DECEMBER IS BODY IMAGE MONTH ON BBC AMERICA
Ordinary people confront serious body issues in five U.S. Premiere documentaries
BBC AMERICA Reveals is a Sunday night documentary slot packed with intriguing celebrity profiles, Royal specials and real-life stories that shine a light on contemporary Britain. This December, it takes a look at body image with five compelling, hour-long, U.S. premiere documentaries: Super Skinny Me, 476-lb. Teenager, My Small Breasts and I, My Big Breasts and Me, and Teen Transsexual.
SUPER SKINNY ME premieres Sunday, December 2, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Female celebrities seem to be vanishing before our very eyes. Ellen Pompeo, Kate Bosworth, pre-pregnancy Nicole Ritchie, Keira Knightly and other stars seem to be in a race to size zero (and beyond). But what are the costs of such extreme weight loss, and how can you possibly maintain such an unnatural state?
Super Skinny Me is a shocking, reverse version of Super Size Me. In this graphic account of extreme dieting, two journalists, Kate (left), 37, and Louise, 28, are followed as they adopt extreme weight-loss methods used by celebrities and models�everything from colonics to protein shakes�with the goal of dropping five dress sizes in five weeks, plummeting from the average size 8 to a catwalk size 0. Along the way, the journalists�and the audience�are forced to confront the serious mental and physical side effects of such an experiment, revealing the true cost of the Hollywood look. Said Louise of her experience, �The last thing I want to do is show people how to lose the weight. The aim of the experiment is to show and highlight all the horrible, nasty side effects. I don't think I've ever been so unhappy in my life.�
This program is a must-see for anyone even considering a pre- or post-holiday crash diet.
476-LB. TEENAGER premieres Sunday, December 9, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Teenagers often feel awkward and self-conscious, but at four times the size of the average teen, Bethany has never felt pretty. At the start of 2006, Bethany was Britain's fattest teenager, weighing in at 476 pounds. When she was told she would not make to adulthood, she opted for radical stomach-reducing surgery.
She's since lost 96 pounds (she poses to the right, in celebration, next to the equivalent weight in lard), but surgery hasn't stopped her life-long habit of comfort eating. Even worse, with her new, smaller stomach, she finds eating certain fibrous, healthy foods difficult. The surgery also doesn't shelter her from stares and hurtful comments. Bethany said of her experience, �People stare at you, children say, �Mummy, why's she like that?' If someone had been particularly horrible to me, like a drunken person across the street shouting, �Oi, you fat b*tch!' I'd feel so low.�
Obese for almost a decade, her biggest battle is ahead. In order to get to the root of her problem, she decides to see a therapist. Even though she desperately wants to change her ways, she sometimes worries she'll be a different person, and may even lose her friends. Bethany hopes to focus on the things she is proud of, like her studies. Will she learn to overcome the psychological effects of being obese? Will she ever wean herself from an emotional attachment to food?
MY SMALL BREASTS AND I premieres Sunday, December 16, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
This documentary uncovers the complex, poignant and sometimes amusing relationship women have with their breasts. Speaking candidly, three women reveal how they feel about their small chest size.
Kate's self-esteem is so impaired, she barely goes out. A mother of two, Kate worries that her negative body image will affect her children as they grow up. She travels all the way to New York to see an innovative photo therapist, who, through photography, gives her clients a different perspective on their bodies.
Laura has wanted breast implants since she was fourteen. She's so desperate for funding, she's logged on to an innovative website that allows men to donate money to women for breast implants. She even visits with one of the lucky recipients to talk about her online experience.
Sharon (left) could easily afford breast implants, but she doesn't want to go under the knife. Instead, she's trying her own DIY method to increase her chest size. She takes herbal supplements and she's also invested in a breast enhancement machine�that's getting in the way of her love life.
Through visits to bra makers, psychologists, photographers and surgeons, three women try to make their own breasts look bigger and also hope to accept what they've got.
MY BIG BREASTS AND ME premieres Sunday, December 23, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The average chest size of a teenager has grown dramatically over the past ten years. Find out what it's really like to have a cup size at the far end of the alphabet in this documentary tracking the experiences of three large-breasted women. Some may think large breasts are a blessing�but at least for these three, they're a curse.
Music student Jodie, 23, is petite. Her feet are a size one, but her chest is a 28K�and still growing. Coming from a family where the women have relatively small breasts, Jody sets out to find out why her breasts are growing. In order to make her friends understand, she takes them shopping, fitted with size K prosthetic breasts. Will they love having large breasts enough to cope with the physical effort of lugging them around? Will they like the kind of attention large breasts command?
Maddie (right), 19, dreams of working the fashion industry, but she feels that her F cups are holding her back. She pops out of the latest fashions, never quite looking anything like what comes down the runway. For example, supermodel Giselle is portrayed as curvy, but Maddie's three full cup sizes larger. Afraid that her look is holding her back, the camera follows Maddie as she tries to find a place for big breasts in the fashion world.
Now in her thirties, Vicky has finally had enough of her 34H breasts. She's sick of hiding them, always dressing in black, always standing with her shoulders hunched to make them look smaller. She's fed-up with avoiding unwanted attention to herself and her breasts. Concerned that surgery is too expensive and would leave her scarred, we follow Vicky has she embarks on a regime of exercise and herbal remedies in order to reduce her breasts naturally.
TEEN TRANSSEXUAL premieres Sunday, December 30, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
When Lucy celebrated her 18th birthday, all she wanted was to become a woman. An especially daunting wish, considering Lucy was born a boy named Richard. Teen Transsexual documents the voyage from Richard to Lucy�one that's complicated by her young age. As a minor, gender reassignment was impossible�illegal, even. But Lucy started her journey in her early teens with her family's blessing and hormone therapy.
It's been a long voyage from Richard to Lucy. Lucy admits knowing she was different, even as a small child, �At about eight years old, I realized, for sure, that my body was wrong. I always thought to myself, �I wish I could become a girl, I wish I could.' and I didn't think there was a possible way.�
After confessing to a therapist, Richard had to come out to his family. He admits he was terrified he'd be insulted, hurt, maybe even disowned. Since age 16, Richard's been living full time as Lucy�classified by the medical profession as a pre-operative transsexual, which means her body is still male.
Now that she's 18, there's another hurdle in her way. At an age where few people solidly know who they are, she has to prove that she's ready for this irreversible surgery, and that it will allow her to function better, psychologically and socially. With the support of her family, her therapist and surgeons, will she finally be able to leave her former gender behind?
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CAST AND PRODUCTION CREDITS
SUPER SKINNY ME
Executive Producers Liz Warner and Dave Nath
Producer/Director Kathleen Larkin
Super Skinny Me is a Betty production for Channel 4.
Executive Producer Elaine Hackett
Producer/Director Kerry Brierley
476-lb. Teenager is a Brighter Pictures production for BBC.
MY SMALL BREASTS AND I
Executive Producer Samantha Anstiss
Producer/Director Sarah Waldron
My Small Breasts and I is a BBC Three production.
MY BIG BREASTS AND ME
Executive Producer Clare Sillery
Producer/Director Natalie Watts and Emma Boswell
My Big Breasts and Me is a BBC Three production.
Executive Producer Elaine Hackett
Producer/Director Kerry Brierley
Teen Transsexual is a Brighter Pictures production for BBC.