Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Wallmeyer Twins - a current affairs goldmine

Remember Clare and Rachel Wallmeyer? They made news back in 2004 for being Australia's most famous skeletwins, surviving on a piece of watermelon a day and the occasional hit of heroin (although the drug use was diplomatically omitted from the news stories).
Well thanks to ET and Insider Online they're ba-ack and striking hope into the hearts of prime time TV viewers everywhere.

Now please don't get me wrong, I have absolute empathy (get that, empathy, not sympathy - there's a clue there) for these women but, as with programs like The Biggest Loser, I find television Get-Well-Quick shows to be not only loathsome, but extremely harmful to the sufferers involved*.
While the new footage of the twins may seem promising, all I see is a couple of extremely sick women with serious drug and behavioural problems (which I had to do some digging of my own to uncover) being polished up for the cameras to bring a satisfying conclusion to an unfinished story.
And while I genuinely believe that Dr Ira Sacker is a remarkable man who has helped countless sufferers of eating disorders, it breaks my heart to see these women starve themselves for 10 days in anticipation of the American film crews only to be offered a couple sessions with Dr Ira, during one of which they are fed hot chips, for Christ's sake. Have these people done any research into eating disorders at all? Do they not realise that after this little outing the twins will probably spend a guilt-ridden and self-hate filled afternoon bent over their toilet bowls? Or one bowl in this case - they live together. And don't get me started on the initial interview where the flawless host comments on the girls' weight gain and asks them how much they weigh. Surely, working with Dr Ira they must have done some research, which leads me to conclude that they really couldn't care less about the long-term recovery of the Wallmeyer Twins and are merely offering viewers what they want to see rather than, God forbid, educating them.
When will I learn.

*Don't take my word for it; do a search on how many Biggest Loser contestants actually maintain any of their weight loss in the year following the completion of each show.


Annalisa Ure said...

where did you get the info. i cant find it.

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Megs said...

Check this out and if you google the twins' names you'll note that one of them got charged in March this year with trying to strangle the other to death over a box of wine.

Camilla said...

I too have empathy for the girls. And saw stories of them using heroin as well as crystal meth. Totally agree with what you've said about the show, absolutely stupid and harmful to the girls possible recovery. Sad they had to die in a house fire and never recovered and got to feel content and happy in themselves but at least their daily battle is over.