life or persona without commitment. In Ruby, she's got to commit to making this lifestyle change. Sometimes I wonder because she's always calling what she does a "diet". While she may know that this is the way she will have to eat for the rest of her life, she's got to really commit to it and accept it for long term success. Thanks for being the catalyst to that thought process.


Entrepreneur Chick August 18, 2009 at 4:14 PM  

I'm so ghetto and so ashamed of myself. I adored "The Flavor of Love"... Flavah, Flave! Don't watch T.V. anymore at all- so I'm somewhat redeemed. Didn't know about Ruby. Thank you.

B EZ BZ August 18, 2009 at 4:14 PM  

I feel the same way about 'reality tv' but, I'll have to check out RUBY. I've heard a little about her here and there.. hmm.. seems interesting enough! I can't get over how there are very few REAL TV shows out there...thank God for Law and Order!

~JarieLyn~ August 18, 2009 at 5:26 PM  

I've never seen the show, but I have seen Ruby on the Oprah show. I'm sure she is quite an inspiration to many.

I like your writing style. This is a reall great post.

Angella Lister August 18, 2009 at 6:18 PM  

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I'll definitely tune in to the show. Thanks so much for this.

Joe August 18, 2009 at 10:16 PM  

I don't watch reality shows, and I have never seen Ruby. But I want to comment on what you didn't do in this post: you didn't give me enough of that first-hand emotional experience that I have come to expect from your blog. For example, what did those people at the table say? Help me experience that, as you have with your other posts.

Anonymous,  August 18, 2009 at 11:40 PM  

Losing weight sucks. This is another fantastic post!

Cheri Pryor August 19, 2009 at 3:47 AM  

I. Loathe. Reality TV. Can't someone just come up with an original idea anymore? Ugh! Maybe I will have to tune in to this...but make sure I have tissues handy. I get very emotional watching someone's pain displayed for the entire country to see. *sigh*

2 Teach The Teacher August 19, 2009 at 9:17 PM  

One thing that we can consider is that often times the attitudes and opinions that kids have towards others comes from their parents. Sad isn't it. I agree about those reality shows and I think that if I had to choose one that was worth watching it would be Ruby.

Christina August 19, 2009 at 11:08 PM  

Thank you for this. I mean it. After reading a condescending NY Times article that trashed everyone over size 2 as "fat" and happening across a silly child's blog about how horrible fat people are, I planned a retaliation blog post that crept further into a negative rant than I would ever post without shame. Reading your extremely fair assessment of this woman was the glimmer I needed to stop myself.
There are still good people in the world, and they write wonderful blogs. Thanks again!

ComfortWriter August 22, 2009 at 2:20 AM  

I recenlty saw Ruby for the first time and loved the show. I would agree that it is one of the better reality shows out there. A new one coming out that I'm not looking forward too - Tony Danza teaching in a high school where the students have been chosen to be in the class. Now there is reality! (note extreme sarcasm!)

Love your blog and to show my appreciation I have left a gift for you over at my place. Stop by when you get a chance.

ComfortWriter August 22, 2009 at 2:20 AM  

I recenlty saw Ruby for the first time and loved the show. I would agree that it is one of the better reality shows out there. A new one coming out that I'm not looking forward too - Tony Danza teaching in a high school where the students have been chosen to be in the class. Now there is reality! (note extreme sarcasm!)

Love your blog and to show my appreciation I have left a gift for you over at my place. Stop by when you get a chance.

Ekanthapadhikan August 25, 2009 at 1:31 PM  

And mine makes the 27th comment on this post. You might not even see this comment. But I can't resist but join the Ruby fanfare. Well, I don't get to see this show in my country. But I've seen snippets in YouTube.

And generally speaking on reality show - I hate them. They are nothing but sheer waste of time and they mock at your senses.


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