Realist Aesthetics of Super Size Me Essay

Submitted By Hailee-Lombardo
Words: 1220
Pages: 5

Realist Aesthetics of Super Size Me

The documentary Super Size Me is presented in the light of a growing issue: an obesity epidemic attacking the world. Various realist aesthetics in the documentary Super Size Me are utilized to offer a truth about the world and unhealthy foods. Aesthetics such as real people, existing footage, direct addresses to the camera, and on-camera interviews within Super Size Me come together to greatly present the rather disgusting and negative effects of over consumption of unhealthy foods, and to offer this truth about the world: we must take it upon ourselves to end the obesity epidemic. In the documentary Super Size Me all of the people are real, non-actors. The main character Morgan Spurlock is a real person responding to two lawsuits filed against McDonald’s, in which two young women claimed that McDonald’s food was the cause of their obesity. In his response Morgan Spurlock goes on a strict, 30 day, McDonald’s only diet in which he eats McDonalds for breakfast, lunch and dinner and tracks his results. The doctors and the dietician he sees are all real licensed specialists, and everyone he encounters are real people. With this use of real people, the audience is able to see all the real life effects of a heavy fast food diet. Every time he eats the audience is able to see his true reactions, which are typically him feeling over indulged, even to the point of headache and sickness. As the 30 days progress the audience can see the real negative effects it has on his energy, mood, and even his relationship. Perhaps most importantly the audience sees the negative effects on his health as they follow him to real doctor’s and dietitian appointments, and the audience can see the dangerous increase in things such as his weight and cholesterol and hear his doctors’ advice to stop the diet. Other times in the documentary such as when they visit the middle school cafeteria, the lunch lady and students are all real people as well, and the audience is really shown just how unhealthy many children are and how often a blind eye is turned on their increasing unhealthy habits. When they visit the man in the hospital who is about to undergo gastric bypass surgery the audience is shown the real extreme measures people are all to often driven to by their unhealthy habits. Because Morgan and everyone in the movie are not actors, when watching all of the things Morgan and the others go through the audience sees the harsh reality of the multiple negative effects of fast food, and its evils are realistically brought to light. From the very beginning of the Super Size Me to the end of the documentary, the audience is presented with a lot of the aesthetic of existing footage. Most of this existing footage consisting of many overweight and obese people with jiggling fat, love handles, and cellulite. This footage of bigger people being in great and direct contrast to society’s desired physique of fit and thin can create a feeling of fear within the audience of looking like a person shown in the existing footage, and the visual of the gross effects that fast food consumption often has on the body of an average human being are burned into the minds of the audience. The existing footage is also sometimes accompanied with the presentation of facts and statistics about the rising obesity epidemic and other health problems, such as that over half of the population is overweight. The reoccurrence of the existing footage in the documentary provides a constant visual reminder throughout the film of the major connection between unhealthy food and obesity. Throughout Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock makes multiple direct addresses to the camera. In these direct addresses the audience is often provided with insight on how he is feeling or intel about something he is doing on his McDonalds diet. When he directly addresses the countless aches, pains, fatigues, stomach aches, and headaches it allows the audience to really put