Bridal Bootcamp

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Bridal Bootcamp TV Poster Image
Extreme exercise show sends iffy messages about weight loss.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series endorses an extreme fitness program designed to help brides-to-be lose weight quickly. It doesn't offer long-term advice about weight loss, health, and nutrition.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite their methods, the trainers appear to care about the women and want to help them succeed. But they do also refer to the women as “girls."

Violence

The workouts are designed to look like military training camp drills. One episode features fake bombs being thrown and Conde riding in on a tank. Trainers yell, scream, and hurl insults as a way of motivating participants. Frustrated participants sometimes argue with each other. Women are shown throwing up, collapsing, and being taken away to the hospital.

Sex
Language

Words like “crap” and “bitch” are audible; those like “s--t” and “f--k” are bleeped.

Consumerism

The series is a promotional vehicle for Conde’s fitness regime, her book Bridal Bootcamp, and her new gym.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this elimination series -- in which brides-to-be participate in extreme military-style workouts and team competitions designed to help them lose weight and win wedding-related prizes -- endorses a quick-fix weight-loss "plan" without touching on long-term fitness and nutrition issues. Expect some strong language (though the strongest curses, like “s--t” and “f--k,” are bleeped) and iffy motivational techniques, like yelling and shouting insults. Arguments sometimes break out among the cast members, and women are shown throwing up and being taken to the hospital during and after workouts.

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What's the story?

In BRIDAL BOOTCAMP, brides-to-be participate in an extreme weight-loss boot camp in hopes of fitting into their wedding dress. Two teams of five brides participate in military-style workouts designed by fitness expert/author Cynthia Conde and led by trainers Francesca Petrucci and Steve Pfiester. They compete against each other in “marital missions" -- the victors win wedding-related prizes, and the losers are put up for elimination. In each episode, the two brides on the losing team who have lost the least weight must face Conde, who determines which one will be sent home. The bride-to-be remaining at the end of camp wins the wedding of her dreams.

Is it any good?

Like many weight-loss reality shows, Bridal Bootcamp focuses on losing large amounts of weight quickly by participating in workouts -- and fails to educate viewers on some of the consequences of this kind of exercise regime, including gaining a few pounds due to increased muscle mass. As a result, participants are often frustrated by the small amount of weight they lose, and many who are working hard and giving it their all are eliminated.

Some folks, especially brides-to-be, may be motivated by what they see here to become more active and/or lose weight. But ultimately, the series is a promotional vehicle for the pre-wedding fitness regimes that Conde has developed, as well as her book on the subject. It also fails to address women’s long-term needs when it comes to losing weight and staying fit after the honeymoon is over.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about health and fitness. Is losing large amounts of weight quickly really healthy? Are there better ways to get fit for a specific event and/or occasion?

  • What are some of the misconceptions about exercise and weight loss? How does the media address these misperceptions? Do you think shows like this one send constructive messages about losing weight?

  • How is weight tied to body image issues? How does the media portray that connection?

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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